Alex Bull tries not to let the question of “what if?” linger in her mind for very long.
Bull recently capped her senior girls basketball season by leading Liberty to its first unbeaten record in program history ― a season unlike any other, with the COVID-19 pandemic altering its length and significance. But Bull and Lions were coming off a state quarterfinal appearance in 2020, and had the bulk of their key contributors returning.
“I remember going home and being like, ‘If only we had [playoffs] this year,’ because I know we could have gone far,” said Bull, who powered Liberty to a 13-0 record and earned Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The 5-foot-11 forward led Carroll County in scoring at 15.7 points per game, added 8.5 rebounds (fourth best), and topped the county in steals at 5.1 per game. Bull shot 83% from the free-throw line, the best in Carroll, and made 53.6% of her field goals.
Bull exuded consistency on the court, something coach Barry Green expected from his senior captain. But Bull also put her leadership skills on display going back to the summer, when Liberty’s annual youth basketball camp was forced to go virtual amid the pandemic.
“Alex Bull from top to bottom, not only constructed it, coordinated it, but executed it,” Green said. “She’s the actual person that did … all of the work. The YouTube posting, MP4s, the scripts, how we’re going to do it, it was unbelievable.”
Bull earned a captain role as a junior, but Green said each season brings an opportunity for others to assume those duties. Bull’s dedication during the summer, along with honing her basketball skills by playing at the AAU level, made her captain once more.
Averaging close to 16 points per game assured the Lions of a viable option, and they had plenty this winter. Four of the county’s top eight scorers played at Liberty. The Lions outscored their opponents by 24.6 points per game.
Bull rose to the top, though, and Green called his senior forward “the best female student-athlete that has graced these halls.”
“She’s the top,” said the coach, who pointed to how much she rubbed off on her fellow Lions. “She is the consummate, make-people-around-me-better player … she embodies it, she means it. And it’s contagious.”
Bull finished her four-year high school career with 732 points, and holds the program record with 116 made 3-pointers (30 more than second place). She also shot 44% from 3-point range this season, another Liberty record.
Bull averaged 10 points per game as a junior and was part of Liberty’s run to the Class 2A quarterfinals before losing to Middletown. The 70-46 defeat soured the season, but Bull said the Lions had high expectations for this winter with graduating only two starters from 2020.
“For us, we didn’t like the feeling of losing by that much,” Bull said. “If it was a much closer game, it might have been a different story. … With everything going on, it’s not really what we expected. I don’t want to say [it was] a surprise, but we knew we would have a good season. I think it’s more the fact of how well we all played together to be able to produce an undefeated season.”
Bull has plans after high school to play women’s basketball at Salisbury University, and said she’s ready to do something different for the first time in five years. Her Liberty and AAU careers are ending, but Bull said she’s excited about her next step.
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“I remember going down to a [Salisbury] practice and just seeing how close all the girls were,” she said. “For me, I don’t care so much about the record or the success. It’s all about team chemistry. I don’t want to go a team that doesn’t get along.”