Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting Defensive

An old coaching saying goes, " A player who can rebound and DEFEND, will always find playing time". These following young ladies really take this saying to heart.

Serena Reyes- Lee HS-
I have seen Reyes play four times and she has never had less than 10 blocks in those games. I have seen her play against 6'0 girls on two occasions, and she made it her personal duty to let them know that she was not having any nonsense in her paint. Reyes is no taller than 5'11(MAYBE 6'0) and she has to lead the city in blocks. She has incredible timing, very long arms and is very agile. The Lee parents play a game of keeping her running block total during games. One enthusiastic dad from Lee,sits on the front row and yells" Yeah buddy, thats 8" and "There goes number 9"! This DAD always goes hoarse after counting so many of Reyes's blocks.

Alicia Houston-Reagan HS-
Houston is a nasty defender. Nasty being good! She is a very physical guard with great feet. She plays defense with a mischievous smile as she frustrates her opponents.It seems as though she delights in wearing opposing guards down with her constant pressure. She reportedly studies tape of some of the better players in the city, to familiarize herself with their offensive tendencies.

Alexis Govan- Stevens HS-
Govan can guard players 1-4. I have witnessed her give a hard time to an immensely gifted player who is a very strong 3-4, and shut down a very quick point guard in the same game. The 5-8ish Govan, is long and very athletic. She has the defensive swagger to match her athletic ability and plays for a great coach, who knows how to utilize her strengths.

Christina Harris- Brandeis HS
Harris is a 5-9 beast on the boards. She is one of the city's leading rebounders and has a good nose for the ball. Her impressive vertical jump allows her to grab boards in traffic and block or alter shots on the defensive end.

Courtney Peay- Marshall HS
Peay is a very strong power forward who gives opposing bigs a nightmare on the block. Peay is too strong for most post players to establish good position against her. She fronts the post as good as any in the city, and disrupts passing lanes with her long arms.

Ashley Jordan- Madison HS
Easily one of the most athletic players in the city on the defensive end. Jordan is another kid who can guard multiple positions and rebound with a passion. Her vertical leap and explosiveness allows her to jump twice to secure rebounds while opposing players are still on their first jump. She gave headaches to one of the most promising "Bigs" in SA a few weeks ago while holding her to single digits in scoring and rebounding.

Olivia Patterson- Steele HS
Speaking of headaches, Patterson is a defensive migraine for ball handling novices. Patterson uses her small but strong frame to harass opposing point guards into submission. She "turns" more guards than any player that I have seen this year. You could make a case for Patterson being the best on-ball defender in the city.

Felicia Jacobs- Roosevelt HS
Jacobs is another one who can claim to be the best on-ball defender in the city. She has track star speed that she translates well to the court. Jacobs has very fast hands and deflects numerous passes that enable her teammates to get steals. She too can guard players that are a lot bigger than her by using her great vertical leap to pick off errant post passes and dislodge bigger players with her strong lower body. I have seen her expose the weaknesses of a few elite prospects.

Liz Briones-Antonian HS
One of the most intelligent defensive players in the city. Briones is very strong and uses her solid 5-9 frame to be aggressive on the block against bigger opponents. She play angles well and rarely gets beat off of the dribble by smaller and quicker opponents. She is another kid that plays Nasty defense. She runs hard through picks and makes sure to leave an impression on the screener. She is arguably the best in the city in "boxing out". Her efforts allow her teammates to get a lot of rebounds because of her tenacity on the "box out" Her designated player WILL NOT get an offensive rebound.

Kira Chester- Wagner HS
Chester plays on the best defensive team in the city and she is a major reason for their success. Chester is one of the best at jumping passing lanes. Her teammates put such great pressure on opposing guards, it allows Chester to play a free safety and pick off bad passes. Chester rebounds very well for her size and does a great job against bigger opponents.She is an "extra possession" kid . She will earn Wagner an extra possession or two every game by chasing down a loose ball, throwing the ball off of the opposition's foot or taking a charge.