No matter how talented they might be, freshmen who are able to crack the varsity basketball lineup often have a tendency to defer to their older teammates, feeling as though it might not be their turn yet.

Destiney Ramey may have taken a bit of a back seat for the Edinburgh girls a year ago. As a sophomore, though, she’s embracing her role as the Lancers’ go-to player.

Seniors Allie Schooler and Brianna Howard were the team’s unquestioned leaders last season, and Ramey was content to play a secondary role. She still averaged nine points a game, second on the team behind Schooler, but she wasn’t being counted on to do too much.

With Schooler and Howard graduated, Ramey knew that she’d have to take on more.

“I knew in the summer that I had to step into bigger shoes and become one of the leaders and help out a lot more,” she said.

The scrappy 5-foot-5 point guard has taken the challenge head-on. Heading into Wednesday night’s game at Speedway, Ramey was the Lancers’ top scorer with 11.8 points per game and had accounted for roughly two-thirds of her team’s 44 3-point makes. She also was averaging a team-best 3.9 assists and contributing 2.5 steals a night on the defensive end.

In addition to upping her numbers on the stat sheet, Ramey also has made a concerted effort to become more of a team leader despite still being so young. Edinburgh coach Amy Schilling said that the sophomore has set a great example for her teammates during practices, and she hopes that Ramey will add to that by becoming more of a vocal presence as she continues to mature.

In the meantime, Ramey is working to fine-tune her game a bit. Described by Schilling as “an intense and aggressive player,” she’s learning to pick her spots with that aggression and harness it to make herself more effective.

“I’ve gotten a lot better at calming down and slowing down the plays whenever we don’t need a shot,” Ramey said.

And though she’s the Lancers’ top outside threat, Ramey has been making more of an effort to get into the lane recently so that she can draw contact and get to the foul line, where she’s shooting a team-high 78 percent.

Her development still is a work in progress, but Ramey has Schilling pretty excited about where she could end up a couple of years from now.

“I think she’s come a long way from her freshman year,” the coach said, “so hopefully it’ll keep up and she’ll keep learning, and then the next two years she’ll really be a force for us.”

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.