Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Double Trouble at Mandarin; Moultrie Twins Give Opposing Teams Fits with Quickness

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Double Trouble at Mandarin; Moultrie Twins Give Opposing Teams Fits with Quickness

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER, The Times-Union

Coaches often compliment players, saying, "It looked like there were two of them out there."

In the case of Kristina and Kyrina Moultrie, that is simply a statement of fact.

Coaches heaping praise on the identical twin guards for Mandarin's girls basketball team, have to multiply their acclaims by at least two.

And sometimes three or four.

"They can make you crazy," Parker coach Kenny Kallina said. "If you're handling the ball and you see one, the question you have to ask is where is the other one. And by the time you figure out where she is, she has probably already come up and swiped the the ball away."

Kristina and Kyrina aren't prototypical basketball players. At 5 feet 3, they are frequently among the shortest players on the floor. While Kyrina averages 9.5 points per game -- Kristina averages 5.8 -- their shooting doesn't scare opposing teams. It's the twins' defense that can make opponents swear they are seeing double, which isn't just hyperbole in this case.

Together, Kristina and Kyrina average 11 steals per game. Much of that has do to with their quickness and their seemingly unflagging energy -- Mustangs coach Trisha McCarter only substitutes for them when they are in foul trouble -- but it also has to do with the two knowing what the other is going to do before it happens, and a special defensive play the two have developed together.

While one of the twins forces the player she is guarding to turn her back to the basket, the other will work her way around the play. While the ball-handler is using her body to post up one twin, the other swoops in to steal the ball.

Kristina and Kyrina don't talk about the play, which is good for at least three steals a game. They don't signal each other to start it, and it is not something they were taught or work on in practice. It just developed as the two played together.

"We just do it," Kyrina said. "If it looks like we can get the steal, then we just go for it. …

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