High School Basketball

Girls’ basketball preview: Tates Creek trying to ‘get the pieces put together’

Tates Creek girls lead with defense

The Commodores' twin guards Nave and LaTaya win look to lock down opponents this season.
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The Commodores' twin guards Nave and LaTaya win look to lock down opponents this season.

Last season: 3-26 (lost to Lexington Christian in 43rd District first round)

Coach: Jan Perkins (second year)

Three key contributors

Carolyn Nsimpasi: The senior guard is one of the vocal leaders on the team and averaged eight rebounds per game last season. “Very headstrong,” Perkins said. “Lots of questions, which I like, when she doesn’t understand something. She’s willing to go out and put it all on the floor.”

LaTaya and Nave Winn: It’s hard to separate the twins because the senior guards both play so hard. LaTaya (eight points, four assists per game last year) helps fill the point guard role with sophomore Lauren Baker. Both are threats on offense and are credited as lockdown defenders with a lot of heart. “I think they’ll offensively surprise some people,” Perkins said. “Their shooting is good, they just need to be more consistent at it.” Nave averaged eight points and three boards per game.

Of the seniors, Perkins added, “They’re very devoted, good leaders. Offensively, I think they’ll give us a lot of what we need. Defensively, I’d go against anybody with them.”

Others to watch

Senior Safiya Abdus-Salam, “Defensively, (she’s) top-notch. Offensively, has her moments, definitely can get us some buckets when we need it. She’s very aggressive. I love that about her.” Curtshonna Cannon is a 6-0 junior who will help inside. “We needed a post. … We’re still small, but she gives us some of that height and some of that interior (size) that we need to be able to defend and get some more rebounding and easy buckets.”

Games you gotta see

Huge test comes early when they face district favorite Lafayette on Nov. 30. They host Lexington Catholic on Jan. 6. Henry Clay will offer a challenge on Jan. 23.

Fast facts

Tates Creek shot less than 30 percent from the field on the season last year, a mark which Perkins knows must improve: “I think last year, defensively our numbers were good. We held teams to under 40 points most games, but we couldn’t put the ball in the hole. … So, I think that if we can put the ball in the hole more and be more diligent, more deliberate in executing our plays, executing what we need to do offensively. … I like our group of girls. We’ve just got to get the pieces put together in the right way.”

Coach’s corner

On competing in the 43rd: “I think it will still be an uphill battle. I think we still got a lot of work to do, but I’ve got four seniors that are good leaders. I think when we get out there, we’ll be able to compete with a lot of teams and hopefully make some waves at district.

“I think it’s good to want to do well and always have the bar set high. You don’t want your standards to be low. But I think the expectations are that we still compete for district. We still try to get to region and see what we can do. You got to be able to perform and show that you can try to get those goals met by doing it on the court.”

Team talk

LaTaya Winn: “I’m looking forward to playing some hard ball in my last year, to go out there and show people what I really have. I feel like with the people that we have, me and my sister, and the other seniors Carolyn and Safiya from last year, we’re going to do something this year.

“Our defense is going to be awesome. The speed that we have … we lack in size, but what we lack in size we’ve got in speed.”

Carolyn Nsimpasi: “I think we’ve gotten much closer as a team. We just need more commitment and dedication, and I think we’ll be all right.”

Nave Winn: On communication with her sister on the court: “We work together. Ever since we’ve been out of the crib, we’ve been working together. I already know what she’s doing. I just know where she is.” … On what it will take for team success: “Going out and playing your role. You know what you’ve got to do. Go out and do it.”


Click here to view Tates Creek’s 2016-17 schedule.

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