Ugofsky leading the Tigers

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HARRISBURG, S.D. (KSFY) - The Harrisburg Tigers have consistently been one of the top teams in Class AA girls hoops in recent years.

One of the main reasons has been the play of senior Jeniah Ugofsky.

"I am very extroverted, and I try to make sure my voice is heard," Ugofsky said.

"She's always talking, whether it's defensively, offensively, every drill we do she's always talking," head coach Nick Mayer said.

The 6'1" senior says her constant communication on the court comes from battling with her older sisters.

"They kept making me lose, so kind of that competitiveness came out in me, and it was just something that I fell in love with as soon as I started winning against them," Ugofsky said.

Now it's paying off playing for Harrisburg, as the Tigers are 13-4 on the year and ranked fourth in Class AA. They work to return to the state title game again this year, after finishing as runners up one year ago.

"Us as a team, we just kind of realize let's just have fun," Ugofsky said. "Us four seniors on the team have just kind of wanted to go out with a bang no matter what happens. We just want to make sure that we're having the best year we can, whether we're winning or losing and just make it a fun year."

"Jen has been that leader for us since almost day one as a freshman," Mayor said. "She was a little bit timid at that time, but you could still kind of see that she had that in her. The more she got comfortable in that role the more she just blossomed."

But it is not only her voice that makes Jeniah stand out, it is her stats as well. She is nearing 1,000 points in her career and is in the top 10 in nearly every Harrisburg basketball statistical category.

"Maybe she's not the kid who leads the stat sheets in terms of scoring, but the things that will stand out to us will be how she helped teammates to continue to get better, how she worked on her game, how to get better herself, and just the fact she was there for teammates when they need it the most both on and off the floor," Mayer said.

Jeniah is also committed to continue her basketball career in state at the University of South Dakota.

"I think the people at USD have really just connected with me and it was really easy as soon as I got there, it wasn't forced anything, we just clicked right away," she said.

Before making her presence known at USD, Jeniah hopes to finish her career at Harrisburg on a strong note, and make an impact in Tiger territory for years to come.

"I honestly just hope a lot of people would remember me as a hard worker, a very good basketball player and just a well known person and nice, and someone that a lot of younger kids could look up to," she said.

Ugofsky and the Tigers will host Aberdeen Central on Saturday.