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Nitro vs Midland Trail

Nitro’s Baylee Goins (23) had 15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and five steals in the Wildcats’ Class AAA state quarterfinal win over Midland Trail.

Baylee Goins is a female Jason Williams.

Did I get your attention?


Because that description of the Nitro High School girls basketball star is much like one of her passes — right on the money.

The 5-foot-8 senior proved that while leading the Wildcats to a domineering 63-28 victory over outmatched Midland Trail Wednesday during the Class AAA quarterfinals of the state tournament at the Charleston Coliseum.

In only 23 minutes of playing time, Goins flirted with a triple-double. She scored 15 points (4 of 6 on 3-pointers), dealt 11 assists (it easily could have been 15 or 16), grabbed seven rebounds and made five steals.

Could she have scored more? Of course. But Goins was smarter than that. When Midland Trail defended her man-to-man full-court, she grabbed the high road.

“They had one girl on me the whole time,” pointed out Goins, “but they weren’t matching up on my teammates.”

So, suddenly facilitating and piling up assists was akin to shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.

One time Goins drove the lane and threw a no-look pass to a post player for a layup. Another time she made a brilliant assist off penetration. With 5:04 remaining in the third quarter, Goins threw a 25-foot pass from right of the circle to a Nitro post player on the left side of the lane.

Besides all that, she tipped a rebound to herself once, twice, three times, and then threw a bounce pass into the post for an easy layup.

Yes, Goins averages 20.3 points. She can flat shoot the ball. In fact, she knocked down a 3-pointer from 22 feet on Wednesday. Another time she was open from NBA range and was calling for the ball to no avail. And for good reason. Goins can make NBA 3-pointers.

“Yeah, I have done that,” she said nonchalantly. “For sure.”

It just doesn’t rank highly on her to-do list. Why? It’s because in her heart, Goins is a passer.

“People probably think I like to score,” she said, “but I like to help others score. I like to create things for my teammates. It makes me feel good.

“Obviously, I know if I have to go score, I’m going to go score. I’m going to be aggressive, regardless. But the way teams play me and the way they’re playing me all year, when the help defender picks me up, I know I can trust my teammates.”

Know who else felt that way?

Former DuPont High School and NBA star Jason Williams, that’s who.

That’s why calling Goins a “female Jason Williams” is such an apt comparison. I just wish I could take credit for it. But, instead, it belongs to former, longtime DuPont basketball coach Jim Fout.

Which actually makes it even more compelling, because Fout coached Williams at now-defunct DuPont.

That makes him the quintessential authority on this topic.

“She is a female Jason Williams,” said Fout. “She is so talented. She makes teardrop drives to the basket. Girls don’t normally do that.”

Girls don’t normally get compared to Jason Williams, either.

But Goins does.

“I have heard that several times,” said Goins, who will be back in action with her Nitro teammates at 11:15 a.m. Friday in the Class AAA semifinals.

“That means a lot to me because he’s one of the greatest things to ever come out of West Virginia, to me. The way he played ... he was the most flashy player. He was crazy. He was a playmaker and I like to make plays, so it means a lot.”

Simply put, Goins adores the idea of being a female Jason Williams.

“That’s a good comparison,” she said.

Just don’t look for her to make a pass at him.