During her sophomore year last season, Central Union High School girls basketball player Janiece Manuel struggled, averaging only about three points per contest.
At 5-foot-11 one would figure Manuel, the team's center, could dominate. But playing basketball was new to her. She had not played basketball until last year, explaining her struggles.
All summer, though, she worked on her game, trying to improve on her raw skills.
On Friday against Crawford High of San Diego, Manuel proved the work she put in paid off as she scored a game-high 17 points in Central's season-opening 54-21 victory.
"Before the game everyone on the team was really nervous about it just because it was a San Diego team," said the 16-year-old junior. "People always tell us that if we're going to be a good team, we have to beat the San Diego teams."
If the Spartans were nervous it didn't show as they more than doubled up the score on Crawford.