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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, March 18, 2010
Sam and Liz Harvey: sisterly bond key to Lady Bulldogs’ success
By Jordan J. Michael
BERNE Sam and Liz Harvey try to play as much basketball together as possible because it’s the only time they don’t bicker with one another.
The two sisters have been playing basketball for the last four years, but only played together recreationally before spending this season as teammates for Berne-Knox-Westerlo.
“We spend half the time arguing about stuff that doesn’t even make sense,” said Liz, a freshman.
“She always wants to wear my clothes,” rejoined her big sister Sam, a junior.
But all the disagreeing comes to a standstill on the court. Sam and Liz always know where the other one is during a game. It’s second nature for them.
“Sam is always looking to pass the ball my way,” Liz said. “She always finds me. Open or not.”
“We have this common bond when we play together,” Sam said. “It’s like a sixth sense.”
They’ll get to play together one more year for the Lady Bulldogs since Sam is a junior and Liz is a freshman.
The Harveys picked up the game at relatively the same time, Sam being in seventh grade and Liz being in fifth. Sam tried out for the modified team, while Liz joined Helderberg Youth Basketball.
Sam told The Enterprise that she really didn’t have any interest in sports at the time, but varsity Head Coach Tom Galvin suggested she play because she was a lot taller than the other girls.
“Galvin is kind of a big deal around here so I decided to just do what he said,” Sam said. “We didn’t win any games, but I had fun.”
Liz admits that she used basketball to stay in shape at first, but she soon noticed her advantage over other girls. “I was a lot stronger than everyone else,” said Liz. “I used my body to my advantage.”
While Sam was spending her second year on varsity and first as a starter, Liz exploded onto the scene with a spot in the starting five. Liz scored 16 points and 30 points in her debut at the Fort Plain tournament. She followed that up by dropping 27 on Schoharie in the Bulldogs’ home opener.
“I felt like I had to live up to everyone’s expectations all the time and it stressed me out,” Liz said. She finished the year with an average of 18.5 points per game and once held the top spot in Section II. “I wish stats didn’t exist so I could just go out there and play.”
Many people were surprised with Liz’s scoring output as a freshman, but Sam saw it coming all along. “I knew she would put up numbers right away because she’s a great player,” said Sam. “Some girls on the team couldn’t believe it.”
“No one on the team treated me different or got jealous,” said Liz. “We’re always proud of one another.”
Sam doesn’t score nearly as many points as her little sister, but she lets her tenacious defense do the talking. Sam is always leading the stat book in rebounds and blocks. And Liz wouldn’t be scoring all those points if her big sister weren’t constantly passing her the ball.
“You could say that Liz is my hitman because I’m a little more shy,” said Sam. “I think what she’s doing is amazing. Whatever she needs, I’m there.”