Lipps Service: Small LadyCats guard brings big game

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RESERVE — When the East St. John High girls basketball team takes the floor, Taylor Lipps usually is pretty easy to spot.

She is the little one, the 5-foot-2 junior guard.

Although she may not stand above her teammates, she still manages to stand out.

Lipps is a fierce competitor who averages 10.5 points, 2 rebounds and 3 steals per game.

More than statistics though, Lipps brings an all-out style of play to the game, one that is garnering a few looks from college scouts.

“Relentless,” said Lady Wildcats coach Stasha Thomas-James when asked to describe one of the captains of her team. “She doesn’t just play offense. She doesn’t just play defense. She plays both ends of the floor. She does it all.”

Lipps said she started playing the game when she was just 4 years old.

“I just liked it,” she said. “It looked like it was fun.”

She certainly was having fun last week as the girls varsity team went up against the boys freshman team in an unusual but rousing intrasquad game.

Lipps was running the floor.

“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s helping us build our confidence against bigger teams.”

There is no bigger game, perhaps, than tonight’s against the Lady Wildcats of Destrehan.

East St. John has not beaten its rival in recent memory and certainly will face a challenge tonight. Destrehan comes into the game undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state. It also has on its roster 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year Cara Ursin, a 5-7 Baylor commitment.

“We’ll match up,” Thomas-James said. “I think it’s going to be a good competition.”

Lipps said she and her teammates are ready to meet the challenge.

“They’re a really good team, but we’re a really good team too,” Lipps said. “I think we can beat them. We have a team — we have big, we have small, we have shooters. When we all come together, we just work.”

East St. John came into the week 17-4 following a 61-27 victory over Cohen Friday night.

The team has won seven in a row, including dominating wins over Hahnville (72-24) and Terrebonne (72-17).

Despite her small size, Lipps is a leader both on and off the court, Thomas-James said.

“Even though she’s itty bitty, they all look up to her,” Thomas-James said. “Her voice is real big. Her teammates listen to her.”

Lipps said she just likes to help her team.

“When they’re down I kind of pick them up and build their confidence,” she said. “Whenever they feel like they can’t do it, I’m there to help them.”

Because of her diminutive size, Lipps (she is a cousin of former East St. John and NFL wide receiver Louis Lipps) said she has to play big.

“Everybody has an advantage over me,” she said. “I have to work hard.”