High-SchoolCalifornia: Annie Tarakchian
January, 25, 2012
By Harold Abend | ESPN.com
Mark Tennis/ESPNHSImani Stafford and her teammates from top-ranked Windward face tough task Saturday with game in Long Beach against No. 3 Long Beach Poly.Important announcement from Cal-Hi Sports | Archived Cal-Hi Sports content
Karlie Samuelson returns for No. 7 Edison of Huntington Beach. This week’s newcomers are Carondelet and Chaminade with huge matchup coming Saturday between No. 1 Windward and No. 3 Long Beach Poly.
Junior guard Karlie Samuelson from Edison of Huntington Beach, a who gets a 90 scout’s grade from ESPNHS Girls Basketball, returned from injury last week with a 15-point performance in a 59-37 win over Los Alamitos. Two nights later, she had a season-high 28 points (five 3-pointers) in a 75-59 victory over Bishop’s of La Jolla.
The 6-foot-1 Samuelson had been hobbled for a month by a bad ankle.
“She’s taped up and wearing a brace but the swelling is down and she came back really strong against Bishop’s – and that’s good because we’re going to need her,” Chargers’ coach Dan Wiley told Cal-Hi Sports.
This week, St. Mary’s of Berkeley will welcome back sophomore phenom Gabby Green, which could help that team make a push for a spot in the top 20. The No. 5 player and No. 2 guard from the Class of 2014 according to ESPNHS Girls Basketball is scheduled to make her return in a game against Richmond Kennedy.
The 6-foot-1 Green has been out since July when she broke her ankle early on in her first game with California Storm’s Team Taurasi.
The Berkeley girls were the only top 10 team to take a loss last week, and while it looks bad on the surface coming to a St. Mary’s (Berkeley) team with six losses, the loss actually shows how good St. Mary’s is even severely short-handed.
Despite playing without Green, and another promising sophomore, 5-foot-11 forward Taylor Berry, the Panthers have played very well, learning how to play without Green in a super tough early schedule, and improving all along.
Now, with Green back, together with fellow sophomore standout Mikayla Cowling and senior Shannon Mauldin, they’ll be gearing up for the Division IV playoffs and a return trip to Power Balance Arena in Sacramento in March.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
(After games of Saturday, Jan. 21)
(Contributing: Mark Tennis, Paul Muyskens)
1. (1) Windward (Los Angeles) 16-3
The Wildcats had a week to rest up after the long stretch of travel that concluded last Monday with the loss to FAB 50 No. 1 St. Mary’s of Phoenix. After playing Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) on Tuesday, Windward then gets a matchup Saturday against No. 3 Long Beach Poly at Long Beach City College. In that one, coach Steve Smith and the girls will certainly have their top state ranking challenged.
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