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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI Sports) – Taylor Baudoin was just joking around with Mercedes Mattix, another player on New Hope’s girls basketball team one day last winter. Baudoin was sitting on Mattix’s car when she fell off and watched one of the tires roll over her leg. It was a moment that changed everything for her.

“I just knew that I needed to work hard to get back to my team because I knew I was missing it a lot,” Baudoin said. “I was going to work as hard as I could to get back as soon as possible.”

Months of rehab followed to recover from four fractured bones in her right foot. After watching her team lose in the north half semis last year from the sidelines, Baudoin is back on the court.

“Honestly I think she’s better now than previous because she had to work so hard,” head coach Laura Lee Holman said.

The Lady Trojans are 16-2 and are considered to be one of the best teams in the state. Baudoin is a recent addition, transferring in last year from Emmanuel Christian Academy.

“She’s a matchup issue. She can play the wing. She’s got great ball handling skills. She’s the missing piece.”

Her mother Tammi made it possible for her to get to this level, taking her to AAU practices in the summers to play with a team in New Orleans.

“Taylor has had a ball in her hand from the time she was able to walk,” her mother said. “As a mom, it’s really hard to watch your kid not be able to do what they love to do.”

But now her daughter is back to doing what she loves. Averaging 13 points per game and leading the team in rebounds and assists, she’s drawing interest from JUCO and Division II schools.

“After my injury last year, I didn’t know where I would be this year,” Taylor said. “I’m excited about the future and what it holds.”

But first Baudoin and New Hope are eying their first state championship since 1984.

And they’re getting there one step at a time.

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