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Defensive play earns Wildcat MVP honors at tourney

December 11, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN
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Sports Writer

Ask almost any basketball player what his or her favorite aspect of the game is and the answer almost always will be offense.

Whether it's draining a long-range three-pointer, taking the ball to the hole on a fast-break or knocking down a medium-range jumper, most players are mostly about racking up offensive numbers. After all, as the adage goes: "Offense gets the glory."

But ask Brawley Union High girls basketball player Kaylin Rubin what she likes most about basketball and her answer is unlike most of the basketball-playing world. She's one of the few who actually enjoys defense more than offense.

"I love playing defense. I don't know what it is, but I just really love it. I really could care less about offense," said the 18-year-old senior. "With this team, we really don't have a good offense. Our game is more about defense. We're a more defensive team and that's how we beat people."

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On Saturday Rubin's defense was one of the deciding factors in the Wildcats' 48-39 victory over Palm Desert in the championship of the Brawley Union High tournament.

Her defensive performances throughout the tourney were good enough to earn tournament most valuable player honors.

"Going into that tournament we pretty much knew that we could beat just about everyone there. The only team we didn't know about was Palm Desert because they had beat us a few days before," said the 5-foot-6 1/2 Rubin, who has been a team captain three years in a row. "But then we played them again and our defense was able to shut them down and we were able to beat them."

And as she's done all year, Rubin, who averaged five points and more than eight rebounds a game in the tournament, stepped up in critical situations, shutting down whoever she was guarding. Against Imperial on Thursday, Rubin and her teammates held the Tigers to only four points in the second half and no points in the fourth quarter.

Said Brawley coach Mike Pacheco: "Kaylin really knows how to use her body well. She's very versatile and we can pretty much put her anywhere. We're more of a defensive team this year and a big reason for that is because of Kaylin. Defense is really her strong point and just like she always has, she's proving to be a real good defender for us. She's a big reason we're able to do what we're doing."

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