Maia Booker, West Hall: Had 16 points in a win over Johnson
Ansley Chester, North Hall: Had 18 points in a win over East Hall
Kaela Davis, Buford: Had 24 points in a win over Banks County
Marissa Ivey, Flowery Branch: Had 19 points in a win over Apalachee
Bridgette Kelly, Chestatee: Had 17 points in a win over Walnut Grove
Dani Lacko, Flowery Branch: Had 19 points in a win over Dacula
Schyler Miller, Lakeview Academy: Had 20 points in a win over Lumpkin County
Jacy Ramey, Flowery Branch: Had 15 points in a win over Apalachee
Katie Sayres, North Hall: Had 14 points in a win over East Hall
Kayla Watson, Chestatee: Had 18 points in a win over Walnut Grove
Her team has gone through ups and downs, but West Hall girls basketball coach Lynn Jarrett can see at least one constant: Senior forward Kaelyn Gattis.
That consistency pays off. Last Saturday, Gattis and junior Maia Booker each scored 16 points to lead West Hall to a 50-31 win over county rival Johnson to snap a four-game losing streak.
Gattis finished 8 of 8 from the line in the win, three days after scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a loss to Fannin County.
Win or lose, Jarrett can rely on her 5-foot-10 forward.
“Kaelyn has been the steadying force for us,” she said. “She’s by far the most consistent player for us.”
Consistency has been Gattis’ game. She’s a four-year starter for the Lady Spartans and averaged a team-high nine points per game last season, and is also a routine double-double player with her rebounding ability.
Her skills haven’t just developed overnight, however. She said she’s been playing basketball for about as long as she can remember — around 5 or 6 years old — and it quickly became her favorite sport.
“It’s just the adrenaline rush, and competing,” she gave as her reasons for loving the sport. “And I’m a big competitor.”
The competitive nature explains why she’s constantly trying to improve aspects of her game.
Jarrett mentioned her improved footwork, Gattis noted her progress on her jump shot.
“She works hard in every workout she’s ever had — she never slacks off,” her coach said. “She’s had tremendous improvement, and her footwork is great.
“The last two years she been the most consistent with that, and the statistics are where it shows up.”
Before high school Gattis looked up to another one of West Hall’s most consistent, relied upon players in 2009 senior Jayla Moon, a First Team All Area selection her final season for the Lady Spartans.
Moon left just as Gattis rose to the high school level. While Gattis has yet to reach Moon’s nearly double-double senior season average, she’s worked to be the same go-to player Moon was.
She’s worked on her offensive game as a forward, improving on her ability to score or pass out of the double or triple teams that routinely come her way as a go-to scorer for West Hall.
“Most of the season she’s played dragging two or three (defenders) with her,” Jarrett said.
Gattis said one of her main roles for the past few seasons has been to score, but that as one of the team’s more experienced players that her role has evolved.
For the past two season, Gattis has seen herself as a leader for West Hall as she tries to lead the team to it’s best season since she’s been there.
“Last year we were such a young team,” she said, “and I really stepped my game up.”
Last year the Lady Spartans also finished with their best record, 13-13, in Gattis’ time at the school. This year she wants to finish even better, and possibly even reach the state tournament for the first time in her high school career.
“That is definitely a goal,” she said.
In Gattis, Jarrett is assured that West Hall at least has a proven player and floor leader on its side.
“No doubt she’s a leader, and she has played like you want a senior to play — with a sense of urgency,” Jarrett said. “And she’s been there consistently every game.”