Lockport hoops’ Townsend does not back down
There is no opponent too big or challenge too difficult that would make him back down. It’s just not Townsend’s way to take a step back to anyone.
At 5-foot-10, Townsend, a junior who is in year two of his varsity basketball career at Lockport High School, may be a bit undersized to be guarding the giants of the Niagara Frontier League.
But night after night, that’s exactly what Townsend has been doing. And he does it well.
“He’s got such a work ethic that it doesn’t phase him. He wants those challenges,” said Lions coach Dave Gilson. “He gets upset if he’s not guarding the opponents best big man. And he’s so physical that it doesn’t ware him down that much. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in his athleticism.”
Drawing the assignment of guarding players like 6-foot-7 Quinton Campbell of Kenmore West or 6-foot-9 Jermaine Crumpton of Niagara Falls certainly would make for a challenging night for anyone. But Townsend isn’t just up for that challenge, he relishes it and wants more.
“It’s hard because I’m so short,” Townsend said after Lockport’s win at Kenmore West on Jan.29. “But I just have to play hard and go out there and play.”
Knowing that more would be expected of him this season, Townsend said he feels a kind of pride and satisfaction that his coach has enough faith in him to assign him to shadow the opposing team’s top big man.
“I love it,” Townsend said with a smile. “I dunno know, I just like the game and get down low because that’s what I like to do. I’m not scared of anybody.”
“He doesn’t quit,” said Gilson. “He doesn’t quit. Offensively, defensively and if you try to take a break on him he’ll catch ya. He’s slippery. You don’t know where he’s going to be. You take a break and he’s going to get that lay-up.”
With slick break-away speed and great moves, if you turn the ball over it’ll take a split second for Townsend to make an opponent pay for it.
Standing at 7-3 in the NFL, Townsend feels that things are clicking for the Lions as a team and they are getting better and better as a group with each passing day.
Townsend isn’t the most vocal of leaders. He’s the prototypical lead by example guy on the floor. Townsend doesn’t yell or scream for guys to get their heads in the game.
He simply goes out there, does his job and inspires others to do the same by his actions. Townsend tries to encourage his teammates to bring it all the time.
“In that regard, he’s a great leader because it isn’t like he’s asking them to do anything he’s not doing,” said Gilson. “He’s not a very vocal guy but he definitely leads by example.”
And he’ll be leading for another full year to come, something that makes all of the Lions smile as wide as Townsend does.