Michelle Meyers is a good basketball player at a school known for its great ones. Her leadership and aggressiveness is what separates her from the others at Mater Dei.
Meyers was in peak form on the court in the fourth quarter of Friday night's 57-53 victory over Ventura Buena in the Southern Section Division I-A girls' basketball championship game.
She shouted encouragement to her teammates, dived for a ball on the floor, forced a steal, then kept the possession-arrow guy busy the last few minutes by tying up three loose balls.
Meyers played the entire second half, finishing with a modest seven points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes as the Monarchs won their first girls' basketball title.
"I think my biggest role this year was to be a leader," said Meyers, a 5-foot-10 forward. "I wanted to be vocal on the court and make sure everybody knows what's going on and keep the team unified."
Meyers has stepped it up on offense lately. In the Monarchs' 13-point semifinal victory over Fountain Valley, she scored 17 points for her second-highest total this season.
In four playoff games, she's averaging 11.3 points, after averaging fewer than 10 in the regular season. One of only two seniors on the team, Meyers admits she wouldn't mind scoring in double digits more often.
"I've realized that I have more potential (to score)," she said. "So now I want to make up for all that time and show everyone how much better I can play."
The next hurdle for Mater Dei will be the State playoffs, which begin Tuesday against Los Angeles Washington Prep at the Bren Center. Although the path has been unchartered by the Monarchs, Meyers has been there before.
Two years ago, she played on a State championship team in Pennsylvania where she was the first person off the bench and contributed every game.
Her father, Bill, offensive line coach for the Raiders, coached football at the University of Pittsburgh and for the Steelers during that time.
"She was the sixth girl off the bench, she played a lot and contributed," Bill Meyers said. "She has stayed very close to those coaches and they still call to see how she's doing and how the team's doing."
Growing up in a coach's household had its share of difficulties for Meyers. Her father went from Notre Dame to the Green Bay Packers, then to Pittsburgh with a stop at the University of Missouri, before settling in Southern California.
"(The move to California) was easily my hardest because it happened in the middle of high school," she said. "I went through my freshman and sophomore years establishing friendships and then having to start all over knowing that in two years I'll have to go again."
Where she is going and if she will continue to play basketball next year is still unknown, but at the moment Meyers is hoping to attend Stanford, where her father studied and played football.
"Academics come first for me," said Meyers, who has a 4.0 grade-point average. I'd love to play basketball in college, but I'm not sure right now if I will or not. It just depends on the opportunity."
Given the opportunity, Meyers, who is drilled in the art of dedication and time management, gives of herself completely. "Everything she does, she puts herself into totally," Bill Meyers said. She's a unique child."
And keeping a busy schedule, Meyers said, makes life easier in the long run.
"Being involved in a lot of activities gets hectic during basketball, but it helps you have a time schedule," she said. "Yeah, there are days when I might not get to school exactly on time or I'll take a five-hour nap on Saturdays, but somehow it all comes together."