Kahlaijah Dean can score points. Buckets of points. And she doesn't care where she gets them from. Val Mancera, Independence's girl's basketball coach since 2007, said, "She sees the mid-range is open she's going to go take some mid-range. She sees a defender that she's pretty confident she can get by on the dribble she's going to attack her."
This season the Independence girl's basketball team has played 11 games in Oxnard, Santa Barbara and San Francisco but until Tuesday had not played in Bakersfield. In Independence's home opener against Liberty the Falcons put up 60 points. Kahlaijah had almost half that with 28. "I kind of was surprised," she said. "I mean I really don't keep track."
28 points is impressive on it's own but then you learn that Kahlaijah is just a sophomore.
"She's a sophomore but when you watch her play you wouldn't think that," said Mancera. "She's very mature beyond her years as far as the game."
Coach Mancera almost ran out of words to describe her game. From her high basketball IQ, rebounding, scoring and being the heart of the team-she truly is a guard that does it all. But her favorite part is her defensive play. "Because I like to get in the other team's head. Getting steals and just talking to them to make them get angry and they just start getting off their game," she said.
Although it's early in the season, with league play another week away from starting, the Falcons are hoping Kahlaijah can lead them to another title.
"The ideal thing is to get back to where we were and maybe hopefully do even better," said Mancera. "If we stay true to our commitments it'll put ourselves in a good situation when that time comes."
Like Stephen Hicks on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/StephenHicks23ABC
Follow him on Twitter- https://twitter.com/stephenhicks23