Warrior basketball finish its seasons at the state tournament
Feb 24, 2020 03:19PM
● By Greg James
Warrior senior Olivia Ashton (No. 120 has played basketball since her ninth grade year. This season, she has averaged 11.4 points per game. (Photo courtesy of Greg James/City Journals.)
By Greg James | [email protected]
It has been a memorable season in the gym at Taylorsville high school this season.
The Warriors boys team started the season winning four of their first five games, reaching a crescendo against Brighton on its home court.
The game was a back-and-forth affair throughout the entire contest. Taylorsville trailed by five in the fourth quarter and defensively managed to keep the game close. Junior Eric Giang generated extra possessions with five steals. Brighton hit two free throws with less than 20 seconds to take a one-point lead. A Warrior timeout ensued to set up the final play.
They inbounded the ball and began to bring it up the court. Giang and senior Cole Nebeker traded passes as the clock ran down. Giang tried to drive, but the defense cut off his path, and he was forced to pitch it back out to Nebeker near the bench. With three seconds left he drove toward the hoop and threw up a leaner that hit nothing but the bottom of the net for a 52-51 victory.
The win led Taylorsville into region where it finished 7-3.
Senior Cameron Millican led the team in scoring averaging 19.6 points per game; sophomore James Gavin averaged nine points.
The boys placed third in Region 2. Their only losses in region came to Cyprus and West Jordan (region champions).
The team finished the season ranked 16th in the ratings performance index. The RPI is the new rankings system used by the UHSAA to seed the state playoffs. The Warriors defeated American Fork 67-52 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs on Feb. 19, then fell to No. 1 seed Davis on Feb. 21.
Boys head coach Bernie Graziano finished up his third season for the Warriors. Last season they did not qualify for the state tournament. Their last appearance in the tournament was 2015, when they lost to Viewmont in the first round 70-44.
The girls rebounded from a disappointing preseason. At one point, they lost eight games in a row but rallied to finish second to Hunter in Region 2.
Senior Olivia Ashton and junior Calleigh Deyoung both averaged 11.4 points per game to lead the Lady Warriors.
In her second year at the helm of the girls team, Reggie Jewkes helped the Warriors to a 9-13 overall record.
"We got off to a rocky start. Our record should be better than it is,” Jewkes said.
They finished the season ranked 16th in the RPI losing at home to Weber on Feb. 18, 44-31 in the first round of the playoffs.