Asaria Turman is kind of quiet and humble off the court. Unassuming.
On the court, she is kind of the same way. She doesn’t talk a lot or yell or get all caught up in the emotion of the game. She plays hard with a focus that is locked in on what’s going on at the moment.
She’s also a difference maker. And she made all the difference in Monday’s 56-44 win over Romulus in the first round of Districts. In a one-point game heading into the final quarter, Turman stepped up and scored eight of her game-high 23 points in the final 8 minutes.
She also grabbed some big rebounds and her excellent pass to Coby LaPointe for a layup was another big play midway through the fourth quarter.
Turman said the game plan coming in was simple – play with everything you have.
“We haven’t had the kind of season we wanted to have up to this point so we came in with nothing to lose,” she said. “We wanted to just play hard and leave everything out on the floor.”
The Pioneers have had their good moments during the season but haven’t put everything together at the same time for an extended period of time. But maybe the hard work and steady improvement is finally paying off.
“It’s taken a while for everyone to understand their roles,” Turman said. “But we are there now. I think everyone has learned them and we are playing pretty well.”
And it’s coming at the right time.
“We are working more together now as a team and not giving up on each other,” she said. “We are playing with more confidence. And there has been a big difference in practice. Everyone comes in ready to go.”
Turman didn’t call Monday’s win over the Eagles the Pioneers’ best game of the year but it’s certainly one of the better ones.
“We played hard and played with a lot of heart,” she said.
Turman has played varsity basketball for three years, playing as a freshman and sophomore before this her junior year. Tyrone Hicks has been Turman’s coach all three seasons and has seen her grow on and off the court.
“She continues grow as a basketball player and as a person,” he said. “The first thing about her is she is a phenomenal young lady. She has always worked hard but her commitment to the game has really grown and I expect her to continue to work harder and get better.”
Turman, who struggled with staying healthy her first two years, has been a mainstay on this Pioneer team all season. She’s been the rock in the middle and a leader on and off the floor.
“I came in this year wanting to establish more of a leadership role,” she said. “I not only want to get myself in the right mental state but also my teammates.”
The Pioneers were .500 during Turman’s freshman season and 14-6 last year. They lost both years in Districts, where the Pioneers find themselves this week.
Turman, who is going to throw the shot this year for the track and field team, hopes to play basketball in college.
“My mom and dad both played basketball in high school and I was tall when I was young so I figured I might as well play basketball,” she said. “From there I developed a love for the game.”