By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – On the soccer field Josie Durr has built a reputation as one of the most dangerous players in the state for what she can do on offense.
As a basketball player, it is what Durr does on the defensive end that makes her a pain for opponents.
Durr enters 2017 the state leader in steals, collecting an eye-popping 70 thefts in eight games for Solon (2-6).
With 70 steals, Durr has 10 more than Hannah Connelly of Siouxland Christian and averages 8.8 per game.
“Josie is so active on defense, it’s not just her athleticism but she is really long and it is just a nightmare for other teams,” Solon coach Lisa Bishop said. “She should be in the top five in the state for steals for sure.”
During the spring Durr is one of the most prolific scorers in the state on the soccer field.
An Iowa soccer recruit, Durr already has more than 100 career goals to her credit after leading the state with 46 last season.
The same quickness and instinct that makes Durr a lethal goal scorer have turned the 5-foot-9 guard into a defensive weapon for the Spartans on the basketball court.
“I think there is definitely some overlap between the sports,” Durr said. “Just with anticipating some passes and being in the right position on defense are big things in both soccer and basketball. hat definitely helps a lot.”
While Durr has long been considered among the best soccer players in the state her success on the hardwood this season hasn’t come out of nowhere.
A four-year starter, Durr has ranked first or second on the team in scoring in each of her first three seasons averaging 8.2 points per game in her career.
It has been her play on defense where Durr has really made her mark.
Her length and jumping ability help Durr collect more than 250 steals in her first three seasons, including a career-high 105 last seasons.
Just eight games into her senior season Durr is closing in on her steal total from a year ago.
“She is really active at the top of their defense and it can really cause some problems,” Clear Creek Amana coach PJ Sweeney said of Durr. “She gets her hands on a lot of passes.”
Durr has given headaches to more than a few ball handers this season.
There have been 36 players in the state to record double digit steals in a game this season.
Durr has already done that four times, including a state single-game best 14 steals in a win over Independence last month.
In back-to-back games before the holiday break Durr had 10 steals against Anamosa and 13 against Dyersville Beckman.
“I think she has done an amazing job of becoming a more vocal leader this year,” Bishop said. “Her personality is real quiet, when I told everyone we need to talk she said ‘I’m not really a talker’ and she wasn’t really that much last year but this year she has just really blossomed and really come out of her shell in that way and has stepping into this leadership role and it makes me so proud to see her grow as a player.”
The on-court improvement from Durr this season has been limited to the defensive end.
She is averaging a team-high 17.9 points, nearly double her previous career-best scoring total for a season.
Durr credits her offensive improvement to off-season work.
Despite a busy summer that features plenty of soccer, Durr made time to get shots up.
“I definitely tried to make some time for basketball,” Durr said. “Shooting was the main thing because I always have trouble shooting, so definitely just working on shooting and ball handling.”
Durr has scored double digits in all eight games this season and has scored more than 20 points three times.
“She is doing a really good job and I probably depend on her a little bit too much and maybe she puts too much of that pressure on herself too,” Bishop said. “She does best when she is loose and she is just playing basketball and not putting all that on her shoulders so that is something that we can do a better job of allowing her to really excel by bot putting that weight on her shoulders.”