LONGMONT -- She started out bashful when it came to shooting the ball, but midway through last season Silver Creek's Emilie Rembert broke out of her scoring shell.
The Raptors' leading scorer as a sophomore, Rembert responded when head coach Dan Kloster demanded she shoot the ball a certain number of times each game. Now a junior and the team's undisputed top scorer, Rembert no longer needs any such requirement.
Rembert knows her team needs her to score and she's plenty comfortable shouldering the responsibility.
"I've become more confident, especially driving to the basket," Rembert said. "I used to sit on the outside and just shoot more. Being a junior now, I've become more confident in my position and being a leader on the floor."
Last season, Rembert averaged 6.8 points per game through the first 12 games. In the Raptors' final 12 games, she averaged 15.3 points per contest.
Rembert is averaging 16.7 points per game through three games this season. She opened the season with a 26-point effort against Wheat Ridge, scored 14 points in a quarter during a 70-point blowout of KIPP Denver Collegiate and led the Raptors with 10 points against a defensively-tough Denver East squad.
Put simply, Rembert is a matchup nightmare.
Listed at 6 feet tall and also a track athlete, quick post moves with both hands and the ability to shoot from the perimeter make Rembert a dual threat. Whichever approach seems most beneficial against her team's current opponent is the one Rembert takes.
"I just see my defender. If they're smaller than me, I'll take them down in the post," she said. "If they're bigger than me, I'll shoot from the outside or dribble penetrate. A lot of it depends on my team, they give me the assists and we run the offense together. My team is behind me."
Kloster also said if opponents double-team Rembert, that will create opportunities for other Raptors shooters.
"Guarding a player like Emilie is really tough to do," Kloster said. "You've gotta have a big player who can move fast and not many teams do."
Ranked seventh in 4A, the Raptors are off to a 2-1 start. Their only loss came in the Fairview Festival tournament against Denver East, one of the top teams in Class 5A.
The Raptors return a veteran group after graduating two seniors last season. Rembert, who has hit five 3-pointers in the Raptors' first three games, said she feels honored to have been voted a team captain along with senior Shelby Keil and junior Margaret Davis.
Normally, the players vote on two captains and Kloster names the third if need be. The players alone elected this year's trio and Kloster was not surprised to see Rembert was one of the top three vote-getters.
"She's got a great attitude. She works hard and every day she gets a little better," Kloster said. "That's really one of the big positives she brings. Emilie is always there to pat someone on the back or help them up. And she works as hard as anyone, all my captains do, and leads by example."
Despite amassing the second-best record (18-6) in school history, the Raptors lost a fourth-quarter lead and were eliminated by Delta in the second round of last year's state tournament. Rembert said her primary goal is to help the Raptors advance as far as possible in the playoffs this year.
"As a junior, I obviously have one more year left and I want to go as far as possible this year and next year," Rembert said. "Our goal is to get to the Final Four and beyond that would be amazing. We're just going to shoot for as far as we can go."
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