Former Kiowa star Whitney Ward (42), now playing for the Eastern Oklahoma State College Lady Mountaineers puts up a shot during the Eastern Classic at the Southeast Expo Center Friday during the Lady Mountaineers’ win over Neosho, Mo.

In high school, former Kiowa Cowgirl Whitney Ward dominated against small school opponents. Now, Ward has taken to the role of role player at the college level for the Eastern Oklahoma State College Lady Mountaineers.

Ward is in her first year with the EOSC team and still has some adjusting to do.

“I’m really happy to be playing at the college level,” Ward said. “I like it a lot, but there are a lot of differences between the college game and high school ball.

“College is a lot faster, everyone is a lot stronger and it is a lot more competitive.

“I like playing for coach (Clyde) Wooldridge. we work on defense a lot and he really pushes us to improve every day.”

Ward has only been with the team for a few months but is starting to fit in with the already established players.

“I’ve gotten to know everyone on the team really well,” she said. “I think we have pretty good chemistry right now. We are still working on it, but I think it will get better as the year goes on.”

Wooldridge is happy with the freshman’s progress.

“Whitney has a lot of ability,” the coach said. “But she has still got a lot to learn about playing basketball at the college level.

“Defensively, you have a lot of pressure on you and she is learn how to play that kind of defense. She’s not real big for an inside player so she has got to learn when to go up with the ball and when to kick it back out.

“We are really happy with her progress.”

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