Savanna Andrews, Lincoln’s senior forward and the defending player of the year in the Academic Athletic Association, does it all for the Mustangs.
She scores, she rebounds, she plays stifling defense — and she runs the concession tables.
“Every year, we host our preseason basketball tournament and we ask our players to help organize and run the event,” said Lincoln coach Jason Lee, whose team won 26 games last year and went undefeated in AAA play. “Some girls kind of reluctantly do it, but Savanna is always so enthusiastic. She’s running around when she’s not playing, helping with the scoreboard or the concession stands or just getting the nitty-gritty things done. It’s great for our team to have someone like that to rely on.”
For Andrews, the commitment to team doesn’t stop when she steps off the court, as her extracurricular activities clearly indicate. However, that doesn’t diminish her considerable achievements on the hardwood this season.
Andrews is leading the team in scoring, entering Thursday averaging 14.8 points per game while hauling in 9.6 rebounds for the Mustangs, who are the early favorites to repeat in the AAA, San Francisco’s public school league.
Her strong senior season is the latest step forward in a remarkable career, which started when she joined the squad as an unheralded freshman. Expected to gather a few playing minutes here and there when she joined varsity, Andrews has blossomed into the league’s most dominant player.
“She’s definitely been a pleasant surprise,” Lee said. “She wasn’t the quote-unquote, star, of her freshman class, so she’s worked super hard to get where she is right now.”
Also a standout discus and shot put thrower for Lincoln’s track-and-field team, Andrews said her mental focus has helped get her to where she is today.
“I go out with the mindset every game that I might not be the strongest player, so I have to be the smartest,” Andrews said. “I always give it my all when I’m playing. I know I need to go above and beyond for us to be successful.”
So far, Andrews’ approach has paid off for the Mustangs. Other than a recent blip vs. Lowell — a 55-53 loss that snapped the Mustangs’ 13-game winning streak against league opponents — Lincoln has looked impressive. The team entered Thursday by piling up 15 wins against stiff competition, including a 63-46 rout of El Cerrito that followed their loss to the Cardinals.
Andrews, who is surrounded by a great supporting cast that includes junior guard Fiona Tam and junior forward Yasmin Jimenez, both of whom average double-digit scoring, said this year’s Mustangs’ squad is eager to go deep into the postseason. Last year’s team won a game in the Division I NorCal playoffs before dropping to eventual regional champ St. Francis of Sacramento.
“It would be one for the books if we could win a couple of more games in the NorCal playoffs,” said Andrews, who has received a few offers from California junior colleges to play basketball next year. “And we’ve never won back-to-back league titles in school history, so to accomplish that would be amazing. It’s been a great season so far, but we still have a lot left to accomplish.”