According a recent survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 400,000 girls play high school basketball.
Titusville sophomore Tamara Henshaw is one of the best among them at rebounding.
Henshaw boasts a gaudy 19.1 rebounding average but also contributes impressively in other areas, as she averages more than 12 points a game, nearly five blocks and more than three steals and assists per game.
But her biggest contribution to the Terriers may go beyond the stat sheet.
“Honestly, last season to this one, I have stepped up and been a leader to this team and I’ve been really getting on and working hard to improve myself and my team,” Henshaw said.
Tonight, she and the Terriers will be at home for their regional semifinal playoff game at 7 p.m. against Rockledge. Five Brevard teams remain alive in regional play, and four play in the county tonight.
Despite her amazing talent and impressive statistics, there’s a humility about Henshaw that is refreshing.
“This kid’s pretty awesome,” Titusville head coach Bobby Winn said. “She’s so coachable. I’ve seen kids with that kind of talent before. They just get the big heads, prima donnas, and she’s not at that point.”
Henshaw’s eye-popping statistics and on-the-court domination also have gotten the attention of colleges, many of whom have put on a full-court press of their own trying to get Henshaw to commit to their schools.
“I really didn’t realize I was good until people starting telling me, and even then I didn’t really think I was. I still have flaws that I get worked on,” Henshaw said.
As Winn tells it, those colleges are recruiting the best of the best in the area.
“She is by far probably better than any of the post players that I’ve seen in Brevard County,” Winn said.
Her athleticism, smarts, vision and all-around ability have made her the focal point of a Terrier team which, not coincidentally, is in the state playoffs for the second consecutive season.
“We’ve finally got our team to understand that if she’s not touching the ball 12 to 15 times a quarter, there’s something wrong,” added Winn. “Everything that we do needs to go through her hands. Her vision is so good that if she doesn’t have the shot, she will kick the ball out and she’ll almost every time find the open player. … Teams are focusing on trying to stop her so it makes it a lot easier for some of our role players. “
Tonight’s girls basketball regional semifinals
Viera at Fort Myers, 7
Rockledge at Titusville, 7
Florida Air at Melbourne CC, 7