Saturday night I ended up sitting with a fellow teacher at the Brea-Edison game. He is a former coach himself, and coached a few of the Edison girls in their earlier years. We ended up talking about how basketball playing styles differ between the City Section schools and schools further out, in Orange County and beyond.
Teacher man sees a different game – namely, that city schools play a more athletic brand of hoop. He sees suburban school female players afraid to take the jump shot, hesitant to take contact. City schools, he maintains, just bang more, while suburban school teams have more rules. I told him about how Brea Coach Jeff Sink uses the “five pass before the shot” rule with his squad, and teacher man nodded and said, “yeah, that kinda stuff.”
In general, I tend to agree with teacher man. City schools usually have more bounce, and if a player is good, you know her style if you go to enough games. For example, Chatsworth’s Gennifer Brandon has a huge cache of tricks under the basket to get the ball into it. Kejuana Gardner of Washington Prep grabs rebounds mid-air, in crazy body positions. On the other hand, Brea has 18 players, but I’d be hard-pressed to tell you anything special I’ve noticed about any of them (and no, I’m not picking on Brea or saying anything bad about Sink – they’re just an example).
There are two exceptions that I have seen this season to the Orange County/suburban rule: Mater Dei and Cajon. Mater Dei is an extremely athletic team, and two of their top players – Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Alexyz Vailotama – have distinct playing styles. So does Layshia Clarendon of Cajon, which is also an athletic team.
So I’m opening the floor for discussion.
1. Are city teams more athletic than suburban teams? Do they bang harder?
2. Are suburban teams more structured?
3. Which do you think is best, and why?