Tartan basketball needs young players to complement veterans

The Tartan High School girls basketball team returns a solid core from last year. Among those players is a Division I-bound senior.

Even with the returning talent, head coach Tim Obr says the level of success his team experiences this season depends on how the newcomers perform.

“This team will be very athletic but young,” said Tim Obr, who is in his third season as head coach. “The season will go as the young players develop. It could be an exciting year for the Titans.”

Zaria Whitlock recently signed to play collegiately at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, but before she heads to college, she has one final prep season to complete. A six-foot tall point guard, Whitlock was all-conference last season.

Whitlock and freshman wing Ysareia Chevre are Tartans’ top two returning scorers. Chevre, who is 5-foot-11, also brings strong rebounding to the Titans’ lineup.

Sophomore Kendra Ekereke, another 5-11 wing, is also a returning starter and led Tartan in rebounds a season ago.

Other returning players include junior guard Gabby Hicks, who Obr described as a “shutdown defender,” and athletic freshman wing Aurora Roberts.

Some of the newcomers who Obr feels will contribute this season include freshman Ka’Tia Cummings, a versatile wing who can play a number of positions, and eighth-grade guard Takara Mason, who possesses strength and a shooter’s touch.

Tartan opened the season with a pair of non-conference games up north last weekend. The Titans played at Esko on Dec. 2 and at Duluth East on Dec. 3, and both games took place past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Tartan’s home opener is against Robbinsdale Armstrong on Dec. 10. The rest of the December schedule includes games against Hudson, Wisconsin, St. Francis, St. Croix Lutheran, Spring Lake Park and three games at the St. Anthony Village holiday tournament.

Tartan opens the Metro East Conference schedule on Jan. 3 at South St. Paul.

Obr sees Hastings and Mahtomedi as the class of the Metro East and after that the league is wide open.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016-17 Tartan High School girls basketball schedule

Dec. 2 at Esko 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 3 at Duluth East 2:30 p.m.

Dec. 10 vs. Robbinsdale Armstrong 7 p.m.

Dec. 13 at Hudson 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 16 at St. Francis 7 p.m.

Dec. 20 vs. St. Croix Lutheran 7 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Spring Lake Park 7 p.m.

Dec. 27 at St. Anthony tournament TBA

Dec. 28 at St. Anthony tournament TBA

Dec. 29 at St. Anthony tournament TBA

Jan. 3 at South St. Paul 7 p.m.

Jan. 7 at Coon Rapids 6 p.m.

Jan. 10 vs. Simley 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 vs. Mahtomedi 7 p.m.

Jan. 17 at Hill-Murray 7 p.m.

Jan. 19 at Hastings 7 p.m.

Jan. 24 vs. Henry Sibley 7 p.m.

Jan. 27 vs. North 6:15 p.m.

Jan. 31 at Simley 7 p.m.

Feb. 3 vs. Minneapolis South 7 p.m.

Feb. 7 vs. South St. Paul 7 p.m.

Feb. 10 at Mahtomedi 7 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Hill-Murray 7 p.m.

Feb. 17 vs. Hastings 7 p.m.

Feb. 21 at North 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 23 at Henry Sibley 7 p.m.

 

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