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Six Tampa Bay basketball players who are ball hogs in the best way

When it comes to scoring and rebounding, these three girls and guys are among tops in the state. And word to the wise: Stay out of Kailyn Gilbert’s way.
Tampa Prep's Kailyn Gilbert (2), center, charges past Wesley Chapel's Ameria Christopher (5) during a game earlier this season. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
Tampa Prep's Kailyn Gilbert (2), center, charges past Wesley Chapel's Ameria Christopher (5) during a game earlier this season. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | TImes]
Published Jan. 14

By all accounts, Tampa Prep sophomore Kailyn Gilbert is a likable person off the basketball court. On the court? Well, she doesn’t consider herself all that nice.

“I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Gilbert said. “When I’m on the court I want to kill whoever is in front of me. There’s a lot of stuff that I see on the internet (about people underestimating her). I want to prove them wrong.”

And Gilbert has been awfully good at getting the best of her opponents. At 5-foot-7, she doesn’t look like a scoring threat. But through 13 games this season, Gilbert averages 36 points, which is tops in the state. She also has 15.5 rebounds per game.

She has recorded a double double in all 13 games, which is also best in the state. Saturday in a 64-22 victory against rival Berkeley Prep, Gilbert scored 30 points and added 13 rebounds. And she only played the first and third quarters and a couple minutes of the second quarter.

Related: High school girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

“From Day 1 at Tampa Prep she’s had a different mentality from the get-go," Terrapins coach Erin Knight said. “She’s in the gym every day, all day working on some part of her game. You don’t see that much anymore."

When Gilbert hit two free throws to start the game against Berkeley Prep, she scored her 1,000th career point. The game was halted for a minute to acknowledge the accomplishment. She hopes it won’t be the last time.

“I want 2,000,” Gilbert said.

Her ultimate goal is to play in the WNBA. She is sure to have plenty of options when it comes to college basketball. Her scoring ability from both inside and outside is already at a high level.

Watch her in action this week vs. Wesley Chapel on Wednesday or vs. Sunlake on Friday; both games are at 6:30 p.m.

Gilbert isn’t the only area player who has racked up double doubles this season. These five girls and boys rank among the state’s top 10 (all totals entering Monday), according to MaxPreps:

G/F Raygen Bostick, East Lake

The senior has the second-best double-double total in the state for girls with 11 in 14 games. Bostick, who transferred from Palm Harbor University after her sophomore year, averages 17.1 points and 12.9 rebounds. She added to that total Friday after tallying 31 points and 22 rebounds in a 70-38 trouncing of Dixie Hollins.

Where to watch her this week: Thursday vs. Largo, 7; Friday vs. Gaither, 6:15

F Johni Broome, Tampa Catholic

Tampa Catholic's Johni Broome goes up for the shot in Friday's victory over rival Jesuit. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

The Morehead State signee has the height (6 feet, 9 inches) to dominate inside. The senior is tied for the fourth-highest total in the state in double doubles with 11 and is averaging a team-high 18.9 points and 11.4 rebounds. Last week, Broome had his best performance of the season against rival Jesuit, finishing with 21 points and 23 rebounds.

Where to watch him this week: Friday at Leesburg, 7

Related: Tampa Catholic finishes strong to beat rival Jesuit

G Jalen Cooper, Anclote

The Palm Beach Atlantic signee is a versatile player who can score from anywhere on the court. The senior also is adept at snaring any errant shots. Cooper is tied for the fourth-highest double-double total in the state among boys with 10. As part of a trio of senior leaders, Cooper has done his part by averaging 23.4 points and 10.1 rebounds.

Where to watch him this week: Tuesday vs. Mitchell, 7:30; Wednesday vs. Wesley Chapel, 7:30; Saturday vs. Berkeley Prep (at Seminole Shootout), 7:30.

F Marielis Creque, Fivay

The junior has 10 double doubles in 13 games for the Falcon girls. Creque, a 6-footer, averages 12.1 points and 13.4 rebounds. In her last game against Gulf, she had 14 points and 13 rebounds. This is her second year as a member of the varsity.

Where to watch her this week: Tuesday at Land O’Lakes, 7:30

G Cantia Rahming, Hillsborough

Hillsborough senior forward Cantia Rahming comes down with the rebound in a recent game against Bloomingdale. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

After missing most of last season, the senior has returned stronger, more focused and injury free. He has thrived with an expanded role and currently is tied for the the second-highest total in the state in double doubles with 15 in 16 games. Being proactive in the paint has also helped Rahming lead the Terriers in scoring (23.9 points) and rebounds (17.6).

Where to watch him this week: Tuesday at Tampa Bay Tech, 8; Friday at King, 8

Related: No questioning Hillsborough boys’ intensity in district romp

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Catholic's Kobe Knox dunks for two  of his 12 points in a 68-64 victory over Berkeley Prep on Friday night. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Crusaders don’t lead until the fourth quarter, but edge the Bucs 68-64.
  2. With seniors like Parker Conitz, pictured at left here with fellow Clearwater Shootout Player of the Game Joshua Celiscar of Winter Haven and Clearwater High coach Kris Foote, Seminole believes it can claim another district banner for the gym. [CUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
    Classification and district realignment make the Warhawks’ path to a title not as daunting.
  3. Fivay girls basketball players, from left: Marielis Creque, Jania Jones and Savannah Shaffer. [RODNEY PAGE   |  Times]
    The Falcons are a postseason threat and there’s not a senior to be found on the roster.
  4. Junior Talon Bergantino is among Central's leading scorers this season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    After taking their lumps vs. their older siblings, Talon and Caden Bergantino have emerged as fierce competitors for the Bears.
  5. Karim Nohra pulls no punches in getting his Carrollwood Day team ready for another playoff push. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Patriot girls notch another lopsided basketball victory with a senior-dominated team.
  6. Kobe Knox, center, and Tampa Catholic regain the top spot in the rankings thanks to recent wins over Leesburg, Naples and Seffner Christian. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Tampa Catholic takes over the top spot again after an impressive showing last week.
  7. Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (10), center, challenges the Wesley Chapel defense during a December game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    Little change at the top as the regular season winds down.
  8. Flag football players from left to right: Steinbrenner's Jacqueline Figueredo, Robinson's Emily Kemp, Leto's Anaily Mendoza, along with Martha Minahan at Monday night's (Jan. 20, 2020) sixth annual Bill Minahan scholarship awards dinner. [ERNEST HOOPER  |  Special to the Times]
    Chamberlain’s James Ash, Wharton’s Edwouens Marcelin, Steinbrenner’s Jacqueline Figueredo and Robinson’s Emily Kemp are also honored at the sixth annual awards banquet.
  9. Chamberlain offensive tackle Cesar Reyes said via Twitter on Sunday he plans to sign with USF. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Bulls fortify depth at quarterback and on the offensive line.
  10. Jesuit's Brett Gerena (7) celebrates recovering a fumble in the third quarter of this past season's Class 5A region semifinals. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
    The Black Knights have commitments for 2020 from five locals, the most of any Division I-A program in the country. And they may gain more.
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