WEIRTON - As a four-year starter on the Weir High girls basketball team, Alyssa Shingle is used to dazzling on the court during games.
On Feb. 12, she put on a show before the opening tip.
Shingle, a prolific shooter, football kicker, soccer forward, track runner and former center fielder, played the national anthem on her guitar prior to the Red Rider boys game against Indian Creek.
IN ACTION — Weir’s Alyssa Shingle dribbles past Aubrey Ryan during a game earlier this year.
-- Matthew Peaslee
She started playing guitar and drums when she was 8 and strengthens that passion for music with her church's praise group.
While it's hard enough to juggle a different sport each season, finding time to squeeze in drums and strums is just as taxing.
"A lot of the time I think I'm tired and don't have time for it, but it's really kind of an escape," Shingle said. "It's really relaxing just to be able to sit down and play. Music in general is really just an escape for me."
Playing the "Star-Spangled Banner" was Shingle's encore performance at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse - Feb. 8 was her headlining show.
She netted the 1,000th point of her career in a 39-33 win over East Liverpool. It was Weir's final victory of the season, but a moment that Shingle will never forget as it helped to cap off a successful career.
"It was really insane," she said. "It's a very humbling feeling, because not a lot of people do it. A lot of people were coming up to me the day after saying, 'Hey I was there last night and saw you score you score 1,000. That was awesome.'
"The environment was electric. It was really hyped up."
After being fouled driving to the hoop late in the third quarter, Shingle stepped to the line ready to reach the milestone.
"I try not to keep track, I just wanted to go out and play," she said. "I didn't really want to think about and get caught up in it. It really hit home when my teammates were coming up to me before I shot it.
"I think it made it better that they told me that I only needed one. I didn't so much worry about it - I knew it was the one I needed and I just had to hit a free throw."
She finished with 12 points to help seal a Senior Night victory.
"Alyssa has meant so much to us over the years," said Red Riders coach Bill Smith. "We probably wouldn't get the ball up the floor half of the time if she wasn't bringing it up. She gets after it. She's a senior, now, but she's always taken it upon herself to be aggressive."
Smith knew he had a reliable point guard from the moment Shingle suited up as a freshman. He became more excited for the future when she knocked down six 3-pointers at the Charleston Civic Center during the 2011 state tournament.
"She goes hard every day in practice," Smith said. "That makes a difference, too, because other kids see it and feed off it."
Though she barely stands 5-foot-1, Shingle has never used her short stature as a crutch. However, she has had to play above it.
"Since I've encountered taller and bigger girls, it's really never phased me," she said. "You just have to keep in mind that the bigger stature is a mentality. If I play big and they are big, we're even."
What about a 5-foot-5 girl? Let alone the athletes who stand at 5-10 and above?
"I'm not afraid of anybody on the floor," Shingle said. "I'll go in and do what I have to. You have to incorporate a lot of things into your game, but it makes you realize that nothing is impossible."
Shingle tallied more than 60 goals in soccer and kicked field goals and extra points for the Red Riders, this fall.
The basketball team finished 6-14 after falling to Oak Glen in a sectional quarterfinal. Shingle wasn't ready for the season to end, but felt it coming a week earlier in a game at Wheeling Park.
"Coach took all of the seniors out late in the game," she said. "As I watched the clock wind down I thought, 'Man, this could potentially be my second to last game.' I'm going to miss it."
Now, she looks forward to running the 100 and 200-meter dash, along with sprint relays, for the upcoming track season.
"I might take a day off," Shingle said. "We'll see how I react to that."
After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in nursing. Shingle is still undecided on where she will attend college, but hopes an athletic scholarship is on the way.
"I would really prefer to play basketball," she admitted. "My second choice would be soccer. Then, and this is kind of a stretch, followed by football."
To get her through the tough decisions and strenuous situations in the future, the multi-talented Shingle can always fall back and escape to the music.
The beats have got her this far and will take her even further in the future.