Adjusting to high school sports is difficult, even for the most naturally gifted athlete. So is handling the pressure of not meeting high expectations early in one's career. But after two years' maturation, junior Lisa Allen has left the bench to become the leading scorer and co-captain of the Parkdale girls basketball team.

Last Thursday, Allen scored a career-high 40 points and had seven assists to lead an 80-58 Prince George's AA league victory over Northwestern.

Averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game, Allen has become the focal point of the Panthers (5-7 overall, 4-5 in the league).

"She's just a natural athlete," said Coach Skip Davis, "but when she first came here, she was probably only a 5 on a scale of 10. She's improved drastically; she's probably an 8.5 or a 9.0 now with still another season to go."

Allen can not only score in double figures, but she is able handle double-teams and still pass to a teammate.

"One side of me says I have to score; the other side says don't worry about it," Allen said. "So I figure, whatever comes natural is what I do -- just play as a team and my points will come.