Silver Knights Search for Success
The Tyler Consolidated girls basketball team will have a new look this season under newly hired head coach Ben Thomas and assistant coach Tommy Phillips. A veteran squad returns for the Silver Knights, with five seniors returning from last year. Coach Thomas hopes to mold this group into a tough foe for all their opponents.
Back from last season will be four seniors who will form the nucleus of the team. All four players have varsity experience and should provide a strong core of experience for the younger girls to follow. Returning for their fourth year will be JoLee Walton, Josey Jones, Peyton Kocher and Miranda Weekley.
Walton, who averaged 11 points and six rebounds last season, is a much-improved player. She works well around the basket, is a deadly foul shooter and can hit the jumper. She is also a good defender who goes after the loose balls and positions herself well as a rebounder. She is a smart player with a good knowledge of the game.
Jones plays the whole court and can do about anything. If the Knights need scoring, she can go to the basket and can hit from outside. Her court awareness makes her a threat on both sides of the ball. She’s an unselfish player who likes to get everyone involved. Last season she racked up 14 points and four steals a game. Her quickness and ability to get to the loose balls will play a big part in the Silver Knights’ success.
Kocher will share time handling the ball with Jones and Weekley. All three are capable of breaking a press or getting the ball up court quickly. Kocher is not just a ball handler, however, as she has a great touch from the outside. Last season she was one of the leading three point scorers in the valley with 49, while averaging 13 points a game. She will be able to stretch the defense to open up the floor for the other players.
Weekley saw plenty of playing time last season and has come into her own as a player for her senior season. She will start at one guard spot for the Knights and at times will control the offense. One of Weekley’s strengths is her passing; she likes to look for the open person but will take the shot if left alone.
“We have some skilled girls returning from last season, and we are hoping to build upon their past success. Some of these girls can flat out shoot the ball, and along with that, they play good defense, pass the ball well, and hit the boards pretty hard. Lack of height will be the biggest obstacle for us to overcome, so we will try and use our speed, hustle and court knowledge to overcome that. Josey Jones is a very good basketball player, and she will be one of our leaders. The rest of the team will feed off of her court presence. We play a tough schedule; there won’t be an easy game for us, but we will give a good effort and we won’t go down easy either,” said Coach Thomas.
“Our youth will collide with experience, as we have several younger players on the court with a plethora of experience in our seniors. Also returning for the Knights is the other potential starter Regan Smith, who started and played a few games as a freshman. She will be counted on to crash the boards and do some of the dirty work under the basket.
These returning players are goinG to be the bread and butter of the team no doubt.
The seniors have been playing together for several years and really know how to gel.
They understand their strengths and weakness and play complimentary ball,” Coach Thomas added.
Thomas said the Knights have several freshmen and sophomores to work with, and the expectations for them will be the same as the seasoned players. He expects people are going to see high octane, high energy, high scoring, fast, physical, and fun basketball from the Silver Knights in 2018-19.
Rounding out the varsity squad and looking for playing time will be junior Summer Miller, who could get a lot of time around the basket; freshman Caleigh Phillips, who is also looking to help out and can play most any position on the floor; junior Allie Miller, who gives the Knights more strength underneath and has a nice touch around the basket; junior Madison Craven, who is working hard to get some playing time – as are sophomores Kelsi Vandruff and Eden Turner. Look for the Knights to use a number of players in every contest. With their style of ball they will try and wear the opposition down.
The Lady Knights open up on the road against South Harrison on Friday, Nov. 30.