Robinson, a 5-foot-10 senior forward, erupted for a game-high 18 points in the Panthers 48-43 win over rival Fort Zumwalt South. That effort made her just the fifth player in the Panthers girls’ program history to score 1,000 career points.
In addition, her big night against the Bulldogs helped the Panthers put a virtual lock on the Gateway Athletic Conference Central race.
“It feels really good because I’ve worked hard all four years on the varsity level and I didn’t really think it was a possibility but as it started getting closer I was really wanting to get that point,” Robinson said.
For Robinson, who averages a team-leading 13.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game getting the career milestone in a conference game was icing on the cake as the primary focus for her this season has been leading her team, whether it’s scoring, playing defense or being an emotional leader for her teammates.
“Being a scorer on my team and trying to dominate and win games is my primary focus,” Robinson said. “If scoring is what I have to do that game, then that’s what I have to do. Sometimes other players are the scorer in our games, and then I have to let my other teammates take care of that.”
Robinson, who is heading to Missouri Valley College this fall, has been a matchup pain for opposing defenses all season long.
“It’s something to say when teams have to plan for one person, to try to double team for one person, which obviously allows other people on our team to get open and get better shots,” Panthers coach Jeremy Rapp said. “She has moves in the post that most high school players in the area don’t have. She’s very under control with really good hands, and once she gets her spot, she knows what she can do.”
Another major boost to Robinson’s rise has been playing AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] summer basketball with Team Missouri, which has improved her conditioning and helped make her a vocal floor leader.
“AAU basketball is at a higher speed than high school basketball and just playing at that fast pace has helped translate into a faster game for me in high school,” Robinson said.
The Panthers resurgence has coincided with Robinson’s emergence this winter.
Zumwalt North heads into mid-February with a 15-4 record, a 6-0 conference mark and four conference games left, putting the team in prime position to claim the GAC Central championship.
Rapp said that Robinson was fortunate that everyone here “broke out [this season] and that allowed her to break out as well.”
It’s a major shift in the right direction for the program, which has been up and down the past three seasons.
“Things have come together for us this season,” Robinson said. “Us graduating eight seniors and starting over with a whole new team my junior year and not having the season we wanted last year was kind of disheartening, so being the underdog and coming back and starting to win this year feels really good.”