The Taylorsville boys basketball team believes it can make some noise, and those hopes aren't just delusions of grandeur. The Warriors have good reason to think they will be better than they were a year ago.
"We have pretty much the same team this year, only we are much stronger and faster," junior guard Jevin Warren said.
Warren, Sidney Freeman and Kia Delacerna headline a junior class that carried the team on its back last season. That trio accounted for more than half of Taylorsville's scoring as sophomores.
Now a year older, the Warriors juniors are even more of a force.
"That extra year has helped them to develop mentally, which has given them all a higher basketball IQ," Taylorsville coach Jim Boyce said. "They have really gotten stronger physically. As sophomores, they were pretty weak physically, but not anymore."
Warren and Co. knew they had to do something after the team won just four games last season. The team played in multiple summer tournaments to improve its skill sets. The players also got together on their own time to play pick-up games. A large part of their offseason, though, was spent in the weight room. As they lifted and conditioned together, the juniors saw the benefits. Warren has put on 15 pounds of muscle since the end of last year.
While the team's time together led to physical growth, it also enabled emotional growth. The Warriors already feel that their team chemistry is much further along than it was at this point last year.
Taylorsville isn't getting too carried away just yet. Everyone involved in the program is well aware that chemistry is meaningless if it doesn't lead to winning, which still is the top goal.
"We're still young, and success isn't just going to happen. We have to earn it," Boyce said. "This is a good group, and they have been doing all the right things. I just wish that translated into wins all the time. We'll find out if it does in our case real soon."
Goodman a good one
After averaging 18 points per game as a junior, Kearns center Dayon Goodman already is outdoing himself in his senior campaign. Goodman scored 19 points to lead the Cougars past Syracuse, 53-51, in the boys basketball team's season opener. Junior guard Darion Brown gave Goodman a hand by pitching in 15 points for Kearns.
Stallions gallop past Pirates
The Cyprus boys basketball team went winless last season, so Stansbury might have assumed it had an easy opener. The Stallions were sorely mistaken. They trailed by 7 points entering the fourth quarter, but managed to come back to earn a 1-point victory. Stansbury junior Taylor Graves was key in the win. He finished with 10 points and nine boards. Senior Ryan Robbins led the team with 12 points and four assists.