Post players in New Jersey high school girls’ basketball have become such a rarity. Now most competitive youth basketball players are groomed to be guards because they have the ball in their hands the entire time. They develop their dribbling skills and shooting skills and continue in positions that primarily utilize those skills through high school. Many other competitive youth athletes are looking to become complete basketball players rather than a specific position, which is a great step in raising the level of this sport. However, it is easier to work outside alone on dribbling and shooting than it is to work on creating space in the paint. Playing in the post also often requires a lot of self-motivation because post players do not decide when they get the first touch on the ball, the guards passing to them do. Additionally, the post game requires a lot of unique attributes that are hard to obtain: height, strength, velocity, great footwork, strong hands, a soft touch, persistence on the boards, the willingness to get aggressive and physical, creative post moves, and a great understanding of the defense and who is open.
Here are some of Bergen County’s best high school girls’ post players:
Danielle Deoul at Immaculate Conception: Deoul is a 6’2″ center who is learning how to play the stretch four position. This means that she can dominate from both inside and out. Deoul is great at getting wide and sealing her defender on her back. She can turn baseline or middle and score. She is also good at taking one hand off the ball to draw fouls on her way up. She can play the elbows and short corner to create space for the guards and to pop a quick jumper. Deoul is also strong from the three-point line. For IC, Deoul averages 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 11 points per game. She scores 80% from the foul line. Deoul played AAU for iExcel. Deoul is committed to playing for George Mason next year.
Jenna Jordan from Saddle River Day: Jordan is a 6’1″ center. Jordan knows where to move on the floor depending on the location of the ball. She knows how to drop into open spaces while still leaving her teammates the opportunity to drive. She tirelessly works for rebounds, which earns her a 12.4 average on the boards. Jordan also has 12.4 points, 1.6 assists, 1 block, and 2.2 steals per game. Last year as a freshman Jordan scored 123 points and this year as a sophomore she has already doubled that with 248 points so far this season. She had a few huge games this season where she scored 18-19 points against Rumson Fair-Haven, Albertus Magnus, Midland Park, and Notre Dame High School. Jordan plays AAU for the Jersey Cardinals.
Nancy Ruf from Fair Lawn: Only a junior, Ruf has scored over 1,000 points so far in her career. She normally puts up big numbers every game, but some of her biggest games included 28 points and 14 rebounds against Ramsey, 30 points and 11 rebounds against Hackensack, 22 points and 15 rebounds against Passaic Valley, 23 points and 12 rebounds against Clifton, and 21 points and 5 rebounds against Bergen Tech. Ruf racks up the points from all over the floor. She can spot up shoot from inside, she has a powerful drop step, she can drive to the rim, but is also very consistent from the three-point line. This season she is averaging 16.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Samantha McClutchy from Westwood: No one is as strong at the drop step than McClutchy. She has two killer moves that has lead her to setting new scoring records in Westwood. So far in her career she has scored almost 1,500 points through her average of 19.7 points per game. She also averages 2.2 steals, 1 block, 2.4 assists, and 9.4 rebounds per game. She is good at faking and drawing contact as she attacks and finishes with the left hand from the left block. If a player takes away the baseline she can easily turn to the middle and hit the right hand jumper. She draws fouls and nails the foul shots. She will play for Dominican College next year. She played AAU for Hudson Valley Elite and the Blue Crush.
Raven Farley-Clark from Queen of Peace: This is a name known across the United States. Farley-Clark has been chosen for the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic Game. She plays AAU for the New Jersey Sparks EYBL Team and will play for LSU next year. Standing at 6’4″ there are few players who can even begin to guard Farley-Clark. Farley-Clark is easily able to see over all defenders for an uncontested shot. She has several post moves she uses as defensive weapons, but is also very consistent from the three-point line.