Hilton Head Island's Greenberg, Jenkins lead Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette girls basketball All-Area team

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comMay 3, 2014 

Hilton Head Island High's Americal Jenkins, right, and coach Dave Greenberg lead the 2014 Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette All-Area Girls Basketball Team. Jenkins was named Player of the Year and Greenberg topped the voting in the Coach of the Year race.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

Americal Jenkins knows it might frustrate the basketball technicians on the sideline when she doesn't secure proper position after a shot goes up.

But coaches are mostly silent when it comes to the rebounding technique of the Hilton Head Island High School junior. Jenkins' natural instinct is to explode off the floor and go to the ball.

At 5-foot-11, her height and leaping ability are enough to dominate the glass on the high school level. Jenkins, The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year, led the area in rebounding with 16.2 per game.

"I think I just have a quicker release off the ground than most other girls, so I can get up there and get it before they can," said Jenkins, who said additional squats in the weight room have helped her explosiveness.

Her rebounding average is believed to be best in the state, though Seahawks coach Dave Greenberg doesn't know for sure. Jenkins added 12.7 points per game and helped the Hilton Head High girls reach the third round of the Class 3-A playoffs for what Hilton Head High officials say was the first time.

Jenkins is still early in her development as a player. She wants to continue to improve her ball-handling and shooting touch.

On the college level, her height won't be such an asset.

And so she plays AAU basketball with Seahawks teammate Savannah Reier and works on her dribbling skills during downtime.

"So hopefully next year I'll be able to cross somebody up maybe," Jenkins said with a laugh.

Jenkins had the opportunity at times to bring the ball up the floor this season. But for the most part, because of the Seahawks lack of size and depth, she had to remain close the basket.

Greenberg attributed Jenkins' rebound totals to her tenacity but also to a lack of competition for boards among her shorter teammates. He encourages his post player to gain proper position and seal off an opponent but knows her skill is in her instinct.

"She has a knack for anticipating where that ball's going to go and going and getting it," Greenberg said. "And that's why she's gotten so many offensive rebounds -- the shot goes up and boom, she's there all of a sudden."

Jenkins wants to play college basketball but isn't rushing. She said schools have contacted her AAU coach.

There should be a spot for her when the time comes.

The work will continue to become a more well-rounded player. And she feels the Seahawks have further business after the third-round loss to Crestwood.

"If we can make it all the way to third round with the team we had this year, just imagine what we could do next year," Jenkins said. "But we've just got to put in a lot of work over the summer."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Dave Greenberg, Hilton Head Island High School

Not long after Dave Greenberg started at Hilton Head Island High School a decade ago, he was invited back to Maryland to be inducted into the state's girls basketball coaching hall of fame.

With the Seahawks mired in a difficult season -- they would win only one game his first season -- Greenberg joked with a friend not to tell his colleagues in Maryland about his current record, or they might revoke the honor.

Greenberg had not realized when he accepted the position that his potential player pool was split with the opening of Bluffton High School. He had 10 players, including five freshmen.

The situation has improved since then.

Greenberg has enjoyed winning seasons and sent players to college. And his most recent team led him as far as he has been since moving here to retire.

The Seahawks reached the third round of the Class 3-A playoffs, the deepest they have gone , according to the team's statistician.

"It was tough, for the most part," said the 67-year-old Greenberg, The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. "Kids have bought into it. They're trying to do what we ask them. They really work hard and play hard and hopefully have become better skill-wise."

Greenberg has stuck to many of the same principles he used to lead Mt. Hebron (Md.) to six girls basketball championships. His teams rely on man-to-man defense and fundamentals.

He thinks his coaching career might close for good soon but said he enjoys being at the school and around the program.

"Some people like changing things, trying to confuse people," Greenberg said. "We spend a lot of time teaching them to do things the right way."

Greenberg felt the Seahawks only lost one game they should have won this season. The rest were deeper teams with more size, he said.

Hilton Head High relied on a core of six players with the rest working to push the others in practice. The coach thought those in supporting roles helped the Seahawks reach the third round.

"Our kids really played hard and played at a level higher than we anticipated," he said.

Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.

Player of the Year: Americal Jenkins, Hilton Head High

Coach of the Year: Dave Greenberg, Hilton Head High

FIRST TEAM

G Lauryn Bush, HHH

Comment: Returned from major injury, playing in a brace, and was the Seahawks' most versatile player

Stats: 10 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.8 spg, 3 apg

G Dasji'a Cannon, BC

Comment: All-state selection carried Dolphins to third round in Class 2-A

Stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.9 spg, 2.7 apg

F Ziaira Doe, HHCA

Comment: Sophomore was a first-team all-region selection and led three Eagles averaging double figures

Stats: 17.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 spg, 1.9 apg, 1 bpg

F Americal Jenkins, HHH

Comment: All-state selection believed to have led the state in rebounding

Stats: 12.7 ppg, 16.2 rpg, 4.8 spg, 2.3 bpg

G Kemoni Jenkins, WB

Comment: All-state guard helped led area in assists as Warriors claimed second consecutive Region 5-A title

Stats: 14.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5 apg, 4.6 spg

SECOND TEAM

G Tiffany Banks, HHH

Stats: 7.4 ppg, 5 spg, 2.6 apg

F Shaniqua Johnson, WB

Stats: 10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg

F Baylor Davis, BLF

Stats: 7.1 ppg, 4.3 spg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 apg

G Taniqua Mungin, BC

Stats: 10.3 ppg, 2.8 spg

G Miranda Weslake, BA

Stats: 24.2 ppg, 4.1 spg, 3.3 rpg

HONROABLE MENTION

Brianna Tolbert, BC

Ericka Alston, BC

Macee Tamminen, HHCA

Andy Anderson, HHCA

Monica Bundy, HHCA

Dynasty Mervin, BLF

Diamon Smalls, BLF

Mattie Hibbs, BFT

Savannah Reier, HHH

Rachel Friend, HHH

Kendall Smith, HHP

NyJae Boozer, R-H

Jayme Chisholm, R-H

Jonae Riley, WB

Cheyenne Rogers, WB

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