Rochester John Marshall's Lilly Meister was asked for her assessment of Anna Miller. What she came up with seemed dead on.
"It seems as if she plays a lot like me," she said.
Meister is a 6-feet-2 sophomore, while the 6-3 Miller is a Rochester Mayo junior center. Both play inside and out on the basketball floor, both are extremely mobile, both have silky touches and range, and both are non-stop players.
So similar were they Thursday night that their respective greatness cancelled each other out. Miller finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Meister with 23 points and 12 boards.
It was Miller who left the JM gym smiling, though, her team a 53-42 Big Nine Conference winner. It evened the score with JM, which left Mayo's gymnasium on Dec. 3 a one-point winner.
It also kept Mayo sizzling. The Spartans have won seven straight and 11 of their last 12. They're 10-3 in the league, 12-4 overall.
JM, which had won four of its previous five games, is 8-4, 10-6.
As good as Miller and Meister were, the difference in the contest ultimately was their supporting cast. While nobody else contributed more than six points for JM, Mayo got 10 points from guard Mullk Hammadelniel and nine from guard Elli Collins.
"They had a few more kids score points than we did tonight, and a few more kids contribute overall," JM coach Phil Schroeder said. "Their kids are a little bit older than ours, and stronger. And nobody in the Big Nine has the kind of length that Mayo does throughout its lineup. You have to try to attack them a little bit differently."
Still, without Miller, Mayo likely wouldn't have finished the night with smiles. She, just like Meister, was that good.
Slender, but wiry strong and with unusual speed for her size, Miller got things done all over the floor, be it scoring, ballhandling, defense, rebounding or passing. And she was particularly lethal when she'd catch the ball right around the free throw line. She was nailing jumpers from there, or zooming around the defense off the dribble.
"You can tell she's put a lot into her game," Schroeder said.
Not much was missing from Anna Miller on Thursday. That included plenty of incentive to have a sterling night.
"It's fun to go against someone as good as Lilly, because I don't get that kind of competition nearly every game," Miller said of Meister, who's already been offered a scholarship by Minnesota and a host of other Division I schools. "But tonight was definitely one of my better games of the season."
Miller concurred that her unusual speed played an integral role for her, as it does every game.
"Speed helps," she said. "People don't really expect it."
What pleased Mayo coach Ryan Carpenter most about his star center was her IQ. A terrific student, Miller also showed off her intellect between the lines.
"I was just pleased that she kept making the right play," Carpenter said. "Sometimes, in a matchup like that, you can get caught up in things."
Carpenter was also pleased that his entire team seemed to follow her lead, making wise moves and staying unruffled.
JM didn't have that same kind of luck. Turnovers were a big problem for the Rockets, including losing the ball eight times after intermission.
"We have to be calmer with the ball," Meister said.
Mayo 53, John Marshall 42
Mullk Hammadelniel 10 P, 2 3-PT; Lynnsey Hady 5 P, 1 3-PT; Anna Miller 22 P, 11 R; Nancy Soro 5 P; Elli Collins 9 P, 1 3-PT; Jess Kunkel 2 P.
JOHN MARSHALL (42)
Tori Gateno 4 P, 1 3-PT; Emma Jones 1 P; Katie Hurt 5 P, 1 3-PT; Jenna Boisen 6 P; Alexa Motley 3 P, 1 3-PT; Lilly Meister 23 P, 12 R, 2 3-PT.
Halftime: MAYO 25, JM 21.
Free throws: MAYO 9-14, JM 11-14.
Three-point goals: MAYO 4, JM 5.