PREP BASKETBALL: ‘Working hard is the key to success’: Cold Springs’ Ella Bruer talks junior season

Cold Springs’s Ella Bruer. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – This season was another special one for the Cold Springs Lady Eagles. They more than tripled their win total from last season, going from 10 to 31, won an area title and made another deep postseason run that saw them finish as Class 2A state runner up. Junior Ella Bruer was a critical piece of this year’s Cold Springs squad, and she talked about what all she learned during that special run to Birmingham.

“This season went amazing. Going from winning 10 games last year to winning 31 games this year just proves how determined we were to be better. We all put the work in to make our team better. I learned that nothing is ever given to you. You have to push yourself and work with or without people watching. I also learned that losing one or two games doesn’t define your season. Working hard is the key to success and I’m so excited to be back out there next season,” Bruer said. “It was amazing getting to experience playing in Birmingham, especially with this group. Playing there helped us realize that not a lot of teams get this opportunity that we got. We learned to respect other teams and their players too. We worked hard to get to Birmingham this year, but we’re going to have to get back to work and work even harder to win it all next year.”

Ella had so much fun playing with this great group of girls and has seen not only this team grow over the years, but her overall game as well.

“Playing with this group of girls was the best. We were all so close. We never had any problems. They were the best group of teammates and coaches anyone could ever have. You learned new things from them every day from them and we were always there for each other. I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” she said. “Our team has grown so much. The past couple of years, we didn’t really focus on defense that much. We focused more on the offense part of our game, but this year, we decided to change that. It was our first year to run a man defense and we did amazing. We worked every day to be better at defense the years before. By working more on defense, it fed over into our offense. We all have gotten so much better by stepping up on defense.”

She added,

“Personally, my game has grown the most because of the way I played defense. Offense is fun to watch, but defense is what wins games. I’ve worked more than I ever have on defense to help me grow as a player.”

Ella is so blessed to play for a Hall of Fame coach in Tammy West and she has soaked up so much from her so far in her career.

“Playing for Coach West has been a blessing. She is an amazing coach and I love playing for her. She knows she has to grow a connection with her players. She knows we have to be able to trust her during and outside of basketball. She has always been a coach I wanted to play for, and I watched her coach when I was younger. Playing for her has been a dream come true. She has taught us so much these past few years on and off the court,” she said. “I’ve learned to push myself, to never give up, and to always respect your competition.”

Ella played with fellow seniors Mia Light and Erin Bailey over the past few seasons and talked about what that experience was like.

“Playing with Mia and Erin was always a blessing. I’ve grown up playing with Mia my whole life, so her being out this season hurt a little bit, but she showed us that even though she was out, she still cared and put the work in for our team. She’s always been a role model to me and a ton of others. Playing with Erin was amazing. She’s a huge leader on and off the court. She’s someone we all look up to. She’s always had a positive attitude and brought joy to the team. It was never a dull moment with Mia and Erin.”

Ella talked about what it was like playing with Maci Brown, who transferred from Cullman to Cold Springs in the off-season, plus what she will work on in the offseason to get ready for next season.

“Playing with Maci this season was amazing. She is an amazing player, and she is a leader out on the court. She never fails to cheer us up when we get down on the court. She’s just an amazing, all-around player on both sides of the ball,” she said. “I’ll work on being more consistent with making shots and driving to the goal more to either create wide-open shots for my teammates or to be able to draw fouls.”

Ella talked about some of the goals for next season, plus some great memories from this season and what she learned about this team.

“My goals for next year are to be a leader to the ones younger than me, to be someone the little girls that come to watch our games look up to, and to be a leader on the court. Some of my other goals are to have a positive attitude and to never give up,” she said. “I’ll definitely remember the time spent outside of practice with my team. The team-bonding moments we had are always going to be memories I’ll always have. I definitely learned that this team isn’t just people I talk to during basketball season. These girls are people I know I can always count on. My best memories with them was probably when we won the Christmas Tournament we played in, or when we would all go eat at Mugshot’s.”

She added,

“Another one is when we ran on the court after winning the Regional championship and even though it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, the best memories were being out on the court, playing in the state championship!”

Copyright 2023 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.