Prep girls basketball: Murray freshman leads rebuilding Spartans

Prep girls basketball • Leiter is averaging more than 10 points per game over her last nine games.
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Right now, Bailey Leiter is all enthusiasm and promise.

The 5-foot-11 Murray High freshman is a major contributor in coach Lisa White's effort to rebuild a program that went winless in 2012.

Leiter owns all the physical tools and has shown flashes of what might come in the future.

"She better be all-state by the time she's a junior," White said. "If she's not, then I haven't done my job. If she's contributing like this now, she'd better be all-state."

Not that White hasn't enjoyed the freshman.

"She's comical. She's like, 'Whatever,' " White said with a laugh.

Murray already had won 12 games entering this week and displayed the ability to overcome a large lead on the road. The Spartans recently battled back from an 11-point deficit at Herriman.

Christina Milne's 3-point basket proved to be the game-winner, but it was Leiter's offensive rebounding and scoring in the final period that fueled the comeback.

Leiter finished with 13 points, the majority coming late.

"It was very intense," said Leiter, 15.

Intense, yes, but she embraced the moment to display growing skills.

"When I get on the court, it feels like that's it," she said. "I've always enjoyed it."

There have been other sports, but only to pass the time before basketball season begins.

It's been that way since second grade.

"It felt really natural," she said. "I started messing around when I was really young."

Overall, Leiter is Murray's second-leading scorer behind Brittany Golder at more than 7 points a game. That averaged has increased to 10.6 points over the last nine games.

"We like her attacking because that's when she's at her best," White said. "That's what makes her a great freshman right now because that stuff — being aggressive and banging, attacking the basket — is hard to teach.

"There hasn't been a game that we haven't needed her."

White returned to coaching after Murray's abysmal 0-21 season in 2012. The veteran coach has had to blend a team of mostly freshmen and seniors.

And according to Leiter, the seniors have been welcoming.

"They are probably the best teammates I've ever had," she said.

Said White, "I told them right from the start, we're all equal."

When it comes to basketball skills, Leiter wants to be more than equal. If she wants to achieve her dream of playing major college basketball — Notre Dame or Utah are her schools of choice right now — the work never will end.

"I need to work on post moves," said Leiter, who is confident that she has at least one more growth spurt. "My ball handling and dribbling so I can be a threat at every position."