Washington Prep 44, Mira Costa 38 (and a celebrity sighting)

The reigning Marine League Washington Prep Lady Generals were in the spotlight today because I’d checked out their competition three days ago, and deemed it stiff. I wanted to see what Prep is bringing to the table this season, because they’ve had some major personnel changes.

Besides losing two key seniors to graduation, the Generals also saw two of their starters – Kejuana Gardner and Tayllor Gipson – move and transfer to other schools. The team of familiar and new faces played at St. Bernerd’s High School against the Mira Costa Mustangs who, like Prep, made it to the state playoffs last year and has also lost some key players coming into this season.

Neither team was as fast as they’ve been in the past, but both battled, and it was a good matchup both size- and skill-wise. The score was neck and neck until less than two minutes to go, when Prep junior center Reshanda “Too Tall” Gray made two key free throws, and then a basket a few seconds later. The Generals rebounded Mira Costa’s final failed shot attempt and held the ball to win.

Gray was a beast today. I mean, she’s been a force in the paint for a good year now, and frequently has monster games. But today she was ridiculous. Maybe it was because Lisa Leslie and her daughter showed up to watch a relative play for the Mustangs – I don’t know. But Gray was jumping in to grab every loose ball, dribbling up the court, fighting for rebounds like her life depended on it, and calling for the ball. At one point she said loudly to a teammate in the corner, “GIMMIE THE BALL!” And in the midst of all of that, she smiled a lot because she was having a great time.

She’s really taking her new role as the team leader seriously. I hope she’s planning on playing like that all the time, because I could get used to it.

Prep Senior guard Kiana Furlow brings the ball to the top of the key for the Generals (blue uniforms).

Prep Junior center Reshanda “Too Tall” Gray calls for the ball, as she did several times today.

Guess who showed up to see a relative play for Mira Costa? Recently retired Lisa Leslie and daughter Lauren.

Lauren enjoyed some snacks before falling asleep on her mother’s chest during the game.

Too Tall put one in at the end of the second half, but the Mustangs lead by one as time expired.

Junior guard Cheyenne Bonham took turns with…….

Furlow at the point.