HOWE — On a team loaded with seniors, Riley Harvey was a little worried about how she would fit in.
“I was nervous as first because I didn’t know how it was going to go down,” she said. “They accepted me. I knew I was going to have to fight for my spot.”
The freshman forward did just fine with the jump from middle school.
And the impact Harvey had on the district was immediate. She anchored the middle for the Lady Bulldogs’ 11-2A championship team, the program’s first district title in six seasons, and was named the 11-2A Most Valuable Player.
“I didn’t expect to get that at all,” Harvey said. “I was very surprised. I figured it would be one of my teammates.”
Harvey, also an all-region pick by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, is the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Girls Basketball Newcomer of the Year for 2012-13.
Howe finished 27-7 with a regional quarterfinal appearance before losing to Brock, which went on to win its fifth straight state title.
And Harvey proved she could produce against top competition, scoring 23 points in the loss to the Lady Eagles. An output like that was a common occurrence from the start of the season. Harvey averaged 15.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 55 percent from the floor.
“It was fun to play with a new group of girls and their talent and my talent coming together,” Harvey said.