Tandreia Green, a 5-foot-11 forward, has brought to Interhigh basketball a rare style for girl players: defense and rebounding. But she cannot find a way to stay out of foul trouble.
Green, a junior at Woodson, leads the Interhigh in rebounding and ranks among the top five in scoring, but her aggressiveness has forced her to miss considerable playing time.
Several weeks ago when Woodson played at Anacostia, Green scored 18 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and blocked five shots despite fouling out early in the final period. The Warriors won easily, 97-9.
But last week, Green got into early foul trouble, missed two quarters, and No. 2 ranked Woodson suffered its first defeat in 20 games, 54-52, to Crossland in the semifinals of the IAABO tournament. The Warriors had won their first nine this season.
"Most girls in the league, all they want to do is shoot, and you try to teach them to be aggressive, strong on the defensive end," said Woodson's Coach Bob Headen, who directed the Warriors to a 29-1 record last winter and an Interhigh Championship.
"It's like that among the boys, too. Everyone wants the limelight.
"But I had to teach and encourage Green to shoot the ball when she first joined the team. All she wanted to do was rebound and play defense."
"Judging from her performance last season, Green has definitely improved a great deal," said Anacostia Head Coach Patricia Briscoe.
"It would be unfair for me to say that she is the best forward in the league because I haven't seen all the teams play yet, but she could very well be the best. Her aggressive style of play . . . you have to admire it."
Although Green averaged just under 15 points last season (third best on the team), it was her defense -- she averaged 17 rebounds (523) and three blocked shots a game -- that earned her all-Met honors.
"Actually we didn't need her scoring last season because we had DeLinda (Hastie, one of two all-Met players who graduated) and Kammy (Brown) doing most of the shooting," said Headen.
"But with the loss of DeLinda (and her 20 points per game) we needed another scoring player and Green had to fill the void."
Although Green disapproved of the role at the start of the season, she has become an effective offensive weapon and is now considered by Headen, "the best all-around forward in the league. She can't be stopped."
"I was comfortable with my role as a rebounder, and didn't think that I could be effective hustling hard for rebounds and then racing to the other end of the court to set up in scoring position," said Green, who is averaging 18 points (second best to Brown's 20) and a league-leading 20.8 rebounds a game.
"But a weight-lifting program and conditioning myself before the season started has really given me the strength to play well at both ends of the court."
Green displayed her impeccable scoring and rebounding talents during a game against Seton earlier in the year. Held to just four points at intermission, Green scored 13 in the final quarter, pulled down a career-best 26 rebounds, and blocked four shots to lead Woodson to a 53-44 victory over Seton.
Against Eastern, Green scored 19 points, hauled down 26 rebounds and blocked five shots.
"She is definitely one of the best rebounders I've seen play," said Seton Head Coach Ginny Pontious. "She positions herself so well under the basket and hustles for the ball."
"That's her greatest asset," said Headen. "She knows how to move well without the ball and get in great position."
But Green's weak point, fouling, has been a concern to her coaches and herself.
"She's got to learn to stay out of foul trouble," said Headen. "She's so aggressive she commits a lot of unnecessary fouls."
"I grew up playing basketball mostly with the boys," said Green. "So I'm very physical. With the girls, I have to be a little more gentle. But I'll adjust."
During sixth grade at McGodney Elementary school, Green was a member of the boys team. Her efforts helped McGodney win a championship.
About the only thing the all-star forward hasn't achieved in her illustrious career is to lead a team to an undefeated season.
"I guess I can say that I have accomplished a lot during my ball playing," said Green. "But helping the team (Woodson) to a perfect season would be great. It's my ultimate goal. We won't do it this season, but I'll have another chance next year."