Del Campo's Megan Roberson and Del Oro's Stephanie Geyer have much in common.
They're tall, punishing post players who, despite their considerable size advantage, often take their share of physical abuse because of it.
The seniors are the leaders of their teams, both of which have made the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff field after roller-coaster seasons.
The former AAU teammates also aren't blessed with bountiful physical gifts, other than their height. But through many hours of dedication and hard work, they have carved themselves into scholarship athletes.
Their college basketball careers will also be similar, yet decidedly different than most of their area scholarship peers.
Instead of having their lives mapped out for them the next four or five years, they're making a commitment that could last a decade or longer.
The 6-foot-4 Roberson will play at the Air Force Academy while the 6-1 Geyer heads for West Point.
Another coincidence? Neither knew anything about the Air Force or Army when they started to consider potential colleges.
"The Army wasn't even on my radar," Geyer said. "When (Army associate) coach Colleen Mullen first contacted me, I was excited and scared. I kept asking questions. I must have kept her on the phone for 45 minutes. But I was intrigued."
Geyer was sold once she toured the historic campus in West Point, N.Y., and took in the Army vs. Boston College football game last October.
"It's so beautiful that you know you're in a different world," Geyer said.
Roberson saw the Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a unique opportunity, even with the five-year military commitment that comes after college graduation.
"I knew I wanted to do something different," she said. "The campus is amazing, and I felt comfortable right away. The people are just awesome. If I'm going to be away from home that long, I want people around who are going to make it feel like family."
Both also saw the career opportunities. Geyer aspires to be a doctor, and Roberson has an interest in criminal justice.
"You graduate from college with a job," said Roberson, who will attend the Air Force Prep Academy in Colorado Springs for a year. "I couldn't pass that up considering the way the job situation is today for a lot of graduates."
Their high school coaches see a good fit for their leaders.
"Megan's best attributes are her competitiveness, determination and discipline," said Del Campo's Tyson Garcia. "She's got great leadership skills, and her best basketball is yet to come. I think Air Force will help her to continue to grow, and when all is said and done, she'll be an impact player at the next level."
Said Del Oro's Mike Takayama: "The military isn't right for everyone, but for Stephanie it seems like the right place. She's very organized, structured and intelligent. She always gives her best effort, whether its basketball or in the classroom."
Right now, both are shouldering the loads as their teams head into the playoffs. On Tuesday, No. 5 Del Oro plays host to No. 12 Tracy while No. 10 Del Campo travels to No. 7 Rocklin.
Already an accomplished defender and rebounder, Geyer also became the Golden Eagles' go-to scorer this season, averaging a career-high 15.8 points to go with 8.3 rebounds picking up for the loss of star guard Brianna Ruiz to a summer knee injury. Ruiz, who returned to play last week, and Geyer were co-Sierra Foothill League MVPs last season.
"Stephanie's evolved from being more of a defender who picked up garbage baskets to someone capable of hitting the mid-range jumper," Takayama said.
While Roberson's strengths are her shot blocking - her total of 207 blocks leads the state - and rebounding (14 per game), she's also averaging a career-best 12.2 points for the Cougars.
Roberson has worked hard on her shooting skills but admits to still being an offensive work in progress.
"My biggest asset always has been blocking someone's shot, so I resort to my strength," she said. "Blocking a shot for me is like making a three-pointer."
Geyer's nose was broken last season against Oak Ridge, and she was forced to wear a protective mask.
"Playing in the post is like wrestling two or three people while trying to put a ball in the basket," Geyer said. "I come home after games all scratched up."
Roberson said it's rare that she ever gets an uncontested shot near the basket.
"I'm usually getting double- or triple-teamed, so I've always got someone bumping or pushing me," Roberson said. "You just have to play through it."
As their high school careers wind down, both say they are amazed at how far they have come after initial struggles and reservations.
"There was a time in elementary school when I refused to play basketball because I was so tall and everyone expected me to," said Roberson, who played water polo in the fall and will swim in the spring for Del Campo. "Now, it's my passion."
Geyer, who played volleyball for the Golden Eagles, likes to poke fun at her formative years in basketball.
"I'm sure there's blackmail tape out there of me in seventh grade," Geyer said, laughing. "I spent more time on the ground than standing. I can still hear it now, 'Did Stephanie fall over, again?' "