Timberlake High School
Conference: Intermountain Conference
Head Coach: Matt Miller
Years as Head Coach: 11th Season
Previous Experience: 3 years JV and 1 year varsity at Potlatch
Record Last Year: 21-4
Payten Rhodes, G, 12
Erica Powell, G, 12
Carleen Simpson, C, 12
Anna Gardom, F, 12
Allison Kirby, G, 11
Keelie Lawler, G, 11
Jacquelyn Mallet, F, 11
Shelby Starr, G, 10
Lilly Kelley, G, 10
Kaylee Jezek, C, 10
Returning Players with Honors:
Allison Kirby, IML Player of the Year, 1st team all-state
Keelie Lawler, IML All-Conference, 1st team all-state
Payten Rhodes, IML All-Conference
Incoming “impact” players:
Emily Vanderhoof, G, 12
Glori Cheevers, C, 11
McKeeley Tonkin, G, 9
Written by: David Bashore
For all its recent success, Timberlake has never won a state girls basketball championship. The White Tigers have lost in four of the last five state championship games. This season, they hope, finally may be the one that sees them move from bridesmaids to the bride. The ingredients are surely there – now it’s just for the consistency and good fortune that sets the title winner apart.
Timberlake returns ten (count ’em, TEN!) players from last season’s runner-up squad, including two first-team all-conference and first-team all-state players, in juniors Keelie Lawler and Intermountain League Player of the Year Allison Kirby. A third player, Payten Rhodes, was also an all-conference honoree. In total, five seniors and four juniors look to bring experience and leadership to a squad that fell just seven points of winning the program’s first title a season ago.
The White Tigers are a methodical bunch, coming at opponents in waves of team speed and athleticism. Offense and defense relies on the same bunch of athletic talents to wear down opponents and pull away late. The team doesn’t make very many mistakes on either end of the floor, but maximizing efficiency – particularly at the offensive end – is always an important element for success. Defensively, longtime coach Matt Miller suggested communication and execution of the night-to-night variations for a given opponent will be the key that finally separates the White Tigers from the pack.
Miller says he’s excited to have the opportunity to coach this great group of kids, and the key to success this season will be staying healthy – Lawler was injured in the state championship game last season – and continuing to get better.