RAVENSWOOD - There are classic combination like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, chips and salsa, cookies and milk--ingredients that are good alone, but when combined become something really special.
For Coach Cara Williams’ Ravenswood Red Devilette basketball team, the peanut butter and jelly, the chips and salsa, the special combination is embodied by juniors Hailey Miller and Taylor Treadway.

Each athlete is special in her own right, but together they form a dynamic duo that lifts each other’s individual game and their team to greater heights. Each pushes the other to be better as competitors, teammates and good friends.

“It’s nice to have someone to push you and encourage you,” says Treadway.
“Oh yeah, we feed off each other competitively,” adds Miller.

For Ravenswood High School girls’ athletics, it’s a winning combination that spans the sports seasons: basketball now, track in the spring and cross country in the fall. Miller and Treadway excel in each and all.

The Devilette Dynamic Duo have been playing as three-sport teammates since sixth grade, and played rec league basketball even before that, sometimes as opponents rather than teammates.

Yet Treadway credits Will Miller (Hailey’s father) for working with “all of us” in basketball.
On the hardwood, the Devilette version of PB&J burst onto the varsity scene as members of the “Freshman Fab Four” with Kayla Scritchfield and Kindsey Torris to see significant playing time for Cara Williams’ first Devilette basketball team in 2011-12. Treadway was a starter from the get-go, and the Fab Four helped the 2012 Devilettes reached their fourth straight state AA tournament—something many outside the program didn’t see coming.

Now juniors on a basketball team with no seniors, Miller and Treadway are leading the way in 2014 as co-captains. It’s a role they’ve eased into and yet embraced.

“It’s mainly encouraging everyone and keeping them on track,” says Miller.
 “Sometimes you have to get on people but that’s just part of being a captain,” adds Treadway. “It’s hard, but you have to step up and push them to be better.”
Each half of the Devilette combo is a standout in her own right. And each admires and respects the other’s skills and toughness.

Miller’s game is driving inside to the basket on every opportunity, sliding through the smallest of lanes and contorting, if necessary, to reach the rim. A lithe 5-9, her speed, athleticism and more than occasional unorthodox paths and contorting angles to the basket pay off in points—plenty of points. Then, too, she is near automatic from the free throw line, so even if defenders hammer her (which they do) to stop her drives, she still scores. Miller is averaging a team-leading 22.5 points per game at this writing, including a career high 36 versus Williamstown that put among the elite one-game scorers in program history. In addition, she averages over 7.8 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game and 2.5 steals per game. She’s blocked three shots. Like a rugged Timex watch, Miller takes a physical licking (beating) every game and keeps on ticking.
An all-around contributor, Treadway is a defensive dynamo and a fearless rebounder at 5-5. She led her team in rebounds as a sophomore and she leads it off the glass again this season (83 through 10 games), battling and beating taller opponents consistently.

Touted as “the toughest girl in the school,” her play on the court speaks for itself. “I used to have the reputation of being pretty mean,” says Treadway with a smile. “I didn’t let anyone mess with me.” She’s may have mellowed some as she’s matured, but on-court opponents would disagree.  

In addition to her primary ball handling duties, Treadway is averaging a team second-best 11.2 points per game so far this season with a high of 17 versus Willamstown. She leads her team in rebounds (8.3 per game), steals (30) and assists (47) thus far in the season. She’s also blocked three shots.

Even more, with all their talent and athleticism, Miller and Treadway manage to juggle their roles as athletes, girls and students. Neither says being an athlete and being female is a problem. Being athletes and students is tougher, they say, especially balancing the demands of practice, games, road trips, studying and classwork.

Both say they may try athletics at the next level, be it basketball, cross country or track. As far as a college major, Miller is interested in elementary education, while Treadway is eyeing a career in the criminal justice field.
Yet what’s even more delicious for Devilette fans and coaches is that the smooth, tart/sweet, aggressive, talented junior combination of Taylor Treadway and Hailey Miller will have another (senior) year to excel in red and black even after this current, promising basketball season plays out.