The climb to the top of the West Bay Athletic League’s Foothill Division in girls’ basketball is a long, arduous path for any of the league’s six teams. Having a 6-foot-3 center to dominate the paint is one way to make the trek a little bit easier.
Menlo School has that advantage in sophomore Drew Edelman — no relation to New England Patriots wide receiver and former Woodside High and College of San Mateo standout Julian Edelman — and the Knights are looking to capitalize on it every time they hit the court.
Through its first three league games, Menlo is off to a 2-1 start — the loss coming to league-leading Pinewood on Jan. 11 — and 12-5 overall for the season. And while there are several other solid players on the Knights bench, Edelmen has garnered the lions’ share of the credit for Menlo’s good start.
“She’s averaged a double-double her entire varsity career here at Menlo,” Knights coach John Paye said. “She’s the foundation of our team.”
Edelman is averaging 16.3 points and 11.4 rebounds a game through the first 17 contests this year for Menlo and poured in 31 points against Woodside on Jan. 5 for her season high so far.
Three times this year she has finished a game with 16 rebounds — once against Woodside in a dominating performance against the Wildcats — and has been in double-digits rebounding in 12 of the Knights’ 17 games.
In WBAL Foothill play so far, Edelman’s numbers are a little lower at 11.6 points and nine rebounds per game, but she is still the one player other teams are accounting for as soon as she steps on the court.
Paye isn’t concerned with any dip in Edelman’s numbers this early in league play.
As a freshman last year on the varsity squad, Edelman averaged 14.7 points and 12.4 rebounds for the season that saw the Knights struggle to a 15-14 record overall and just 3-7 in league play.
But this year’s team at Menlo is already off to a better start and should contend for the top of the league against Pinewood and Eastside College Prep, the top two teams last year.
After playing Eastside for the first time Friday, Menlo will host another title contender in Mercy on Tuesday, which should give Paye a very good idea where his team stands as they start the second half of the league schedule.
Even though Edelman is only in her second year, she has already drawn a lot of interest regarding her playing days in 2014.
“She has several Division I schools interested in her and watching her progress,” Paye said.
If Edelman helps the Knights advance deep into the Central Coast Section and NorCal playoffs, she’ll could post one last double-digit score — number of scholarship offers to play college basketball.
16.3 Points per game Drew Edelman is averaging
11.4 Rebounds per game Edelman is averaging
31 Points Edelman scored against Woodside on Jan. 5, a season high
3 Times Edelman has collected 16 rebounds in a game
Note: Stats are through Menlo’s first 17 games.