Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

November 30, 2012

Time to tip off

Tahlequah and Sequoyah gets hoops seasons started.

Chad Walker has had two months to conjure up a starting lineup for his basketball team. Yet, Tahlequah will take on Skiatook tonight at the TMAC and Walker still hasn’t settled on a solid starting five.

It’s not his fault, though. He’s been battling with Mother Nature.

For instance, his likely starting shooting guard, Desiree Phipps, will sit out against Skiatook after dealing with a serious illness recently.

“Without one of our best players,” Walker said, “it’s hard to know what to expect.”

In Phipps’ spot will likely be Maegan Blevins, one of Tahlequah’s long-range sharp shooters that came off the bench last season.

“I’m still trying to decide [on the lineup],” Walker said. “It could be Casey (Beaston), Jhonett (Cookson), Randee (O’Donnell), Marisa (Girdner) and Maegan Blevins.

“There are several girls that we could go with (at the fifth starting spot). We have a number of girls we can put in, and we feel comfortable putting any of them in.”

If it is Blevins, Walker said it’ll be like having a coach out on the court.

“Maegan is very intelligent,” Walker said, “and you can’t go wrong with intelligent.”

Against Skiatook, Tahlequah is taking on a team that it lost to twice last season. However, Skiatook (1-0) is under the direction of a new coach (Tatum Beer) with almost an entirely new roster.

“I don’t know much about them; I know the mom had success running the 2-3 zone last year,” Walker said of Skiatook’s former coach Leah Beer, Tatum Beer’s mother. “Without Moyer, I don’t know what they’ll have.”

Skiatook ended last season with junior forward Correy Moyer set to return, but the now Texas State signee is at Verdigris after transferring. Instead, Skiatook will lean heavily on a pair of seniors, Eden Henderson and Jessie Henderson, and freshman Mikayla Schulanberger, who led Skiatook with 11 points in a 25-19 win over Claremore-Sequoyah on Tuesday.

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