LACEY - As soon as a basketball leaves a shooter's hands, Cymone Martin begins searching.
Timberline’s 5-foot-11 junior post always is looking for a player to box out – and looking to snatch up the impending rebound. If an opponent wants to get a rebound over her, it won’t come easily.
Martin takes pride in her rebounding, something that became a dominant part of her game early on in her high school career. She knows having a good game doesn’t mean racking up points.
“My goal is to get more rebounds than points,” Martin said. “I love rebounds.”
Through the Blazers’ 14 games, Martin is averaging 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game (both team highs). She’s tallied six double-doubles and has led the team in scoring in six of the past seven games, as No. 3-ranked Timberline (14-0) plays host to Yelm at 7 tonight in a Narrows 3A League showdown.
Her dominance on the glass is what sets her apart.
Double-digit scoring and rebounding numbers repeatedly go hand-in-hand for Martin. In fact, she racked up 11 double-double games – including four straight to end the regular season – last year as a sophomore at Sheldon High School in Eugene, Ore. Her career-best double-double performance is 31 points and 21 rebounds.
It was no surprise she led the Irish in rebounding – as well as scoring – earning first-team all-Southwest Conference honors, and leading her team to the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
Basketball began for Martin in sixth grade, but it wasn’t until after her freshman year – and earning a spot in the varsity starting lineup – when her game changed.
“I picked one thing, and tried to exceed in it,” Martin said. “I focus on getting as many rebounds as I can.
She moved with her family to Lacey last July when her father, Clifford, was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Having Martin at Timberline has been a blessing for coach Zandrea Edenstrom, who has lacked a true post player with size and height in her previous five years at the helm of the Blazers. The addition of Martin has been one of the reasons why the 3A Narrows-leading Blazers are undefeated, and already surpassed their win total from the 2009-10 season (12-10).
“I already knew she would have something different than what we’ve had before,” Edenstrom said of Martin. “She’s great at rebounding. She knows how to read it and where it’s going to be.”
“She’s been a great addition,” said junior guard Sasha Weber, who’s averaging 13.6 points per game.
Even before Martin began her first class at Timberline in the fall, she was acquainted with the Blazers’ girls basketball team. She joined them in summer league, as well as the team camp at the University of Washington, where the Blazers drew the attention of Huskies women’s coach Tia Jackson. Martin also played for Seattle Rotary Style, a traveling AAU team that also featured Weber, and traveled to tournaments up and down the West Coast.
Martin has done nothing but impress since she donned a Timberline uniform. She likes the fast-paced style the Blazers play – different from the set-up style at her previous high school – and her stats haven’t disappointed. Three of Martin’s six double-doubles have come in the past fives games. She poured in 18 points and collected a season-high 16 rebounds in a 67-49 win over Capital on Jan. 12. Many of her points come from putbacks from the offensive glass. Her post presence also has allowed other teammates to play in their natural positions on both ends of the floor.
“Anytime you can get somebody strong inside, it’s huge,” Edenstrom said. “It’s the key piece we’ve been missing.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com