has never been the tallest player on the court during a basketball game.
A point guard by trade, the Munster (Ind.)
sophomore enjoys getting in the paint and mixing it up with the bigger players. She's never been scared of that.
This past season, Mongerie pulled in 5.7 rebounds per game, leading her team.
Munster girls basketball coach Jim Davidson said Mongerie has a motor that doesn't stop, which is a huge asset to her for rebounding.
"Girls a lot of times will be afraid to stick their nose in the middle of things. She's definitely not afraid to do that," Davidson said. "The ball goes up and she's going after it — she's not going to hesitate. A lot of times just getting the first step on people is a big deal."
Said Mongerie: "I try to get in there and compete with other girls for a rebound because our team is pretty small and it's harder for us to get rebounds. I just go in there super hard in mind just to get the ball."
Mongerie, who has been playing organized basketball since fourth grade, wasn't just her team's leading rebounder this past season but top scorer (11.4 points per game) and added 2.0 steals and 1.9 assists a contest.
Davidson calls Mongerie's flexibility and versatility on the court her best asset.
"I try a lot to get my teammates involved as well as myself and I really like to go to the basket," Mongerie said. "Our team has a bunch of shorter girls, so I try to rebound as well. I'm just all over the place most of the time."
As a freshman, Mongerie saw significant minutes on the floor — starting a number of games — averaging six points and three rebounds per game.
After working hard in the offseason, Mongerie proved she was ready to be a full-time starter as a sophomore. Davidson was pleased with the progress of his young player.
"It was like night and day," Davidson said. "Freshman year, we knew she was talented, very athletic, a very coachable young lady, very intelligent — all those things you love as a coach. From her freshman to sophomore year, you name it, every skill she improved on. She spends all of her extra time at the gym, whether it would be AAU or just working on her own skills or getting some sort of training from someone. She's always working."
Mongerie showed glimpses as a ninth-grader of being a solid leader for her team and as a sophomore was named a captain by her coach.
One big reason Davidson decided to award a "C" to an underclassman was because of Mongerie's effort and dedication to the sport.
"She's always there. She does everything that you ask. She plays hard," Davidson said. "She plays the game the way we want everyone to play. Leading by example was a big thing for us. We're trying to change our culture and everything here. Things in the past have always been if you're a senior you finally get to be a captain, that kind of thing. I think we wanted to send a different message: you need to earn the captainship."
Mongerie plays basketball nearly year-round, currently competing on the AAU circuit for ALL IN out of Illinois. Getting a chance to play all over the country against quality players has been extremely beneficial.
"It really shows me that there's a lot more talent out there than what I see in the region and it humbles me to be better because there's girls that want scholarships much more than I do," Mongerie said. "In the end, it pushes me to work even harder."
The 15-year-old is hoping to start garnering attention from college programs and earn a scholarship to play at the next level. Davidson feels like if Mongerie can continue her rapid progression as a player, fitting in at a Division I school is attainable.
"She has several teams that are at least speaking with her and staying in contact but nothing definite yet," Davidson said. "That should be coming soon, I would guess."
After attending a camp last summer that was put on by the Butler University staff, Mongerie would love to get a chance to play for the Bulldogs. But she knows there are many areas of her game that need improvement in the next couple years.
"I feel like for sure I need to work on my shooting, that's going to be a big part," Mongerie said. "Also, when I drive making sure that I finish even more and then just all around becoming a stronger player and confident."
Mongerie, who is also a mid-distance runner on the Munster track and field team, is a great student. She has 3.8 grade point average and a course schedule this year that has challenged her.
"As good a student as she is, I think she's an even better person," Davidson said. "She's just a joy to coach and you just wish you had 12 girls like her that just look you in the eye and, ‘Yes, coach,' and wanted them to do everything you ask them to do. She's that kind of player."
Mongerie has become a value member of Project X at her school. The club is based on having its members volunteer around the community, doing simple assignments such as gardening around the school or helping neighbors with everyday things. The club requires each member to log a minimum of four hours per month but Mongerie frequently puts in an excess amount.
"It really humbles me to see like how different people are in life and you can learn a lot from a lot of different people," Mongerie said. "I just like helping others because they can teach me something. It just makes me feel happy."
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