FRESH GAME: Every day in practice Foran coach Scott Nails makes a point to tell his star freshman, Taylor Ceballos, to look at all the all-state banners hanging inside the Lions' gym.

"Of all the sports in Foran high school, the longest running without an all-state player is girls basketball," Nails said. "The last one came in 1988. The banner is dusty and dirty. I tell her it's up to her to change that. I tell her she's an all-state player now."

Ceballos has been a revelation for the Lions (7-6) right from the get-go when she scored 25 points with 13 rebounds in the first game of the season on Dec. 5 in a loss to Career.

The 6-foot center hasn't slowed down, averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds in the face of consistent double-teaming.

What sets Ceballos apart from other freshmen, says Nails, is her raw strength. She's only scratching the surface on the rest of her game.

"She has very good footwork," Nails said. "She's just a big, strong kid. She still has a lot of learn. She doesn't even know how to use the lower half of her body, which is the scary part."

Ceballos' play has been so impressive that Nails tells anyone who'll listen she's worthy of all-state honors even if she's a newcomer on the high school scene.

"I don't want her to be judged as a freshman," he said. "Look at her stats and what she does every night."

More than that, Nails is hopeful that Ceballos and junior point guard Teneya McLaughlin can form a talented core for the Lions and move them into the upper echelon of the SCC in the coming years.

CHASING HATS: The Trumbull girls have the regular season thing down pat. Tuesday's 61-39 win over McMahon pushed the Eagles' record in the FCIAC to 43-4 over the last three seasons, including a league title in 2011.

As good as Trumbull's been -- it would be the No. 4 seed if the Class LL playoffs started today -- the Eagles, like the rest of the FCIAC are looking up at the state's No. 1-ranked team, Danbury.

"They're definitely going to be tough," Eagles coach Steve Tobitsch said earlier this week.

Trumbull (12-1) got a taste of what Danbury (13-0) would look like this season when it lost to the Hatters in the 2012 league title game. Danbury played that game without injured center Casey Smith, who tore her ACL in the semifinals, leaving twin sisters Rachel and Rebecca Gartner to run the show, using the championship game to announce their arrival as the dominant players in the FCIAC.

The pair, juniors now, haven't slowed down, as the Hatters have mowed down FCIAC competition. Danbury's closest game so far was a 54-35 win over Trinity Catholic last week.

"Guards always dominate the game in high school and they have two of them, that's why their scores are what they are," Tobitsch said. "If you have guards to control the tempo and protect the basketball, you'll win a lot of games. They don't only have one, they have two."

Danbury plays at Trumbull on Feb. 11, the last week of the regular season. It won't leave the Eagles much time to adjust heading into the FCIAC playoffs.

"One thing about our team is we are deep," Tobitsch said. "Our scorers aren't like Danbury. Whether we're ready or not, we'll have to put them in the fire."

The Eagles still do have seniors Alex Pfohl and Erin Moore -- key players on the 2011 FCIAC championship team. Sophmore Amanda Pfohl continues to improve while Lauren Hyde and Kate O'Leary have been solid role players off the bench.

Trumbull continues to play its tough defense, be it in the full or half-court. Defense is the main reason why the Eagles have only lost once -- to one-loss Stamford.

"The big thing for us is to score in the half-court," Tobitsch said. "If we can do that, we'll be very dangerous. The final seven games will be about trying to execute in the half court."

AROUND THE RIM: The SWC, unlike the FCIAC, has two powerhouse teams seemingly on a collision course for the league title. Pomperaug and Lauralton Hall have been rolling through the SWC, barely challenged. Pomperaug's closest league game was a 60-48 win over Kolbe Cathedral, while Lauralton only beat Newtown 50-44, otherwise it's been 20- and 30-point romps for the schools, which meet in Milford on Feb. 5. ... O'Brien Tech freshman Nicole Belade piled up 37 points in a 71-50 win over Wilcox Tech on Tuesday. It was impressive considering she only made one 3-pointer to rack up all those points.; @CTPostCardillo