Sophie Findell launches a three-point shot vs. Osseo.
As a sophomore, Sophie Findell’s varsity basketball role started with feeding the ball to Sydney Driggs and settling for a few open shots each game.
When Driggs — ranked fourth among Irondale’s career scoring leaders — graduated, Findell’s role expanded. So did her shooting range. Proficiency from the three-point arc fueled Findell’s rise up the program’s leaderboard.
In a Feb. 2 game at Osseo, Findell, now a senior guard, overtook the career mark for three-pointers in a season when she drained No. 57. The crowd roared for the record shot, though Findell was unaware of the milestone until after the game.
More cheering awaits. With five games left in the regular season, Findell is 16 three-pointers from the career mark of 142.
The most impressive number, however, might be her shooting percentage from deep. She is connecting on 43 percent of her three-pointers, a mark that would smash Irondale’s single-season best (38.3 set by Driggs).
“I’m a lot more confident,” Findell said. “My coach, this year and last year, gave me the green light to shoot whenever. You just want to take good shots, smart shots.”
Variety also matters. Averaging 16.4 points per game, Findell’s baskets come from different places on the floor. Long-range shots are her specialty, but she brings more to the offense.
“I try to mix it up with my driving and shooting,” she said.
She has made at least four three-pointers in a game seven times this season. Finding a rhythm starts with a relaxed state of mind.
“If I think about it, it’s a lot more rough than if I kind of go with it,” Findell said.
Pregame warmups are her time for a self-assessment. If shots aren’t falling, she ensures her elbow is in proper form. Once that is settled, Findell goes back to what comes naturally.