Meridian High School
Conference: 5A Southern Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Matthew Creech
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Record Last Year: 3-17
State Titles: 1980, 1981,1983
Jaynee Taufoou, F, 12.
Kaitlynn Lee, F, 12.
Brittney Hansen, PG, 10
Returning Players with Honors:
Jaynee Taufoou – All-Conference Honorable Mention
Key Players lost from last year:
Jessica Watson, 4-year letterman.
Bailee Gorrell, 3-year letterman
Incoming impact players:
Alexis Lawson, G, 12.
Kiley Barber, G, 12.
Written by: Lucas Gebhart
Over the last couple years, Meridian has been the “easy win,” a game that you can “pencil in” at the beginning of the season as the Warriors have won eleven game in the last three seasons.
The school was in desperate need of a culture change and got one in Mathew Creech. With nine years of coaching experience under his belt, Creech has changed the culture in Meridian. A new attitude has been implemented, and hope for a winning season and a state tournament appearance is on the minds of the Warriors, something that has not happened since 2012.
To get to the state tournament, Creech will rely on a cast of seniors.
Forward Jaynee Taufoou returns off her All-Conference Honorable Mention junior season while Kaitlynn Lee will reassume her starting role in the post. Alexis Lawson and Kiley Barber will see a significate increase in playing time this season as they both enter their senior campaigns.
“I think we are a must see team every game,” Creech said. “We play a fast, fun and exciting style of basketball and we do it for 32 minutes every night.”
The offense will run through sophomore point guard Brittney Hansen. With a guard-heavy team, the Warriors will have to shoot the ball effectively and efficiently to win ball games.
“Spreading the wealth, moving the ball, and finishing at the rim,” Creech said. “We have a number of girls who can go off on any given night.”
Creech said that shooting the ball from the outside may be a task that needs work throughout the season. Though the potential is there, it has been inconsistent to this point. As a smaller team, that will need to become a consistent part of Meridian’s game.
Among other issues are rebounding the basketball. With an undersized team, the Warriors will have to fight, scrap and claw for every rebound for all 32 minutes.
“We have to finish possessions off by rebounding the ball,” Creech said. “We can’t continue to allow second and third opportunities like we have in the past.”
The smaller lineup may cause teams to take advantage of the Warriors on the blocks. The lack of size will have to be made up for in solid fundamental yet scrappy defense to force turnovers and get out into transition, a part of the game where size no longer matters.
“Teams in the SIC get after it defensively and look to take advantage of mistakes,” Creech said. “If we can limit our turnovers and have more opportunities to score, we will have a chance with the way we play defense.”