Sharp-shooter Garrett giving Warriors a big lift this season

Sherando's Amber Garrett beats Spotswood's Stephanie Ouderkirk down the floor during their game on Dec. 6 in Stephens City. Garrett is one of the top shooters in the area this season. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — Amber Garrett loves to shoot 3-pointers.

The Sherando senior shooting guard has been a standout 3-point shooter for the Warriors for the last three years. Garrett said shooting from the outside has always come naturally for her.

“I’ve always been good at that,” Garrett said. “Short shots I can never get the right touch on it. But the further out you are, you can just shoot it far and it will go in.”

Garrett is second in the area in 3-point percentage (29.5 percent, 13-for-44).

She said earlier this season she hit her most memorable 3-pointer of her career. In the final seconds of one of the quarters she  made a shot from just inside half-court.

“We’ were playing at Liberty, we had a couple seconds left,” Garrett said of the shot. “I just threw it up with one hand, my left hand and it went in. And that was the only points we scored that quarter. That one really stood out to me.”

Not only is Garrett one of the area’s top 3-point shooters, but she is also one of the top overall shooters. She is fourth overall in the area in field goal percentage (44-for-104, 42.3 percent).

Garrett said she enjoys driving to the basket and also getting to the free-throw line, where she is shooting 63.6 percent (42-for-66).

Sherando coach Mike Marsh said as talented as Garrett is at shooting, she doesn’t do it enough.

Marsh said he told Garrett before the season that he would like for her to take around 20 shots a game, but she is only averaging six shots per contest.

“People don’t really know how great of a shooter she is, because she passes up so many open shots,” Marsh said. “Probably her one weakness is she won’t shoot as much as she should. …She’s such a team-oriented person. That’s the thing about her that I guess makes her pass up shots. It’s all about the team. She would rather have the assist or see someone else get the chance to score as much as she can.”

Garrett said making a 3-point shot is a great feeling, and it also helps her on defense.

“It makes you play harder on defense,” Garrett said. “I want to get the ball back again so I can shoot another one.”

Garrett said she loves playing defense just as much as any other part of the game.

“Ever since I started playing in seventh grade defense has always been my favorite part of the game,” Garrett said. “My dad taught me all about it. So I have a good experience with that. Especially when your shot isn’t falling at least you have that to rely on.”

Garrett is third in the area in steals, averaging 2.4 per game.

Marsh said that Garrett has always been one of the team’s best defenders.

“She’s quick, she has good hands,” Marsh said. “She also understands the concepts of defense. Some kids they just play too high or they don’t move their feet quick enough. She anticipates really well.”

As a sophomore, Garrett led the area in field goal percentage (50.7 percent). She said she learned a lot in her first year on varsity, which has helped her the last two seasons.

She followed that up with another strong season last year. Garrett averaged 8.4 points per game, and led the area in 3-point percentage (34.6 percent).

This season, Garrett is averaging 8.4 points per contest. Marsh said that Garrett’s play on defense also affects her on offense.

“She’s finally getting used to playing hard defense and then playing on offense too,” Marsh said. “She’s been playing hard defense since she’s joined us. And she commits all her energy to that and sometimes that does wear you down on the other end.”

The Warriors are 12-7 and in third place in the Class 4, Northwestern District. The Warriors have won four straight games.

Garrett said after a slow start to the season she believes the team is hitting its stride.

“We expect to go far,” Garrett said. “We have really good goals and expectations for each other and for the team and for ourselves. So we’re just really looking forward to that.”