ST. PETERSBURG — The most amazing thing to come out of Tuesday night's Northside Christian-Keswick Christian game wasn't Kayla Walton's stat line — 24 points, 26 rebounds.
It was that nobody seemed surprised by her performance.
"That," Mustangs coach D.J. Jackson said, "is the norm."
Northside Christian won 53-34, and thanks to Walton, a 6-foot-2 senior center, the game was never close. She scored early, she scored often and, quite frankly, she dominated the glass.
After three quarters, Walton had 20 points.
So did Keswick Christian.
"They kept feeding me the ball," Walton said. "Obviously, they believed in me."
Walton's most dominant stretch came in the first 31/2 minutes of the third quarter, when she scored eight quick points and controlled the glass as Northside Christian (21-4) opened up a 21-point lead.
For Keswick (13-9), dealing with Walton wasn't its only issue, The Crusaders, who were led by Cassie Foster's 12 points, also had trouble shooting.
"It's the same problem we've had all season," Keswick coach Karrmayne King said. "We can't put the ball in the hole."
Although at times it may have seemed so, Walton didn't win the game on her own. Several other Mustangs also performed well, most notably post player Rachel Boyette, who contributed 10 points, and forward Heather Percival.
Even so, there was no denying this night belonged to Walton.
"She's arguably the best player in Pinellas County," Jackson said. "She's got five people around her every night."