Taylorsville basketball players taking their talents to WashingtonJul 01, 2022 11:35AM ● By Greg James
By Greg James | [email protected]
Taylorsville girls basketball has signed, packaged and shipped two girls onto the next level.
“These girls are special to me,” Warriors girls head basketball coach Reggie Jewkes said. “They are the first kids I have seen all the way through. I started out with them at Taylorsville and I have worked with them for four years. I believe they were two of the best players in the state. They were just overlooked.”
The season came and went, and no collegiate offers came.
“Recruiting is different nowadays. Coaches look at the stats and say 'oh this kid must be pretty good.' Then they make contact,” Jewkes said.
The stats for Ella Huntington and Hinei Aukusitino did not jump off the page. By the numbers, they were average at best.
“They did everything else. Ella had steals and rebounds. They both did it all for us. Hinei and Ella needed to go onto the next level,” Jewkes said.
Local colleges asked for video highlights but said they had already made offers and would need to wait to see if they were accepted. Jewkes decided to reach out to out-of-state schools to gauge interest. The extra effort made a huge difference.
“We were not going to sit around and wait. Now we have had several coaches interested. They both went from nothing to many offers to consider and make decisions about,” Jewkes said.
Clark College had all that they wanted. It is located in Vancouver, Washington. The school was founded in 1933 as a two-year junior college. The Penguins are members of the Northwest Athletic Conference.
“The coach is a good coach and just talking to him I knew this could be a good fit. He is a good guy and they have a good program,” Jewkes said.
Clark finished with a 9-18 overall record last season. Paul Cannon is the team's head coach and has been at the school for four seasons. He comes with a background in sports training and was a boys coach at a Vancouver high school.
“The girls wanted to play together. It has made it so nice for them to stay together, it worked out. I think our region gets overlooked. We don’t have the Binghams and Corner Canyons, but I think coaches just look at the stats. That can be limited. I think these two flew under the radar because they are not super flamboyant. Their games speak for themselves,” Jewkes said. “They were both team captains and team leaders. They are both good students and like to help others.”
Huntington is a 5-foot-5-inch guard. She has done several humanitarian projects. She once traveled to Peru for humanitarian efforts. She averaged 11.1 points per game last season. In her Warrior career, she scored 723 points and averaged 3.4 rebounds. This season she grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds against Kearns on Feb.8. She scored a career-high 25 points against West Jordan in 2021.
Aukusitino plays small forward. She stands 5-foot-11-inches and averaged 8.3 points per game. She grabbed 399 rebounds in her career at Taylorsville. Her career-high came against Kearns with 15 rebounds in 2021.
“This strengthens the Taylorsville program. The attitude can change when you see us have success. We have a program that is getting better and better. We are more competitive. It will boost the program,” Jewkes said. “It is cool that Clark’s coach now has his eye on a few of our other players coming up. These are both great girls and they are going to leave a void in our program. They come from great families and I am so happy for them.”