Poll the girls high school basketball players who’ve had to face Forest Lake Christian sophomore point guard Brittany Allen this season and you’d no doubt get the same response:
This girl can play.
Allen – a starter on last season’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champs and CIF State NorCal Championships semifinalists – possesses the requisite hoops’ skills that include a crossover dribble which would make Allen Iverson misty.
“Brittany’s the most skilled passing guard I’ve ever seen in girls basketball. And I’ve seen a lot of girls basketball over the years,” said first-year Falcon head coach Steve Kellar, whose team is currently the state’s top-ranked Division V girls team by calhisports.com.
“She’s exceptionally quick to the basket and she can break defenses down very well,” he added. “I’ve got a friend who coached (the Dallas Mavericks’) Steve Nash in Canada and after he saw her play he said she’s as good a point guard (at her age) he’d ever seen, boy or girl.”
Allen, who poured in a total of 55 points in the final three rounds of last season’s section championships, including the game-winner in a 67-66 win over Modesto Christian in the semis, has picked up where she left off last year.
Despite routinely playing limited minutes, FLC’s super-sophomore averages a section-best 7.8 assists per game, according to maxpreps.com, along with 10.8 points per contest.
“This team is awesome. We’ve got shooters. We’ve got players who can handle the ball. We’ve got players who come in just for defense,” Allen said. “So I can’t say there’s any pressure on me because everybody supports me.”
“They recognize that I can do certain things on the court and they depend on me,” she added.
Allen was at the helm when FLC pulled off probably one of the biggest upsets in the state this season with its 59-58 win over perennial state D-I power Berkeley Dec. 13, 2003.
She also turned some heads in FLC’s 65-56 non-league loss to USA Today’s 23rd-ranked team, Piedmont Jan. 24.
The 5-foot, 6-inch Allen, who wowed the crowd with her slashing drives to the rack, proved she’s not afraid to head into the tall timber down low when she blocked a shot each of 6-4 Courtney Paris and her twin, 6-3 Ashley.
“I’ve got to pay tribute to (teammate) Lauren Jackson on that. Last year she swatted so many shots that I lost count,” Allen said. “When she swats shots, it just makes you want to get a block, a steal or even just a deflection.”
“I really like to get the crowd on (its) feet. To do the fun stuff the people come to see,” she added.
In the beginning
Allen began her career in basketball at the ripe old age of nine.
“I was always jumping around, trying to touch the top of the highest walls when my mom said it was time to sign me up for a sport,” Allen said. “Sure enough I was good at it. So I stuck with it.”
Allen’s career took off from there.
She graduated to play at the highest levels of both AAU and prep hoops.
“I’ve been in more airplanes than most businessmen, but it’s been fun,” said Allen, who has traveled all over the country with her AAU team. “Sometimes the body gets a little tired at times, but I’ll never get tired of the game.”
It’s that desire to play, coupled with ample skills between the baselines, which has helped Allen make a name for herself far beyond the borders of Nevada County.
Although just a sophomore, Allen has received a wheelbarrow of correspondence from college programs looking to get in line early for her services.
” She’s being heavily recruited right now. I get several letters a day about her,” Kellar said.
Correspondence with return addresses to Kansas State, North Carolina State and Gonzaga Universities among others have found its way to Allen.
While she enjoys all of the attention, she hasn’t received the letter she’s truly hoping for.
Not yet, anyway.
“Duke University is my highest goal. You’ve got to work to get there, and I’m willing to put in the work. It’s my all-time dream,” she said. “If basketball doesn’t work out, I know I’ll be able to get a really good job with a degree from Duke on my resume.”
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14.