Plainfield team poses triple threat

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Tue., Feb. 21, 2012
(L to r) Heather Evans, Hailey Griffin and Kim Bouten ham it up during practice.
(L to r) Heather Evans, Hailey Griffin and Kim Bouten ham it up during practice.

The Plainfield girls' basketball team went into the ECC tournament as a number-one seed this season. That's thanks in part to their triple threat - seniors Hailey Griffin, Kim Bouten and Heather Evans. Griffin and Bouten scored 1,000 points each in their high school careers. Evans came in with just under 700 points, but her contributions on defense stymied opponents. The differences between them, as well as team play fostered by coach Jason Greene, has helped Plainfield reach the tournament stage two years in a row.

Griffin was the first ECC player to reach the 1,000-point milestone this year. The 5-foot, 10-and-a-half-inch forward favors the three-pointer over shooting from the inside. “It's a tougher shot, and when it swishes it makes a beautiful sound,” she said. Going down the middle in the center of the paint is harder for her. “If you go a little to the left or right, then it's going to hit off the rim and go off,” she said.

Bouten is almost the polar opposite of Griffin. At 5-feet, 3-inches, the senior guard likes to move quickly through the taller players she faces. “I'm fast,” Bouten said. “I like being tiny. I can go through places without getting stopped.” She's used her height and her shooting prowess to her advantage. Bouten also favors the three-pointer. Her least favorite shot: a jumper from the foul line. “In the paint it's so congested with people,” she said.

Both Griffin and Bouten sing the praises of their classmate, Heather Evans, a steady force in the Plainfield court. While Evans may not have made the shots her teammates did, she provided the assists, the defensive muscle and a relentless pressure on opponents.

“I found out basketball was my thing in eighth grade,” Evans said. She's been working on her skills ever since. “You have to keep working hard,” she said. “No matter what. If any obstacle gets thrown at you, you have to keep working at it and get better.”

Bouten agrees. The diminutive guard hasn't let her size stop her from scoring. “Don't let anyone tell you you aren't tall enough or good enough,” she said, when asked for the best advice she could give to young players.

For Bouten, and Griffin, scoring 1,000 points means they have each scored about 10 points per game over their high school careers. And the season isn't over yet.

If Plainfield goes far into the tournament, and there's every reason to believe they will, their opponents better prepare hard for them. Griffin will take her father's advice to the court. “He told me to always be a beast,” she said. If she and Bouten are on, and their three-pointers drop as planned, and Evans stands tough on defense, they will lead a team that will be tough to beat.

Greene said the three have set a high bar for the Plainfield program. “They have more drive and more talent and they give more effort than anyone else I've coached,” he said. “They've been great examples for the younger kids that you need to work hard in order to be successful.”

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