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Rogers paces SCPS in scores, more
Richmond Hill’s Raegan Rogers leads Savannah Christian in scoring and is a tenacious defender for the Lady Red raiders, who are vying for a state playoff berth. - photo by Birk Herrath
Raegan Rogers has always possessed an excellent outside shot in basketball, but she was sometimes hesitant to fire away, plagued, she said, by a lack of confidence.
This season, with the clock ticking down on her high school career, Rogers is a confident outside shooter who leads her team in scoring. She’s also made the transformation from subordinate player to team leader.
Rogers, a Richmond Hill resident, is averaging around 15 ppg. as a senior shooting guard for the Savannah Christian Lady Red Raiders. Many of her points come from the perimeter. Coach Toy Byrd says Rogers is accurate out to the 3-point line. “Raegan has a beautiful outside shot,” Byrd said. “She’s always had a great shot.”
The five-seven Rogers is versatile on offense, adds Byrd, noting that she can drive well to the basket. She doesn’t limit her contributions to the offensive end, however. “Raegan is a tenacious defender,” Byrd said. “She’s a go-get ‘em player on defense.”
The go-get ‘em attitude wasn’t as evident during Rogers’ first three years on the team.
Byrd said Rogers was more willing to take a subordinate role in previous years. And despite her great outside shooting touch, she seemed reluctant to shoot, according to her coach. “She didn’t want to be a ballhog,” Byrd explained. “Girls don’t want to be labeled that way. She was very unselfish. I told her that to be a good team we needed her to shoot the ball.”
Rogers said it was a matter of confidence, or lack thereof. “If I missed the first shot, I lost confidence,” said Rogers, who has attended Savannah Christian since kindergarten. “It was all a mental thing.”
A number of factors contributed to Rogers’ turnaround this season.
During the off-season, she had surgery on her right shoulder, which frequently popped out of its socket. For three to four months, Rogers couldn’t play basketball. Although she described that layoff as “awful, “ Rogers gained a greater appreciation for basketball and developed a philosophy of taking nothing for granted. This was strengthened by her upcoming status as a senior.
“It was now or never,” Rogers said. “I didn’t want to live with any regrets, wondering what I could have done.”
Watching college and pro basketball games, Rogers said, helped her gain more confidence as a shooter. “I saw that they shoot a lot,” Rogers said. “They have to shoot to score.”
Rogers isn’t about to usurp Allen Iverson when it came to seeking a shot, but her new confidence and aggressiveness is producing some positive results this season. “My shot got better,” Rogers said. “It’s falling more. It’s a confidence thing.
Shooting isn’t the only aspect of Rogers’ game that has improved. Byrd said she has a different attitude and has really showed up to play. “She’s more of an attacking player,” Byrd said. Then there’s her new role as a leader.
“Her leadership has shone through this year,” Byrd said. “She’s playing with heart and trying to bring her teammates to the same level.”
Rogers said she enjoys her role as one of two team captains and the opportunity to help her teammates with problems and better their understanding of the game.
Rogers played recreational basketball in Richmond Hill and remains close with many of the area’s players. She said she would have liked to play with her friends in high school, but she’s enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a growing program at Savannah Christian. Rogers has also played soccer and softball, but basketball remains her favorite sport. “I’m better in basketball than in soccer and softball,” she explained.
Rogers hasn’t received any offers to play basketball in college. Byrd said she thinks Rogers could play at the Division II or III level. The question is does she have the desire.
“I’d like to play in college,” Rogers said, “but I realize how big a commitment it is. I don’t want to hate basketball. If I get an offer, I would consider it.”
For the moment, Rogers wants to focus on her team and her last season of high school ball. The Lady Red Raiders are 5-2 in Region 2AA and in second place; the top two teams in the region qualify for the state playoffs.
“Our goal is to make the state playoffs,” Rogers said. “we’ve been playing together a long time. We want to leave everything on the court and not have any regrets.”
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