By Mike Cane Herald Writer
Go from sub to starter.
Megan Carlson made that transition this season. After being a substitute for the Archbishop Murphy girls varsity basketball team for three years, Carlson earned a spot in the Wildcats’ starting lineup.
She took the promotion very seriously.
“It’s just kind of amazing. It’s a way different responsibility than coming off the bench,” said Carlson, a 6-foot-1 senior post who was born in Iowa.
As a starter, “you take up the leadership position and everyone is looking towards you,” Carlson said. “You’re there at the beginning of the game. You have to make a difference and get your team off to a good start.”
Whether it’s the beginning, the finish or everything in between, Archbishop Murphy seems to have it all figured out. The Wildcats (18-2) have won 48 consecutive conference games and take an 18-game season win streak into the Class 2A District 1 tournament, which begins Thursday.
With averages of about six points and six rebounds per game, Carlson isn’t one of Murphy’s statistical leaders. But the co-captain plays many important roles, Wildcats coach John Barhanovich said: “She does a great job of understanding, in the flow of the game, where she needs to go on each possession … and as a head coach, the comfort level of having someone like that on the court is great.”
Love of the game
Why does Carlson play hoops? She enjoys the addictive mix of excitement, diversion and friendship. “I just really love it because it’s fun first of all,” said Carlson, “but it’s also an escape from the everyday world of school and academics and it’s a social aspect and stay in shape — just kind of something you can do with your friends.”
Being a team co-captain means leading by example and doing little things that help everyone, Carlson said. She means it: During the 2A state tournament last year Carlson did her teammates’ laundry after each game.
The sixth sense
Carlson’s sister, freshman Beth Carlson, also played basketball for Murphy. This will be the sisters’ only season on the team together. They are making the most of it. “It’s been fun playing with her,” Megan Carlson said. “We have kind of like a telepathic connection. Every time she passes to me, I’m going to score.”
As an ASB officer, Megan Carlson helps organize dances, assemblies and other spirit events. “I love planning assemblies and just being that leader figure,” she said. “It’s more fun if you get to plan it and be part of it.”
Making the grade
A self-described “super nerd” who loves science and math, Carlson plans to attend Santa Clara University and become an orthopedic surgeon. She has a 3.98 cumulative grade-point average and plans to focus on academics, not athletics, after high school. “My parents have always stressed that what I learn is going to take me further than any sport will,” said Carlson.
Mike Cane, Herald Writer