Feb. 6—WINDOM — Strong chemistry on the court is a huge part of what makes a basketball team great. It also often makes the sport a more entertaining spectacle.
There are numerous factors that go into building great team chemistry, but one of the biggest is having a tone-setter on the court. That person is often seen as a "floor general," the team's primary ball handler who facilitates the offense and makes sure the ball moves around the court and finds open teammates.
In the case of Windom's girls basketball team, the player who clearly fills that role is Hadley Sammons. A junior at Windom Area High School, Sammons is a 5-foot-6-inch guard whose biggest strengths on the court are that of a typical "floor general."
She is a skilled guard who pushes the ball up the court, finds teammates and creates offense. She also displays strong communication and leadership.
The three-year varsity starter is also a threat to score the basketball. In a Jan. 23 game against Marshall this season, Sammons became just the 10th Windom girl to reach 1,000 career points. Because of her experience at the varsity level, Sammons thought it was a goal she could achieve.
"When I hit my 1,000th point, I knew that I still had a game to play," she said. "But after (the game), it just felt like all the hard work had paid off."
Before the game started, Sammons knew she was only five points away. She recalled the first half being a bit of a slow start for her because she felt a bit of pressure to hit the milestone, but once she did it on a free throw, the pressure went away.
"When I hit it, I knew that, like, all the pressure was gone and I was able to play my game again," she said.
Sammons' basketball journey begins in the first grade when she remembers playing with friends and liking the sport early on.
"I remember playing it with my best friends when we were really young with their moms coaching us and just my dad coaching too, as well," she said. "And it was really fun playing with them."
Every season since Sammons started on varsity, the Eagles' record has gotten better each year. In her freshman season in 2021-22, Windom finished with a 11-16 record. The following season in 2022-23, the Eagles finished with a winning record, going 16-10 before losing to St. James in the first round of the Section 3AA tournament.
So far this season, the Eagles have taken a bigger leap. They currently own a 15-5 record and have goals of making the section championship game and possibly a state tournament birth.
Hadley Sammons, who also plays volleyball for the Eagles in the fall, is this week's Drill subject for The Globe. Her full video can be found on dglobe.com, but here is a sample of our interview.
QUESTION: Who is someone that inspires you in sports?
ANSWER: "My biggest inspiration is probably my dad, as he was in sports when he was growing up and he was a college athlete. So he's my biggest inspiration when it comes to sports."
QUESTION: What is something that most other people may not know about you?
ANSWER: "I would say how serious I take school. Not a lot of people know that."
QUESTION: Any particular subjects in school that are favorites of yours?
ANSWER: "My favorite subject would probably be science. Probably just because I like learning about the human body and how it works and how it functions is really cool."