As the orange ball bounces up the court each season, Eva Taylor has witnessed improved results with each changing year.
During Inglemoor High senior Taylor’s third season with the Vikings, the girls have put all their talent together into one memorable and successful campaign.
They’ve rolled through the preseason, 4A KingCo and districts and the girls are still standing strong and will compete in the 4A state tournament at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome against Rogers of Puyallup. In the regional round, Kentridge beat Inglemoor, 64-49, on Saturday.
The Vikings (20-6 overall) beat Mount Si, 66-47, and Lake Stevens, 65-55, and lost to Woodinville, 64-49, at the WesKing District tourney.
Taylor said it’s exciting to see the Vikings putting in maximum effort and taking their season one step farther.
“When you work hard, it will pay off eventually. I think the younger girls, freshmen, are looking up to us being captains (Lucy Young and Jenna Troy round out the trio) to help them work harder and to push us at practice,” Taylor said.
Developing that work ethic begins in the gym and reaches into the players’ everyday lives. Trust, communication and diligence are crucial components leading the way.
“A positive attitude and positive energy just helps everyone else around you, just to get lifted up,” Taylor added. “I think that’s helpful for me off the court, too, just to be a good person.”
Junior point guard Young earned KingCo defensive player of the year and second-team honors and was joined on the all-league list by fellow Vikings Troy (senior 5-foot-10 first-teamer) and honorable mentions, sophomore Abby Haller (5-foot-11) and freshman Colbi Zorich.
Inglemoor’s Kristina Schumacher was named coach of the year.
Young praised Schumacher for teaching her how to stay composed when bringing the ball up the court and break presses. If Young gets stuck along the way, she’s confident her teammates will rescue her and keep the Viks rolling.
Young focuses on being smart with her time on the court, even when she’s checking in with Schumacher on a game plan during a break in the action.
Team chemistry, unity and plenty of talent are on the Viks’ side, Young noted.
“We’re a really quick team, so (we’re) definitely either looking to score at the basket or kick out. We have a lot of plays for Eva, who’s one of our shooters,” Young said. “Also offensive rebounding is really important to our team, so getting second-chance opportunities also helps us a lot.”
Taylor noted an Inglemoor 65-58 victory over Newport to notch third place at the KingCo tournament as one of the team’s most solid efforts. For Young, it was a growing experience for the team during an early season, 60-53 loss to Woodinville, one of the top teams in the state.
The Viking home game against the Falcons was full of fast pace and high energy and the crowd was loud during the back-and-forth contest.
“I like playing against girls who are really competitive and that I have always looked up to,” said Young, noting that all the girls were proud of themselves for their effort in the locker room afterward.