The following are some of those that are looking good early this season:
Taylor Calvert- Justified again! I received a lot of flack for ranking Calvert so high by many basketball heads a few months ago. The naysayers should have seen Calvert last night. The Reagan vs Steele game turned into her coming out party. Calvert finished with 31 points in a dominating performance. She had to have close to 10 steals in front of that dreaded press of the Lady Knights. Calvert is the only player in the city that is allowed to do an Open Step without being called for a travel by local refs. She exaggerates her Open Step and deliberately shows that the ball is released before her pivot foot is released. She now can hit the open three but her biggest improvement is putting it on the floor and using her strong frame to get lay ups. She is playing like a player with a purpose!
Steele Knights- They dominated the Rattlers. The game was close until the Lady Knights extended their patented full court press and ran away with the game. I was very surprised at how much the athleticism of the Lady Knights bothered the Rattlers. I have never seen a Terry Barton team give up dribble penetration and struggle against the press like last night. The reason, the Steele Lady Knight are good. Very Good. They are deep or at least deeper than most teams. McKenzie Calvert has learned to change speeds and scores almost at will. Her mid range game and better consistency with her 3 ball makes her almost unguardable. And she is still 14 years old! Elena Gumbs did not have a great shooting night and seems to be still transitioning from a great cross country season but still she constantly puts pressure on the defense with dribble penetration. The Calvert sisters and Gumbs are a headache at the head of that press defense.
Kari Wallace- The Lady Knight coach is hungry! She kept on the press until the end of the game even though her squad was up by close to 20 in the waning moments. Wallace was in a zone. She rode the refs for bad calls, high fived her excited players and paced the sideline giving commands until her voice was horse. She seemed to make a statement with this win. The Meighan-less Knights are still to be reckoned with!
Lauren Rubio- I just "discovered" how good Rubio is in October. Watching her in the Harlandale event was a treat. Rubio is a must see. Her court vision and passing ability are exceptional. She was putting on a display in leadership vs Harlandale when it happened; the ugly side of SA basketball reared its head. Rubio ripped an opposing player at half court. The opposing player then intentionally stuck out her leg and tripped Rubio. Rubio crashed to the floor and banged her knee on the floor. It would have been too much for the refs to call an intentional foul. They didn't even call a regular foul as she lay on the ground writhing in pain. The dirty player then stood over Rubio pretending to care. Rubio went to the bench for an extended time. Wouldn't you know that her team fell behind as the intentional tripper went on a scoring spree to put her squad up by double digits. Rubio returned later to the game in a knee brace and took over again. She is not only a super nice pg but a warrior too!
Moriah Mack- The sophomore slasher from Reagan is looking good. She is getting to the paint with ease. Her impressive forays to the rack against Steele showed that her upside is huge. She is one of the few players in the city that can defensively stay in front of the elite guards more times than not.
KiKi Taylor- Taylor had a huge game in a crucial early season vs Wagner finishing with 21 points. She is averaging 15 points currently and still playing her trademark intensive defense. Taylor's game has offensively matured and she seems to understand that she is a legitimate scoring threat now.