By PAUL GOTHAM
Surveying some of the top performers in Section V from the past week (February 8-13). This, the opening week of a long-awaited season, includes the first player off the bench and comments from opposing coaches.
KIARA ANGLIN 5-foot-9-inch Jr. G Brighton Bruins (Monroe County Division II) — Crafty playmaker who knows how to pick her spots; Anglin possesses keen decision-making instincts, she understands the value of creating for teammates and how that opens the floor, at the same time she has the ability to switch gears and attack openings that the defense gives, she can finish at the rim and from distance, uses length to her advantage, can see the floor over smaller guards, she elevates quickly on her shot; a disciplined defender, she knows how to use her feet to take away driving angles along with hands and arms to limit the vision of opposing ballhandlers. Coach’s insights: “She’s a skilled basketball player and has great athleticism. That’s a great combination. She can catch and shoot and beat you off the dribble.” Todd Esposito/Churchville-Chili
KENNY FREEMAN 6-foot-6-inch Sr. G/F Greece Athena Trojans (Monroe County Division III) — Dynamic force with the ball in his hands who is at his best with catch-and-shoot opportunities; Long and lean, Freeman has developed his jumper since last season to the point where he has to be defended beyond the arc, he creates matchup problems with his length, he quickly and smoothly gets the ball from catch to an elevated release point, displays a repetitive motion with his shot, can put the ball to the floor and gets paint touches with an economic use of the dribble; cuts down court vision of opposing ballhandlers with active hands and arms, uses a quick first step to slow opponent’s dribble; aggressive on the boards with strong hands. Coach’s insights: “Not a lot of kids can be that solid as a face-up guy with that height and length. When he’s operating from the elbow area, he’s really good. And he can hurt you on the glass. Even if you make him miss, he grabs his own rebounds and puts it back. He’s a tough guard and his length causes problems on the defensive end, too, of course. He’s hard to finish over and he helps create turnovers.” John Nally/Pittsford Sutherland
ZACH GILEBARTO 5-foot-11-inch Sr. G Batavia Blue Devils (Monroe County Division IV) — Skilled guard with a high motor; Gilebarto combines the ability to recognize the narrowest of seams in opposing defenses and the skill to score from any spot on the floor, Gilebarto has to be defended beyond the 3-point arc, at the same time he uses a low center of gravity to get in the paint off the dribble, keeps his feet in constant motion forcing opposing defenses to adjust to his presence on the floor, can score in volume when his team needs and smoothly makes the transition to distributor when a teammate gets the hot hand; a disruptive defender with active hands, Gilebarto understands how to move on the flight of the ball to take away opposing opportunities, makes a quick and smooth transition from defense to offense. Coach’s insights: “His ability to hit contested shots stands out. Teams are focusing on him and even with hands in his face, he’s still a knock-down shooter. He is very composed, plays at his own pace and doesn’t get flustered by defensive pressure.” Dan Roser/Eastridge
LILY KENNEDY 5-foot-10-inch Jr. G Pittsford Mendon Vikings (Monroe County Division III) — Aggressive offensive player who stretches opposing defenses; NBA hall-of-famer Robert Parish once said: “the most important steps in transition are the first three.” Kennedy has mastered the wisdom of the “Chief,” she possesses an uncanny ability for consistently being ahead of the defense, once she is in the open Kennedy makes clean catches on the run and gets the ball to the rim in one fluid motion, she can finish in traffic and thrives on contact; a responsible defender, she understands how to keep opposing ballhandlers from making straight line drives to the basket. Coach’s insights: “She has a strong court presence, is properly-spaced on the court and has great control of her game. What stands out is her physical strength which allows her to control her opponent when she is on defense, she is aggressive on loose balls. She is solid going to the basket and has a nice touch on her jump shot. She will be a formidable opponent over the next couple of years.” Steve Willoughby/Honeoye Falls-Lima
JESHUA SHAW 6-foot-4-inch Sr. G/F World of Inquiry Griffins (Rochester City Athletic Conference Lower Division) — Skilled offensive player who is at his best in the open court; Smooth and composed, Shaw rarely seems rushed on the court, he sees gaps in the defense that few others can recognizes and works well in tight spaces, creates matchup problems for smaller guard who struggle to take away his court vision, he uses that to his advantage and creates for teammates, in the half-court he sets up the drive with the shot fake, can score from distance and midrange where he gets a quick stop and pop; an aggressive defender, he reads opposing offenses well and jumps in passing lanes, disciplined on the dribble to take away the drive, uses length and arms to disrupt, is always ready to go from defense to offense. Coach’s insights: “Jeshua makes his presence known on the court. He can shoot from the outside, penetrates hard to the basket and is a solid rebounder as well. His experience and leadership makes his teammates better as well.” Kyle Crandall/NE Douglass
KEITH WARREN 6-foot-3-inch Sr. G McQuaid Jesuit Knights (Rochester City Athletic Conference Upper Division) — A capable scorer and creator who plays the game at his speed; Seeing time for the past two seasons in a lineup along side Kobe Long and Jermaine Taggart (combined 46 points per game last season), Warren willingly played the role as a secondary option on offense, he has smoothly transitioned into the lead role for the Jesuit Knights, he possesses the ability to score from behind the 3-point arc and can stretch defenses five feet behind the line, at the same time he recognizes opportunities to drive, combine this with a higher-level court vision and Warren is a tough matchup; disciplined and responsible on defense, he rarely is caught out of spot, can get into passing lanes for the steal but does so within the structure of a team defense. Coach’s insights: “He can score in a variety of ways and will take and make the toughest of toughest shots. He is a huge threat with the ball in his hands and is just as much of a threat off the ball.” Rashaad Stokelin/Webster Schroeder