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W.VA. PREP BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Tyler Consolidated Girls Have Experience Coming Back

KIDWELL — Experience and returning starters are aplenty at Tyler Consolidated High School, as coach Tommy Phillips’ Silver Knights try to improve on last season’s 8-13 record by adding scoring to their impressive defense.

“We are a team that played very good defense most of the time last year but just couldn’t score a lot of points,” Phillips said. “But we have more experience this year, we are hustling and we have some seniors who are stepping up and taking charge in practice. Shooting has been a priority at practice, and we have to get our percentages up.

Seniors Regan Smith, a 5-7 forward, and Kelsi Vandruff, a 5-3 guard, are the leaders that Phillips hopes can help turn things around as returning starters. The others back are all juniors and include Lauren Templeton (5-9, forward), Caleigh Phillips (5-7, forward) and Landry Buchanan (5-3, point-guard).

Coach Phillips is hoping to also get help from some younger players in sophomores Havanah Lemasters (5-8, forward) and Leah Loudin (5-6, guard) along with freshmen Maleah Weber (5-4, guard) and Braedan Wall (5-8, forward).

“Our practice output has been great and I can’t say enough about the hustle and how the girls are working to get back into shape,” Phillips commented. “It may take a couple of weeks, but I think these kids will come around.

“I took over halfway through the season last year,” he continued, “so things are going to be a little different from the beginning this season in that we are going to run a different offense and we are going to get out there and run and play hard. This group has a lot of speed and I think they are ready to get after it. I think the excitement level is also going to be better.”

The remainder of the Tyler Consolidated roster will include junior Briann Templeton; sophomores Emily Kile, Shelby Thomas, Mallory Westbrook and Caitlyn Northcraft and freshmen Erin Riffle, Madison Steele, Regan Stover and Kathryn Throckmorton.

“We are going to be a lot deeper than we have in the past as well,” Phillips commented. “I am hoping to be able to go eight or nine deep every game and we just didn’t have that kind of help last year, when we were very thin.”

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