COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge girls basketball players Megan and Allison Marshall may be forever linked by birth, but their unique personalities show they are different people.
Allison Marshall is the social one. On a typical night away from basketball, she's probably out watching a movie with her teammates. As a senior co-captain, many of the girls on the team look up to her. Mike Marshall, the girls' father, describes her as amiable.
Jefferson City (15-6)
at Rock Bridge (17-5)
WHEN: 6:45 p.m.
WHERE: Rock Bridge High School
“She’s well-liked by everyone,” he said. “She’s a good leader and a very social kid.”
He can trace Allison Marshall’s outgoing personality to her childhood.
“Even as a little kid you could give her a dollar and say 'Go get an ice cream cone,' and she would go and do it just fine,” Mike Marshall said.
Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel established a voting system for deciding captains. For the second straight year Allison Marshall was selected by her teammates to lead the Bruins.
“It’s unusual,” Nagel said. “That tells you a lot about what her peers think of her.”
Nagel thinks Allison Marshall’s affable personality has had a positive influence on the rest of the team.
“Allison plays sort of a motherly role in being able to bring everyone together,” Nagel said. “ She helps bring us into a cohesive unit.”
Megan Marshall is different. She's more likely to lead by her actions than her words.
Rather than spend the night out, Megan Marshall is often found in the kitchen, cooking. Always competitive, she takes joy in having a skill her sister lacks.
“I cook all the time,” she said. “I love to make cakes and cookies and stuff, and that’s something I can one-up Allison on because she can barely use the microwave.”
Her father describes Megan as quiet and unassuming.
“Megan’s a very gracious kid,” Mike Marshall said. “She leads by example.”
Nagel said that she has seen Megan Marshall hit her stride in the past few months and that she is letting her playing speak for itself.
“She’s just really gotten better every day,” Nagel said. “Allison has really grown as a verbal leader, and Megan really is a leader on the court. I think Megan with her style of play really shows the younger kids how to go about their business.”
Although Megan and Allison Marshall have different styles, both seem to be working for the Bruins. The team has a record of 17-5 and are fresh off a second-place finish at the Webster Winter Challenge.
One of the reasons the Bruins have been so successful is their sense of unity. The Marshalls, along with seniors Taylor Payne and Emily Holt, have been with the team for four years, an unusual occurrence at Rock Bridge.
“This is the first time that the four that started with us freshman year have gone all the way through to their senior year,” Nagel said. “So that’s pretty special.”
The Marshalls' commitment to basketball started in fifth grade at Upward Basketball, a Christian children's program. They have been playing together ever since.
Along the way, the twins became competitors.
“Off the court we are good, but on the court we tend not to guard each other because we give each other cheap shots,” Allison Marshall said. “Since it’s my sister, I wouldn’t do that to anyone else on the team, but since it’s Megan, then yeah.”
Megan Marshall nodded in agreement.
On Thursday, the Marshalls will play their last home game against a familiar rival from Jefferson City. Senior Night activities are sure to bring a few tears.
"Everyone is teasing everyone,” Allison Marshall said. “No one wants to cry or anything like that, but I think once you get out there and it finally hits you this is the last time I’m going to be playing here, it’s going to be pretty sad.”
Neither sister knows what she wants to do after graduation. The prospect of playing basketball past high school is uncertain. But if they do, more than likely they will be playing together.