- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

It should scare opponents that Clarkston coach Tim Wasilk still hasn’t fully convinced star junior forward Erika Davenport that she should be a little more selfish and not pass up open shots.

It should scare people that both Wasilk and Davenport both think the 5-foot-11 post player with guard skills still has another gear, something she mentioned to reporters after a 48-point, 23-rebound night in the Wolves’ double-overtime win in districts.

It should scare folks, because even with those two caveats, Davenport is undoubtedly one of the best players in the state.

She has been named the Associated Press Class A Player of the Year, unanimously selected by a 10-member panel of sports writers from across the state.

“Talent-wise, I’ve been coaching for nine years - maybe I’m biased, but I don’t remember seeing anyone more talented than her that we’ve played against, or I’ve coached,” Wasilk said. “She does still have another gear, and she does have another notch, where she can show a little bit more. I think she knows that.”

She’s joined on the All-State team by three Miss Basketball finalists - Marte Grays of Detroit King, Asia Robeson of Kalamazoo Central and Jessica Walter of Midland - as well as seniors Tyra Jones of Detroit Cody, Tinara Moore of Southgate Anderson, Jasmyn Walker of Muskegon Mona Shores and Shannon Wilson of Bloomfield Hills, and juniors Cori Crocker of Grand Ledge and Cierra Rice of Grosse Pointe South.

Walter’s coach, Elaine Mahabir, was named Class A Coach of the Year after leading the Chemics to an unbeaten record in the Saginaw Valley League.

Davenport faced double- and triple-teams, or a box-and-one, almost every night. Still, she averaged 22.3 points and 14.2 rebounds per game, putting up a double-double in 19 of 22 games.

Were there games where teams actually managed to shut Davenport down?

“The games we lost,” said Wasilk, whose teams have gone 61-10 in Davenport’s first three seasons, and 18-5 this year. “Definitely when teams targeted her, and did a good job - and maybe we didn’t step up in some other areas, or maybe she didn’t have her best game - we struggled a little bit.”

There are still times where the forward - who shifted out to handle the ball when teams pressed the Wolves - might pass up an open shot, in favor of setting up a teammate, something Wasilk has been working to change for three seasons.

“She’s still an extremely unselfish player, even though her numbers have increased since last year. She’s more of a pass-first player, wants the other players involved. We still find, as coaches on the bench, even our players, telling her to shoot more underneath, where she’s passing up shots, kicking it out for jumpers, or throwing it to other players inside the lane,” the coach said. “She has also understood that she needs to take some of those shots, because those are shots that she can make, and help our team.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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