Jamie Surmin can score, but it is her ability to do everything else on the floor that has been key for Ridgewood.
By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2003
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Jamie Surmin has had a rough season. But who can tell?
The 5-foot-9 junior leads Ridgewood in 3-point shooting, with team highs in field goals (44) and shooting (37 percent.)
She has scored 9.2 points a game this season, third-best on the team, and also averages 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals.
Those numbers betray no hint that she was sidelined with a pulled muscle in her back that forced her to exit one game and sit out another.
Or the virus that left her vomiting for two days.
Or all the other little aches and pains a player accumulates through the course of a season (though she seems to have more than her share).
"She's battled illnesses and injuries part of the year," Rams coach Greg Bollinger said. "She told me "Coach, I'm not always this sick.' But when she's missing either due to illness or injury, we miss her."
Despite the various aches and ailments, Surmin has played 25 of the Rams' 28 games this season.
A healthier Surmin will will suit up for the Rams (25-3) again in tonight's region semifinal at home against Ocala Vanguard (29-2), the No. 3 team in the 4A poll.
On top of all of that, she switched positions, going from power forward to small forward, where her perimeter shooting better suits her. But through the illness and injuries and new position, she hasn't minded a bit.
"This is definitely my favorite year," Surmin said.
"She probably could have (missed more games)," Bollinger said. "But she wasn't going to miss some of the games. She knew which ones were more important than the others. She knew what she didn't want to miss."
Now that Surmin is one of Ridgewood's big three, with point guard Crystal Ayers and shooting guard Jen Barrett, the 5-foot-9 junior said she has no intention of missing any time on the court if she can help it.
She started last year at power forward, but the big three then was Ayers, 3-pointer shooter Joeyn Dearsman and forward Rachel Rauber. Surmin she she eagerly awaited her chance to fill that kind of leadership roll with the Rams.
"Last year we had Joeyn and Rachel starting, so I was happy that I was starting and everything," she said. "Once I settled in there I was happy at that position, but I wasn't one of the top players. But this year I am definitely a big part of the team. I can shoot, score or do anything else, whatever they need me to do."
This year Bollinger wants to use Surmin to help free his other top outside shooter, Bennett. Together with Ayers' ability to penetrate and dish the ball, the coach doesn't see how a defense can shut down two shooters and Ayers at the same time.
"When you have shooters on both sides along with Ayers, it's hard to keep track of all three," Bollinger said, "and 3-point shooters can change a game around so fast. Having that third scorer is huge."
But Surmin doesn't have to get her points. She just wants her share of plays.
"I think every game I want to go out and have the best all-around game I can," she said. "I don't necessarily want to score the most points or anything. I usually want to get as many assists, rebounds and steals as I can.
"I want to have a good all-around game, that's all I'm looking for."