Coach Jill English is used to having a star player on her girls basketball team at South Lakes. This year isn't any different as Terri Bradley leads the Seahawks with outstanding skills on both defense and offense.

Christy Winters, now a starter for the 12th-ranked University of Maryland team, led the Seahawks to a Virginia AAA state championship in 1986. That year Winters was selected as All-Met Player of the Year and High School Second Team all-America.

Last year as a junior, Bradley began to emerge as a top player in the Northern Region despite her team's third-place finish in the district and loss to Robinson in the first round of the Northern Region tournament. Last summer the 5-6 guard was the only high school girl to be selected to the East Team in the Olympic Festival, and is now considered by some coaches to be the region's best player.

This season started slowly for Bradley, but as she has gained momentum following an an intense summer of competition and learned to deal with heavy recruiting pressure, she has proven herself to be a dominant force on the Great Falls District-leading Seahawks (12-4 overall; 10-0 in the district, pending the result of Tuesday's game against Madison).

Among the top nine scorers in the region, Bradley can shoot confidently from anywhere on the court. But her scoring average (16.7 ppg.) can be deceiving as she is part of a program that stresses teamwork over individual achievement. That attitude has led the Seahawks to three Great Falls District and two Northern Region titles and that state title in 1986.

"I {demand} unselfishness and teamwork. I don't like to concentrate on one or two players on offense," English explained. "If I have an outstanding player I don't gear my offense to that one person. If you do that they will shut you down. Your outstanding players are strong enough that they will get the points anyway."

Bradley has gotten the points (251 points in 15 games) and she has created opportunities for other players to score. According to English, Bradley's passing is one of her best skills. At the beginning of the season the Seahawks had trouble distributing the ball evenly on offense. But Bradley's outstanding passing -- she averages five assists per game -- and English's emphasis on teamwork has helped create a balanced scoring attack.

"They are the team to beat. They really meshed as a team and I think that's what has given them their strength," explained Langley Coach Howard Herman.

Senior Kitty Painter, a 5-8 guard, is a strong outside shooter (12 ppg.) with the ability to shoot the three-pointer.

"We need her (Painter's) scoring punch to do well," English said. "She's the type of player that you don't notice much...other teams at times forget about Kitty and she'll hurt them."

Lisa Fischer averages four points in the point guard position. The 5-4 junior is the floor leader and a key player in organizing the offense and defense.

Junior Trina Saunders is a strong asset to the Seahawks man-to-man defense. The role of the 5-9 forward is to shut down the toughest offensive opponent, and her quickness has been a key factor on her team's fast break as she averages eight points per game.

As a 6-1 center, Carla Casey also plays a key defensive role. The junior averages eight rebounds and two blocked shots per game while adding eight points for the Seahawks.

Bradley is perhaps the strongest on defense with 13 rebounds and four steals per game. "She obviously has a tremendous amount of talent. No one in the region can match up to her combination of speed, jumping and shooting. It is what she does defensively that causes us the most problems," said McLean Coach Fred Priester. "No matter where she is on the floor you still have to be aware of her. She can hurt you with the rebound and the steals. It is very hard to dominate a game from the guard position, but she comes as close to being able to do that as anybody."

"When she comes to play, I don't think there is anybody better in the region. She's who they go to when they need a bucket," Herman said. Bradley has also proven to be a leader on the court. "She's not selfish...she's an excellent passer."

As they near season's end, the Seahawks will be out to regain the district title, which they held for three straight seasons before last year. Despite dominance so far, Langley and McLean should prove tough competition. But Bradley thinks that winning the title would be a great way to top off her high school career.