PLATTSBURGH — As Marle Curle pushes the ball down the court with time winding down in the first half, she puts a finger in the air and calls out, “One shot.”
The Plattsburgh High School senior calmly dribbles across half court, one eye on the clock, one eye on the defender.
High School Sports Magazine
Her call was made so her teammates would know someone is shooting as time as expires, but she may as well have yelled, “My shot.”
With 10 seconds left she raises up from beyond the arc for a 3-pointer her team won’t need tonight — a 60-25 victory over Lake Placid Dec. 19.
It clangs off the rim.
Before anyone has had a chance to scoop up a rebound, Curle has already zipped her slight frame into the lane to pick up the ball herself and take another shot as time expires.
This one, too, doesn’t fall. But the play reveals just what kind of player Curle is: a general, who controls the game from the top and down low.
Teams know she will have the ball in her hands and will more than likely take the shot.
But Curle will say she’s not the star craving the ball and the attention. She’s a team player, trying to lead Plattsburgh to its first Section VII title since 2004.
“I love to create for my teammates because it’s really fulfilling to see your team do well. But I also like to do well myself. I would consider myself the scoring team player,” Curle said.
Already this season she is averaging 23 points per game. She currently sits at 938 points and is on pace to reach 1,000 points Jan. 24.
While she dominates the scoring column, Curle is not an imposing figure without the ball in her hands. She is tall enough to defend players in the post, though her wiry frame doesn’t indicate she can beat bodies with some of the CVAC’s bigger players.
“We’ve had situations where we’ve put her on (Shannon) Ryan for Beekmantown,” Plattsburgh coach Jim Manchester said. “She’s not afraid to take that kind of responsibility and guard the other team’s best player. Her athleticism allows her to do that.”
It’s that athleticism that makes Curle Plattsburgh’s most valuable player, one who Manchester said is expected to be the scorer.
“We’re still trying to figure out what our individual roles are as far as the rest of the group,” Manchester said during Christmas break. “If you take Marle out of the mix right now, we’re probably not in a good place. That’s something we’re working on.”
Curle has improved on her athleticism by being a three-sport athlete. She wrapped up the soccer season with 15 goals, five assists and 31 points, and will look to continue her success in tennis when basketball ends. She said she takes bits and pieces from each sport and combines them when she plays.
Of the three, basketball is the sport she’s committed to play in college, though. Curle said she has committed to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
“I saw myself being in their program,” she said.
Playing college basketball may be natural for Curle, whose father, Tom, is the head coach for the Plattsburgh State men. But that hasn’t necessarily had a bearing on Curle playing basketball. She said her father has let her choose her passion for the sport.
“It’s (having a father who coaches) definitely beneficial for me, but he’s my dad first and a lot of people don’t see that because he’s really intense of a coach,” she said.
The choice to pick basketball as her favorite sport is Curle’s own. She said it’s something that she fell in love with because she has been around it her whole life.
Her favorite part about the sport is one that transcends all sports — winning.
“I just go into each game trying to improve my game and become a better player and try to help my team, obviously, to win. My teammates really help me by pushing me everyday in practice. My main objective is to win.”
Win she has. Plattsburgh is 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the CVAC this season with eight games remaining. Among them are games against Northeastern Clinton, Peru and Saranac, teams the Hornets have already beaten.
Don’t look for Curle to stop winning anytime soon, either. Manchester said of all the terms out there to describe his point guard, competitive is the best.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s checkers or rock-paper-scissors, she wants to win,” he said. “Sometimes that competitiveness will get the best of her and get her frustrated. She wants to be the best in what she does. She strives
VARSITY VOICE Check out the latest edition of Varsity Voice featuring Plattsburgh High School senior point guard Marle Curle at blog.pressrepublican.com/play-ball.