Making the Gladiators go Girls basketball: Center Camey Brian is Glenelg's spark, provided she avoids foul trouble.

February 02, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

It was midway through the third quarter, and Ciaran Lesikar's Glenelg team was not playing well against visiting Mount Hebron last Wednesday.

The person sitting next to him had a lot to do with it.

"This is why we need you in the game," Lesikar said, leaning over toward senior Camey Brian, who had picked up two quick fouls -- her third and fourth -- in the third quarter. "This is why you can't get in foul trouble."

Said Brian: "I knew what he was talking about. I'm like the spark of the team and he needs me on the court."

The Gladiators scored two points in the third quarter, and it wasn't until Brian returned with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter did they pick up their game.

"The intensity on offense doubled when she came back into the game," Lesikar said. "I've never seen such a drastic change."

Brian, a 5-foot-10 center, scored six of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as Glenelg pulled away for a 44-27 victory.

Said Lesikar: "Everybody plays better when she's in the game. She definitely raises them to a different level."

Brian scored 12 points Friday night at Long Reach as the Gladiators (9-7 overall, 7-5 league) won their fourth straight game, 42-29. Glenelg is tied with Oakland Mills for fourth place in the county standings, and Brian's strong play is a major reason why the Gladiators are one of the surprise teams this season.

"She the strength of our team," said senior guard Lauren Brown.

Brian played varsity basketball and lacrosse and junior varsity soccer as a freshman. She made the varsity soccer team as a sophomore, but a week into the season tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She spent the rest of the year and the fall of her junior year rehabilitating the knee and playing basketball.

With Jill Younce and Lauren Martin doing most of the scoring last season, Brian averaged around seven points and led the team in rebounding.

She leads the team in rebounding (10.4 average) again this season, but with Younce in college and Martin at River Hill, Brian is taking charge offensively, leading the team with a 14.8 average.

Brian's offensive emergence has everything to do with Lesikar, a standout 6-foot-6 center at Centennial (1984 graduate) who is coaching a girls varsity team for the first time.

"I have so much more confidence this year because of what he's taught me," said the right-handed Brian, who can shoot inside with either hand and has developed a strong move to her left.

Said Brown: "She's a lot more confident because the coach has confidence in her."

Brian's game also has been helped by the addition of 6-foot sophomore Kris Brust, who came to Glenelg from Seton Keough the second week of the season. "It helps to have someone else big in there," said Brian, who also has improved her ballhandling skills this season. "It allows me to get the ball more and be open more."

But one thing that hasn't changed from last year is her ability to pick up fouls.

"She knows she fouls a lot," Brown said. "Sometimes I think she can't help herself."

"It's always been a problem," said Brian, who has fouled out twice this season and finished with four fouls in 11 games. "I guess it comes from playing with guys all my life in the neighborhood. You had to be aggressive . . . the pushing and the shoving."

Brian likes to play aggressively. But the silly reach-in fouls and fouls from behind have hurt her and the team.

"It's something that I really need to concentrate on," Brian said. "I have to play smarter. As player, you have to know how far to go."

Brian, who has a 3.4 grade point average, joined the Army Reserves last summer and reports for duty one weekend a month. She will leave June 6 for basic training in North Carolina. She has applied for a ROTC scholarship and if she is accepted will apply to either Eckerd (Fla.) College or Florida Southern. She plans to study oceanography.

But right now she's concentrating on basketball.

"Last year I was really tense," said Brian, who off the court always seems to have a smile on her face. "This year I'm so much more relaxed. I'm having a lot of fun."

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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