When she was 10, Debbie Shockley would spend many hours trying to become a good outside shooter. She was small and not quite strong, but she was ambitious in her attempt to establish an impressive shooting range.

And with just about every workout, she moved a bit farther from the basket. Soon, she had become adept at long-range shooting. She was a valued member of her father's boys and girls clubs basketball teams.

It had become well known that she could shoot from 15 to 20 feet, and many times when someone thought they were defending her shot pretty well, Shockley, nevertheless, would swish one.

Now the catalyst of Rockville, the defending Maryland Class AA girls state champion, Shockley's shooting range is way beyond the 19-foot-9 three-point line.

"That {the three-point line} is just her range," said Coach Joan O'Brien. "Last year she shot from farther out than this. Maybe she is shooting closer this year because she is conscious of the line. She is probably the only player in the county that will take it freely."

In many games, the crowd oohs and aahs when Shockley gets into a shooting groove because she makes shots from as far out as 25 feet.

"My coaches have always encouraged me to shoot," said Shockley, who has already made 15-of-22 three-pointer attempts this season. "With some players that can't shoot from the outside, the coach won't feel confident with them shooting. I guess when you feel you can hit it, you shoot.

"She has been the leader on the court," said O'Brien, who had two other players last season who could also shoot from the outside consistently, but they graduated. "It's a new role for her, but she has adjusted to it real well."

The pressure is something that Shockley welcomes. "I kind of like pressure," said Shockley. "If I have someone in my face, I'm not going to go for {a three-pointer} because a layup is just as good. But if I have {a three-pointer}, I'll definitely take it."