While Arizona's 2014 class of prospects for boy's looks to be one of the best classes of players in the state's rich basketball history, on the girl's side the class also looks to be very strong. While not as strong as the boy's 2014 class, the class is beginning to round into shape nicely. One of the top-rated overall prospects in the class is Mountain Pointe High School's talented 6-foot-1 junior post Kaylah Lupoe.
Lupoe is coming off an excellent junior season for herself where she turned in her best performance of his young high school career and received nice post-season honors as a result. Lupoe emerged as one of the state's top overall performers this past high school season, while leading her Mountain Pointe High School basketball program to a strong 26-6 overall record on the season in the state's tough Division-I Class.
With Mountain Pointe among the top overall teams in the state this season and sporting a very talented squad of players, behind the strong play of Lupoe and 5-foot-8 senior guard Caitlyn Hetrick, the Pride would reach the Division-I State Quarterfinals before falling to a very talented Highland HS team (62-55). Lupoe would earn Arizona Republic 2nd Team All-State honors amongst the Division-I Class for her efforts. A nice honor as she was one of only two junior prospects to receive such attention, alongside St. Mary's HS nationally ranked junior guard Courtney Ekmark (UCONN commit).
The Pride was one of the state's most dangerous teams all season long, as Lupoe was the team's second leading scorer and top rebounder - averaging 12.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per/game. Lupoe also averaged a career high, 3 blocks per/game on the season while also shooting 50% from the field. She scored a career-high of 24 points on three separate occasions this season, in wins over Desert Ridge (2 times) and Corona Del Sol. She also put up a game-high 22 points in two different losses to a tough Pinnacle HS team, that was the runner-up for the Division-I state championship.
Lupoe is among the top and most gifted low-post talents in the state and now has emerged as one of the elite overall prospects in Arizona's 2014 junior class. She has excellent size and length of body for the post position and runs the floor like that of a guard prospect - capable of beating most other post players down the floor for easy baskets. She has good overall post moves, although she is still developing in this area, she currently has a good jump hook and possesses solid low post footwork. She is also capable of stepping outside shooting the basketball from the perimeter, although she does not not often do so - she rather gets most of her work done around the painted area where she has a nice advantage.
Lupoe's best attribute seems to be her activity and motor, as she competes and rebounds outside of her area, and did a very good job in the games I observed her in this past season, of keeping plays alive and getting second-chance opportunities for her team. Lupoe also possesses a good upside as a college prospect still, as she will only get much better over time as she matures physically and continues to get stronger.
Lupoe will turn her sights now to the spring and summer's exciting club season, as she will be playing for a loaded team of prospects with the newly developed Blue Star Arizona club program - coached by Dana Hawkins. Lupoe competed with her new group of club teammates this past weekend in this year's Southwest Showcase Main Event, and the team finished as runner-ups in the tournament's top Gold Division. Look for this group of prospects to really make some noise this club season, as the team is loaded with many of the state's top prospects from the 2014 and 2015 classes.
Lupoe is currently receiving loads of division-I interest after a strong junior season of high school basketball already, and she should only increase her exposure to college coaches this club season with more strong performances on the club circuit, while playing with such a talented group of college prospects, which also features such top-rated prospects as Mesa Mountain View's Armani Hawkins and Sabrina Haines, and also Seton Catholic's Julia Barcello.
Keep an eye out for Lupoe this club season, as she looks to boost her college recruitment and become one of the featured 2014 prospects on the spring and summer club circuit.