La Jolla Country Day vs. Windward: Breya Cunningham the X-factor in CIF State Southern California girls basketball Open Division finals

BY MARLON WELLS

La Jolla Country Day (31-1), the consensus No. 1 high school girls basketball team in the country, hosts Windward (27-5) on Tuesday night in the CIF State Open Division Regional finals. The winner will advance to the CIF State championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

Here’s a look at the player to keep an eye on in this matchup: La Jolla Country Day freshman Breya Cunningham:

There is no doubt how important McDonald’s All American and Oregon commit Te-Hina Paopao is to the success of the No. 1 team in the country. But the impact of forward Breya Cunningham can not be overstated.

While only a freshman we believe Cunningham is already the most dominant interior offensive presence in San Diego County and probably the state. She is already almost unguardable on either block. Her patience and decisiveness is what you would expect from a player much older. She gets to the spot she wants to and then makes the move she wants to at her pace.

Despite her age Cunningham is already very strong (and will get stronger) when she gets her hands on the ball, whether it be a rebound or on a post feed. She has already shown good passing skills out of the double team as well as the ability to make the face up shot from 12-15 feet.

Cunningham has really good timing and rebounding instincts. She has a great understanding of interior spacing and dives to the basket with perfect timing, always making herself available with hands ready to catch. She’s really good at keeping her feet on the ground and using her strength and length to defend in the paint which leads to her rarely being out of position or picking up bad fouls.

The scary thing is that she only scratches the surface of the player she could become.

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