Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tennis Star Roberts Burns Nets in 2nd Sport

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tennis Star Roberts Burns Nets in 2nd Sport

Article excerpt

When Melanie Roberts decided to try out for basketball as a freshman at Fort Zumwalt South High, it was the first time she'd ever been on a basketball court.

"I didn't even know how to shoot a layup," she recalled. "But I wanted to be part of a team at school and basketball seemed like it'd be fun."

Roberts, a 5-feet-9 1/2 junior, obviously is a quick learner. Last year, on the South B-team, she averaged around 12 points and 10 rebounds, earning a promotion to the varsity late in the season.

This year, she has emerged as a leader for South, averaging 14.5 points and eight rebounds a game.

"Melanie works extremely hard," first-year South coach Mike Hayden said. "Early in the season, we really didn't get her the ball enough. But as the season's gone on, Melanie has become more of the focal point of our attack. Over the last third of the season, she has played about as well as anyone in the area."

Roberts, 16, has been particularly effective in recent weeks, turning in big games against Rockwood Marquette (28 points, 11 rebounds), Ritenour (26 points), Troy (23 points, 10 rebounds), Pattonville (23 points), Hazelwood Central (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Francis Howell North (18 points, 12 rebounds).

"Melanie has some good inside moves and she's extremely strong," Hayden said. "She has become our go-to player in the post and she has excelled against some pretty good competition. The teams we play have become more and more aware of her. Against Marquette, for example, she scored three or four quick baskets and they went to a sagging zone. But Melanie still ended up with 28 points and 11 boards.

"And with other teams focusing on Melanie, some of our other players - Kelly Bornemann, Jennifer Dietz and Kimberly Eden - have also had some big games late in the season."

But for all her individual success, Roberts is a bit disappointed in the season overall. The Bulldogs were just 11-13 heading into Monday's first-round district game against Hannibal at South. The Bulldogs were seeded fourth and Hannibal fifth.

"I don't like to lose - ever," Roberts said. "It doesn't matter if you lose by one point or 10 or if you lose in triple overtime - it's still a loss. …

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