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