Boys basketball: Soccer star ready to shine on court
Taylorsville senior Abi Black had one of the best girls soccer seasons and careers in state history. She finished second in the state with 38 goals and ended her career with 92, seventh-most ever in Utah.
Before Black begins her college career at Westminster College next year, she is shifting her attention to the basketball court, where she will be the focal point of a rebuilding Taylorsville squad.
"It helps to play two sports because you have to always be in shape," Black said. "I hope I can keep the momentum going from soccer when the basketball season starts."
When the Warriors begin their Region 2 title defense in a few weeks, they will be doing it without their three leading scorers from last season. Whitney Mitchell and Siu Loamanu graduated and Pela Tapusoa moved into Granger boundaries.
The trio accounted for nearly 40 points per game, so Taylorsville coach Vicki Bohney has had to get creative without them. Fortunately for her, she has Black at her disposal.
Bohney has taken Black's athleticism, coupled it with softball/basketball player Karlee Jensen's talent and installed a run-and-gun offense in an effort to offset the scoring loss from last season. Bohney is convinced her two stars have the ability to run this high-octane offense because of their dual-sport mindset.
"It makes me sad when players specialize in one sport," Bohney said. "When players play multiple sports, they develop skills that they wouldn't otherwise have, and they become more athletic."
While the skills acquired in soccer and basketball have been diverse, Black's drive has been the same. She readily admits that soccer is her first love, but she competes just as strenuously in basketball. Her goals for success are unchanging, no matter what she is doing. That competitive edge might just be enough to keep the Warriors on top.
"Even though we lost some great players, we are just as confident," Black said. "We think we can win another region title, and we think we can go farther in the playoffs."
Cyprus boys forsaking past, looking forward • The Pirates were winless a year ago, but things could be different now. Last year's basketball squad was young and graduated only three seniors. The bulk of Cyprus' offensive presence returns, most notably in point guard Connor Squire, who averaged 13 points per game.
Juniors to take center stage for Taylorsville boys • A trio of sophomores propelled Taylorsville for most of last season. Now a year older, Jevin Warren, Sidney Freeman and Kia Delacerna are ready to push the Warriors to the next level. Delacerna was second on the team in rebounds and will be the go-to guy in the post, while Warren and Freeman give Taylorsville a quality backcourt. The three juniors combined for about 25 points per game last season.