February 23, 2012 | Vol. 42 No. 7

Support, not rivarly define sisters on court

The younger siblings agree: the hardest part about being on a team with your older sister, or sisters, is accepting all that constructive criticism, even when you know they mean well.

John S. Hagen
From left, Glaicer Bears Amey Messerschmidt, Jamie Messerschmidt, Ashley Messerschmidt, Libby Jacobson and Anna Jacobson.

“She gives me lots of tips,” Libby Jacobson says of sister Anna. “I usually don’t like them. I try to listen because most of the time she knows what she is talking about, but I don’t like hearing it over and over.”

“It’s hard to take advice from older sisters,” says Jamie Messerschmidt. “It helps that you know it’s not meant to be mean, but...,” she says trailing off.

This year the Glacier Bears girls’ basketball team is chock-full of sisters. With three Messerschmidts (seniors Amey and Ashley and sophomore Jamie) on the court, you can get a lot of Messerschmidt to Messerschmidt from the announcers. The Messerschmidts are joined by Anna Jacobson, a senior, and her sister Libby, a sophomore.

Coach Brian Elliott describes the mix that the sisters bring to the team as “balanced.”

“Ashley is a wing-forward-slasher and an on-ball defender. Amey is a high post finisher and guards bigger posts. Jamie is a crashing rebounder who loves to set screens. Anna is our best open court defender and capable long range shooter. Libby is comfortable with the ball in her hands and drives aggressively through defenders.”

And yes, they have had an all sisters lineup take the court, according to Elliott. “I commented at the start of the season it would be special to have an all Messerschmidt-Jacobson lineup on the court, as they comprised a balanced team of five players, complete with a point guard, off guard, forwards and high post and this occurred during the second varsity game at Wrangell this year. Without deliberately inserting that lineup in the game, I happened to notice that it was the all-sister Glacier Bears team and took a mental snapshot.”

Any competition between the sisters takes second place to camaraderie and teamwork. Anna, for one, is matter-of-fact about watching her younger sister Libby’s rising talent. “It’s fun to see how good she is. I know that she is really good and that I’m alright, but I still really enjoy it.”

Jamie looks up to her older sisters to help her focus her own rising talent. “Ashley’s defense is something I look up to. And Amey’s rebounding skills, post-ups and always hitting the perfect spot on the backboard, that’s stuff I work on.”

Regionals start soon, and the girls are looking forward to it, although the end of the season is bittersweet as it brings their time playing together to a close. “I try not to think about it,” says Libby, “It is sad. Next year it’s going to be a big responsibility not having Anna and the rest of the seniors there.”

“I am going to miss them,” says Jamie of her sisters. “It’s been nice to have that support on the team and I like playing with them a lot. They are good teammates.”

All too soon Anna and Libby will be enjoying their final shared pre-game ritual. “We both like Multigrain Cheerios. We pump up on similar music. And Libby makes crazy noises to get everyone pumped up.”