Erica Dawson is a basketball player, not an author.
But by the time she 5-foot-9 junior standout graduates in 2013, she's got a good chance of re-writing the Marietta High girls' hoops record book in career points, single-season scoring, and single-game point total.
Dawson is that good.
MHS has featured a lot of outstanding players over the years in Shawna Daughterty, LeAnne Ross (currently playing at the University of Charleston), and Jen Gwin to name but a few. But Dawson could end up being the best of the best.
Going into Marietta's game at Cambridge High at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dawson is averaging 31 points per game. She scored 32 points in the Lady Tigers' opener at Zanesville; 32 versus visiting Vinton County; and 29 against Dover in last Saturday night's contest at Sutton Gym.
But here's the funny thing. Dawson, who has the green light to shoot at any time, really hasn't had a hot hand per se, and she'll tell you this herself.
When she does get a hot hand, look out. Forty-plus points might be just a minimum total for her.
It's going to be interesting to see how the Lady Bobcats defend Dawson. She is constantly in motion and can run all game. Whoever is on her is going to get the workout of her life.
Not surprisingly, Dawson is an excellent finisher and gets a lot of points in transition.
Junk, halfcourt defenses don't seem to phase her in the least. If she doesn't have the shot, she invariably gets the ball to an open teammate.
When Dawson was a freshman, she was more of a slasher, driver. But she's worked on her perimeter game, and has become a deadeye from behind the three-point arc.
"She is very hard to guard," said MHS head coach Scott Cozzens after the Dover game, a 54-45 Marietta win. "She can shoot from range or she can dribble by you if you come out on her. Erica is something special."
Dawson also may have payback on her mind, because last season Cambridge ousted Marietta 53-44 in a regional semifinal at Zanesville High. The Lady Tigers finished with a program-best 22-3 record, and what a sophomore season she had, averaging 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.9 assists per game.
For Dawson's efforts, she was honored as the Most Valuable Player in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) and was third-team All-Ohio. As one of 22 girls named to the top three all-state teams, she was the only sophomore.
Now, she's a junior, and she's really stroking the basketball.
"I'm a little biased, but she's got several Division I offers already," Cozzens said. "So, it's nice to have, in my opinion, the best player in southeastern Ohio.
"The thing about her is she is the hardest working kid in the program."
And, not just the MHS girls' basketball program, either.
An all-around athlete, Dawson is currently the best Marietta High Lady Tiger cross country runner, and also a standout hurdler on the track and field team.
But basketball, of course, is her love.
Good-luck, Lady Bobcats.
Try and stop her if you can.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org