Wauwatosa East senior Katie Salmon grabbed the rebound and took off down the court like a greyhound, out-raced the other nine players on the floor and softly put in the layup.
A 6-foot-1-inch forward shouldn't be able to move that fast, nor handle the ball that well.
As a result of plays like that, Salmon was named to the NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team for the second straight season. It is a tremendous honor, as Salmon is one of only 12 players selected from the 26 communities we cover.
When asked what was the strongest part of her game, the Red Raiders MVP never hesitated with her answer.
"Running in the transition game," she said. "Getting a rebound and pushing it up the court."
Salmon was first-team All-Greater Metro Conference after being second team last year and high honorable mention as a sophomore. She was also WBCA All-State Honorable Mention.
She finished first in Division 2 scoring with a 20.8 points per game mark (wissports.net) and was No. 2 in the Greater Metro Conference scoring with an 18.4 points average in GMC games.
Salmon can also be found in the school record book, finishing second in career points with 1106.
In addition to her many accomplishments, Salmon also really enjoyed playing for coach Rob Hamill for four seasons.
"It definitely was a good thing," she said. "I was pulled up (to the varsity) as a freshman. He kind of saw something in me. He felt I had the potential. I realized that, and it carried over."
Hamill saw a lot of talent in Salmon, but he also knew she had things to work on.
"When Katie came into our program it was clear she was athletic, had good instincts and could make things happen, especially on defensive end," he recalled. "But I think she would be the first to admit that proper shooting form was really not part of her basketball repertoire.
"That was something she sought out and made happen through lots of hours in the gym doing it right once shown how. She really wanted to know, and once it was understood, she wouldn't stop until she had it."
Hamill also praised her work ethic and focus.
"She showed what it meant to have a goal and work to make it happen," he said. "She didn't wait for someone to make things happen for her. She saw it was in her hands to take the raw talent she had and turn it into something."
Salmon, who was happy she committed to Loyola University Chicago before the season, knows she has to continue to work on her game on the next level.
"Working on my shooting is the number one thing," she said. "But I have to kind of work on everything. This (college) is a big transition. Different players, bigger, stronger. All parts of my game has to get better."
It was a good season for the Red Raiders, who were tops in total and offensive rebounds in school history. They were also third in all-time free throws and free throws made and fifth all-time in total points scored. They also finished above .500 with a 12-11 record.
"I didn't know what to expect," Salmon said. "They're (some of the younger players) were very talented. It was fun to play with girls who were basketball players. We had a lot of athletes in the past, but now we had girls whose main focus was basketball."
Hamill praised the leadership qualities of his seniors — Salmon, Natalie Patton and Averie Manke — and credited them with his team's success.
"They were really responsible for providing stability and leadership for a young squad," he said. "Katie in particular was not a vocal type of leader, but rather a leader by example.
"Clearly a competitive person, she showed what it meant to be internally motivated to be better. If they chose to recognize it in the future, those that played with her this year will have a model to draw upon when things get tough."
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- Girls Soccer: Wauwatosa East kickers go 2-1 at Mt. Prospect Invitational, lose to DSHA, beat Homestead
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