“She’s been a big part of our success, and she’s not even a ‘true’ post player,” Henderson said. “She’s very athletic and she’s a very good perimeter shooter, too.” Freshman guard/forward Malika Jackson and junior center Nikki Troncoso have made big impacts, too. Others who have made key contributions include junior guards Nichole Roque and Zanedra Merriweather, sophomore guard Gelenda Loving, and freshman 6-1 center Anttanisha Moton. Post presence: Lancaster coach John Gallen cited his team’s glaring lack of a significant low-post presence as a key factor in his team’s 46-40 loss Friday to Palmdale. Lancaster led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter and had a 10-point halftime lead. The Eagles (12-5, 2-1) will look to adjust to their lack of height when the teams meet again Jan. 27. Gallen said his team likely will have to double-team some of Palmdale’s taller post players, a strategy he acknowledged could be fraught with peril. “The thing is they do have a good perimeter (shooting) game,” Gallen said. “They could really hurt us.” Gideon Rubin, (818)713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Considering third-year school Knight High is fielding its first varsity team, with no seniors, growing pains have been expected. These days, it the Hawks’ opponents that are feeling them. Knight (9-9 overall, 2-1 in Golden League heading into Wednesday) has emerged as the league’s big surprise story. Depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s game between Knight and Highland (7-5, 2-0) the Hawks could find themselves playing for a share of first place in league Friday when they visit Palmdale at 6 p.m. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Three-time league champion Palmdale (7-9, 2-0) will be a prohibitive favorite, but that Knight is even in a title race is itself remarkable. “It’s a unique situation,” Knight coach Danny Henderson said. “We’re obviously a very young team, but we don’t want to throw away this season. We’re expecting to make the playoffs.” Crucial to the Hawks’ success has been the emergence of junior forward Jahne Williams, who leads the team averaging 17.1 points and 11.6 rebounds. Williams scored 31 points in a 62-39 victory Friday over defending co-champion Antelope Valley. She scored 30 in a 50-47 victory Dec. 29 over East Anchorage, Alaska, in an Ayala of Chino Hills tournament game. An exceptional all-around athlete, the 5-foot-10 Williams is the defending league shot put champion.