Family lines have been drawn in the "friendly" one-on-one competitions between Silverdale Baptist Academy girls' basketball coach David Massengill and his sophomore daughter Mariah.
Coach Massengill was a solid player in his own right at Central High and Chattanooga State, and he eventually played at the semi-professional level, but he watches his daughter and admits that she is better than he was at the same age.
"She has better ball-handling skills than I did and is probably quicker left to right," he said. "I was quicker going forward than her."
Mariah leads the area with 29.6 points per game and is second with a 5.5-steals average for the Lady Seahawks, who have a 9-3 record after a nine-game win streak was halted by Arts & Sciences in a District 5-A contest Tuesday.
But she said there's been a brief break in the backyard battles with her dad.
"Are you kidding me? She challenges me every day," David said.
Said Mariah: "I think he's starting to duck me. He knows I'm going to beat him."
Mariah's competitions are not limited to her father on the court. A former AAU teammate of GPS juniors Chadarryl Clay and Simone Busby, she said the three keep in contact through Facebook and hang out.
The Massengills have been excited about the Lady Seahawks' start to the 2010-11 campaign. And they said contributions have been spread throughout the team. Ryan Alosi and Kelsey Dishroon have provided consistently solid play, each averaging around seven points and seven rebounds per contest, and sophomores Haley Redmond and Abbie Alosi have been able to chip in scoring and defense.
Despite Tuesday's loss, the Lady Seahawks hope to get over the hump this season with the program's first district championship in basketball. They just missed out on a sectional appearance last year, falling in the Region 3-A semifinals.
"This season has been a pretty big deal," Mariah said. "We work well together and get along."
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