Gingrich has enjoyed nice career |

Gingrich has enjoyed nice career

by Darrell Moody, Sports Editor

Ask Julie Gingrich about her biggest game and most memorable moment in her four-year basketball career at Douglas High, and she’s quick to respond.

“It has to be the state championship game (against Centennial) when I was a sophomore; being on the floor and being part of a two-overtime game,” said the 6-foot-1 Gingrich, Douglas’ only starting senior this year. “I played OK. I contributed. We played a good game. It was a nice way for our seniors to go out.”

As usual, Gingrich is being modest. She was the only DHS player to score in all six quarters against Centennial, finishing with 15 points. She was solid throughout the tourney. She scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 54-43 semifinal win over Gorman, and scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds in a 63-52 win over Western.

“She had a really good state final,” Douglas coach Werner Christen. “She had a good semifinal against Gorman, too. She knocked down some big shots both of those games.

“When Andrea Honer hit a three-pointer in the second overtime, Julie was our next option. We told the girls to hit Julie on a step-in if Andrea wasn’t open.”

It showed the type of confidence that Christen had in Gingrich even back then, and Gingrich has done nothing to dispell that.

“Absolutely she has the green light,” Christen said. “Most of the kids have the green light if they’re open. They know their ability and they know their range. Julie is right up there with Jenny Smokey and Rosie Contri in terms of her range.

“Julie always takes shots within the offense. I told her even if she’s 0 for 97, I want her to shoot the ball when she’s open. I told her that good shooters have bad memories.”

Despite averaging 14 points a game this year, and being one of the Tigers’ best outside shooters, Gingrich isn’t a shooting machine.

“I really don’t like to shoot,” Gingrich said. “I’ve been told a lot that I need to be more selfish with the ball. I’m always wanting to give it up somebody else. An assist is as good as a basket.

“I like to see the points evenly distributed. It means the whole team is getting involved, not just one person.”

Indeed. Erin Brinkmeyer, Brittany Puzey and Gingrich form the most potent trio of scorers in Northern Nevada. Double-digit scoring is the norm, not an aberration for Gingrich this year. As a junior, her production ran hot and cold.

“Part of it is that Julie isn’t playing in Emily’s (Haas) shadow anymore,” Christen said. “I told her everybody has to pitch in. I told Brittany the same thing. We need a few more points and a few more rebounds from everybody.”

“The coaches told me I have to be scoring more,” she said. “Me not scoring isn’t an option.”

One of the best things about Gingrich is her size and versatility. She is an effective player, both inside and outside, at both ends of the floor.

“She’s tough to match up against.” Christen said. “If a big players comes out to defend her, she can go right by them. If she’s guarded by a smaller player on the perimeter, she’s going to get a good look (at the basket).”

Gingrich admitted that she prefers to play outside.

“There’s more room to move around,” Gingrich said. “You make a 2-foot shot compared to a 15-foot shot. It shows the skill you have (on the 15-foot shot).”

Gingrich became a shot-blocking machine in the post-season last year, averaging four blocked shots a game. With Haas gone, she’s had to be a bit less aggressive at the defensive end this year.

“We had a ton of post players last year,” Gingrich said. “With Dana Pardee and Colleen Carlson (both freshmen) we can’t throw them into that position. They seem to be adapting, though.”

It’s the same thing Gingrich endured four years ago. She had to learn on the job, too.

“My freshman year if something went wrong, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do,” she said. “When something goes wrong now, I know how to adapt to it.

“I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here. When I first started here, I didn’t even know what a screen was. I’d only played in seventh and eighth grade. I was playing other sports as well, so I wasn’t focused just on basketball.”

That’s changed. Except for the three months she spends playing golf for the Douglas High team, she is totally immersed in basketball, and she hopes to play at the next level, preferably at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.

“She’d have to be a “3” (forward) probably,” Christen said. “She’s got to get a little stronger if she plays inside.

“I’ve written letters for her. Julie is putting all her eggs into one basket. I don’t know if she can play there or not. I’m sure there are a lot of schools that would like to have her.”

Who wouldn’t like a 6-1 small forward or shooting guard with the shooting and ballhandling skills that Gingrich has.