When opponents are standing at midcourt, awaiting the tip off against the Longmont
girls basketball team, there's no doubt where their focus is drawn.
Trojans 6-foot-5 center Megan Carpenter
literally stands above the crowd, and beckons immediate "oh no" looks. But it's not Carpenter, whose development in the post has resulted in a scholarship to Oregon, who is the chief problem for the opposition.
It's not Tambre Haddock
, either, although the forward routinely outmuscles nearly everyone she faces and can score inside and on a sweet baseline jumper. Haddock, after all, is a budding Division I volleyball player, bound for Northern Colorado.
In actuality, the lone player who truly needs to be contained to have a chance at upending the Trojans is 5-foot-8 guard
. She might not have the immediate "wow" factor of Carpenter or Haddock, but that's before the jump ball.
Katuna is a scoring machine, one just as proficient at slashing to the hoop and scoring at odd angles with either hand as she is at drilling a 3-point shot. The senior, who will play at San Francisco next season, is averaging 22.6 points for the 8-0 Trojans, a legitimate contender for the Class 4A crown. She recently had a 35-point outing against 5A Arapahoe in the Heritage Holiday Hoopla semifinals against Arapahoe — a tournament the Trojans won the following day led by 24 more points from the sharpshooter.
"Her work ethic is one of a kind," Haddock said. "I've never seen anyone work as hard as she does. She's always shooting, playing one-on-one and just working on the things she needs to get better on. She strives for perfection and she'll do anything to get there."
Katuna admits being a perfectionist sometimes can be grinding in a game where no one is perfect – she was furious after the tournament win against Grandview because she went 9-for-15 at the free-throw line – but no one can fault her for not trying to elevate her game.
"Overall, my decision-making is getting better," Katuna said. "Also, I'm working on my mid-range game. I'm trying to build it up so everything isn't a layup or a 3-pointer."