Going beyond the playground Owls' Warfield works on her game

February 15, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Those who know Kenya Warfield best are not surprised when she takes over a girls basketball game for Westminster High.

They've seen what the senior 5-foot-10 center can do on the playgrounds against some of the most talented boys in town.

No, she can't beat any of the top guys one-on-one or star in the summer pickup games at the town park.

But Warfield is good enough to be invited to play with the boys, including her brother, Calvin Warfield, who averaged 17 points a game as a senior last season for the Owls.

"There's no way I can beat Calvin one-on-one," said Kenya. "I'm just happy to score sometimes against him and in the pickup games. I post up against the bigger guys and score."

However, there is a big difference in a playground game and the structured atmosphere of a high school game. Warfield has discovered that all too painfully during her final season with the Owls.

"I just need to relax more and develop more confidence in my shooting," said Warfield, who has been playing basketball since the sixth grade. "I need to shoot more."

Highly regarded Montgomery Blair found out last month what Warfield can do when she gets her game together. The Owls' center scored 18 points to lead her team to a 41-39 upset victory over the Blazers.

"It was my best game of the season," said Warfield. "I just had a good feeling and went out and played that game."

In contrast to that 18-point splurge, there are evenings in which Warfield, a left-hander, can't get anything to fall in the basket.

She had one of those agonizing evenings Thursday night in a 46-35 loss to South Carroll. At least four of her shots were in the cylinder and came out. She finished with two points.

It's games like that one that have stymied Warfield and left her with an eight-point scoring average to go along with seven rebounds a game.

"Kenya is a great athlete and can play the game," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz. "But there are times when she reverts too much to playground basketball and that hurts her."

Warfield believes her bad nights are sometimes caused more by an opponent's tough defense than any of her weaknesses.

"Other teams have good defenses," said Warfield. "So we have to do things to overcome it like working more as a team and getting the ball inside to Tinah [Houck] and me. If we do that, it will work."

Warfield said she doesn't live and die on how many points she gets a game.

Instead, she enjoys playing defense and blocking shots.

"I love to block shots," said Warfield, who is averaging 2.5 blocks a game. "It gives me a good feeling. Good defense and teamwork are two musts for winning teams."

If the struggling Owls (8-10) fail to make the regionals this season, Warfield will be disappointed, but there will be one advantage. She will be able to start concentrating more on her best sport, track and field.

She runs the 100 and 300 hurdles, the 4 x 4 relays, and was exceptional in the high jump last year (her leap of 5 feet, 6 inches won the state title). "I'll probably run track in college," said Warfield. "But right now, I'm too busy to think about where I'll be going to college."

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