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AOW: Travis: Brawley's No. 2 option killing opposition

February 13, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

A coach preparing to take on the Brawley Union High girls basketball team would definitely plan to stop Lisa LeBaron.

A coach might also try to stop the outside shooting of freshman phenom Reggie Horta.

That might mean a coach wouldn't be giving enough consideration to Marquita Travis.

Last week in the Wildcats' 73-23 humiliation of Central Union, Travis had a 23-point, 12-rebound performance.

Central had prepared for the inside game of LeBaron and did a decent job of containing her, but the Spartans couldn't stop Travis, Brawley's other threat down low.

"I don't know what it was. I was just feeling it. I was in the zone," said the 17-year-old senior. "I think our win against Calexico was pretty big, but other than that, this game was as good as it gets.

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"Everyone was making shots. I think a big part of this win was everyone just being on their game. Everyone played really well."

Lately everyone on the Wildcat squad has played well, making things a little easier for Travis. She is technically Brawley's No. 2 offensive option, but with the emergence of Horta, teams have allowed Travis to roam free, giving her more shots at the basket.

Where that has paid off most is on the glass. Most teams worry about LeBaron's rebounding and focus on boxing her out, not accounting for Travis. Travis has been able to lead Brawley on the offensive glass, creating more second-chance opportunities.

"I kind of like being the middle person between Lisa and Reggie because that takes some pressure off of me," said Travis. "Because of that I'm getting more shots and I can get more rebounds."

On the glass is where Wildcat coach Mike Pacheco said Travis is best.

"She lives off the rebounds. If a shot goes up, she'll be there. If the other team's players don't box her out, she'll kill them on the glass."

A lot of Travis' rebounding ability is natural, but Pacheco thinks the work she puts in during practice has helped set her apart from others.

"She's a vital part of this team, especially on the glass and on defense," said Pacheco. "But she works really hard for it. I think she probably works the hardest out of anybody on both offense and defense. And that's what sets her apart."

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