Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Area's champions have shown greatest mastery of the fundamentals

Taylor then crosses right back
over, again using her left hand.
Morgan Taylor splits a double team
with a left handed dribble...

Destiny Marshall drives hard right
against Carver's full court pressure...
Marshall then spins hard from right
(her weak hand) to left to beat the defender.

I strive for sincerity in describing the players and teams I watch.  So when I called Greenbrier's attack in Tuesday's playoff win "fast paced and fundamentally sound", I meant something specific.  The thought that spurred the comment was about how few high school players have mastered the game's most basic fundamentals.  I don't mean to say that other local teams on both the girls and boys sides are lacking in fundamental skills.  But there are reasons the best teams are the best teams.  Mastery of the fundamentals makes the game look simple.  And it enables teams to play fast and at times score a lot of points.  Our area's best girls and boys teams are also the most fundamentally sound teams. Take for examples the Greenbrier girls, the Laney boys and the Laney girls teams.  All three won their respective region tournaments this past weekend.  All three have had recent stretches where they've lit up the scoreboard.  And all three have shown great mastery of the game's fundamental skills.

Lady Wolfpack guards Morgan Taylor and Destiny Marshall display their abilities to beat defenders with either hand in the "frame by frame" picture sequence above.  Laney's Aliyah Collier's highly effective habit of "throwing ahead" to teammates in transition, and her overall gift for making teammates better, is shown in the video below.  Laney's senior Jashawn Brooks's ability to pull up and knock down perimeter jump shots off the bounce and the accurate outlet passes from Greenbrier's Jennifer McMahan during Tuesday's game are also shown in the video.

One night of "the playoffs" is behind us.  The girls teams of Greenbrier, Laney, Grovetown, Cross Creek, Washington County and Hephzibah are still alive.  Tonight the boys teams of Laney, Washington County, Josey, Butler and Harlem take the court for round one.  And Aquinas, Augusta Christian, and Alleluia will start their state tournaments soon. Stay tuned for daily episodes of "The Playoffs."  Right here.  I'll see you in the gym.

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