This is part two of “Playoffs: Paragraph, Phrase, Player”, and in this part I will be talking about Coach Ingalls’ Girls team. If you haven’t read part one, you should go do that first! On top of giving analysis of each player on the Boys team, it explains how this whole thing works in the beginning of the article, so you should at least read that part before continuing here.
Anyways, here we go:
Caroline Orza, G, Sophomore
Paragraph: If I had to pick one player on this team that has the best chance to make it the pros, I’d probably go with Orza. The whole team is incredibly talented, but there is something special about Orza. She works hard on and off the court, and it shows during games. Her poise and presence on the court is beautiful to watch. Caroline averaged almost 15 points per game in the regular season, and she’s only a sophomore. The Playoffs might be the next step for her to launch her game to the next level.
Phrase: Incredible potential.
Player: Diana Taurasi
Lily Roberson, G, Sophomore
Paragraph: Roberson is a so, so talented. She can run down the floor and maneuver her way into the paint for a bucket, and then hustle down to the other end and perfectly contest the opposing player. Her hand-eye coordination, which allows her to poke the ball away from the opponent at the exact correct time without being called for a foul, is exceptional. If playoff opponents know what’s good for them, they’ll try and keep the ball away from her on offense.
Phrase: Phenomenal two way player.
Player: Sue Bird
Merete Cowles, G, Senior
Paragraph: Merete is a fan favorite, and deservedly so. Regardless of whether or not she is starting or coming off the bench, Cowles makes her teammates better when she’s on the floor. Radiating positive energy whenever she’s on the court, Cowles can do it all. Whether it’s finding open teammates for easy buckets, or banking in sweet mid-range jumpers, Cowles is a huge help to the Barons’ offensive efficiency.
Phrase: Team leader.
Player: Becky Hammon
Stephanie Howell, F, Senior
Paragraph: If I had to make a list of people I would not want to match up with in a basketball game, Steph would be near the top of the list. She’s not afraid to let you know she’s there, and will take advantage of any misstep you take. Howell is only 5 foot 8, but she plays like she’s at least 6 feet tall. Howell will dominate you on both ends of the floor with her physicality and tenacity. Knowing that one loss would end her high school career, Howell will not go down easy in the Playoffs.
Phrase: Bringing back bully ball.
Player: Lisa Leslie
Ava Haraldsson, F, Sophomore
Paragraph: The following are a list of givens regarding sophomore Ava Haraldsson:
Ava Haraldsson is going to score points in the paint, get a bunch of rebounds, get a couple steals, and swat a few shots. Against any team, matchup, or situation, Ava Haraldsson will be effective for this Barons team. The six foot sophomore is going to be trouble for any team that tries to get in her way. She isn’t going to be stopped, so the best opponents will have to hope that she can be slowed down. I don’t think she’ll be slowed down.
Phrase: Beast in the paint.
Player: Sylvia Fowles
Jessica Katz, G, Junior
Paragraph: Katz is good at every aspect of the game. She’s not the best at anything, but she’s good at everything, and that’s just as helpful. Katz is often the first guard to come off the bench for the Barons, and she can quickly incorporate herself into the offense. Katz is the perfect rotation player to have, because she doesn’t disrupt the flow of the team one bit. Basketball is team sport, and Katz is a team player. You need team players in order to win games. Simple as that.
Phrase: Effective all around player.
Player: Natasha Cloud
Kerry Ellis, G, Freshman
Paragraph: All of the girls on the team are talented and fun to watch, but Kerry Ellis is my favorite player on the team. She may be a freshman, and she may only be 5 foot 5, but that doesn’t stop her. She glides through defenders with ease, often catching them leaning in the process. Ellis is a precision passer, and whenever she’s on the court the offense is smooth like butter. I hope she gets to show what she’s made of in the Playoffs this year, but if not this year, she has three more years to make a name for herself on the Barons.
Phrase: Silky smooth play style.
Player: Ivory Latta
Zoe Wrathall, G, Sophomore
Paragraph: Wrathall is a solid defender and good playmaker, but where she shines is in her ability to create space and make shots anywhere on the floor. She can knock down a jumper on one possession and then catch the defender off guard on the next possession by driving to the hoop. Wrathall helps the team’s spacing on the offensive end, which is very valuable to have in order for an offense to run smoothly.
Phrase: Versatile shot creator.
Player: Renee Montgomery
Maya Elwood-Dieu, F, Senior
Paragraph: Maya is a pro. Whether she’s on the court or on the sidelines cheering on her teammates, she’s always having a good time. Negative locker rooms lead to negative results, and you can tell Elwood-Dieu makes sure that that is never the case. On the court and in the locker room, Maya is going to help lead the Barons through the Playoffs.
Phrase: Love for the game.
Player: Monique Currie
Olivia Pineda, G, Senior
Paragraph: Pineda is a gritty player who isn’t afraid to put up shots. Fortunately, her shots often go in. Pineda is a perimeter threat for the Barons, and for a team that has struggled from deep throughout the season, she could prove to be very valuable off the bench in a playoff game. She has a vast knowledge for the game, and it shows whenever she’s on the court. Pineda could definitely be a difference maker in the Playoff
Phrase: Spark plug.
Player: Vickie Johnson
Emily Niman, G, Sophomore
Paragraph: Emily Niman can score, and boy can she do it well. She’s just got a beautiful touch that many players at this level don’t have yet. She came into a game against Blair and put up 13 points in only a few minutes of game time.You need points to win a basketball game, and Niman provides those. Niman provides some instant offense for the Barons if their offense ever starts to slow down, and players like those are invaluable if you want to make a deep playoff push.
Phrase: Natural scorer.
Player: Natasha Howard
Nora Fairbanks-Lee, F, Freshman
Paragraph: Much like Orza, I think Fairbanks-Lee could be an exceptional player in a few years. Already 5 foot 11 as a freshman, Nora could be a dominant force in the paint for years to come. This year her minutes have been inconsistent due to the fact that she’s a freshman and there are many other really skilled players on the team, but in her limited minutes she has certainly shown she has what it takes to be special. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of role she plays in the playoff run, but I think that she could certainly provide assistance on the defensive side for the Barons.
Phrase: Could soon be unstoppable.
Player: Tina Thompson