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Speedy PECS teams off to solid starts

BRIGHTON — It’s an annual rite of passage: middle school basketball teams say goodbye to their 8th-graders who move on to high school. The replenishing crop that returns the following year can contain plenty of unknowns, but for this year’s Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School boys and girls teams, two things are known. They are both fast and play tenacious defense.

Wyatt Hines takes a short jump shot against West Glades. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Preslynn Baker dribbles away from traffic in a middle school girls game against West Glades on Dec. 12. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“We’re faster than last year, but last year we had a lot of bigs; this year we have a lot of speed,” boys coach Preston Baker said after his team defeated West Glades on December 12.

Just how fast are the boys. Consider they were ahead by seven points at halftime before they accelerated into a higher gear in the second half. The result was a bevy of West Glades turnovers and a 30-point win, 56-26.

“I told them they took this team lightly and that you can’t do that,” Baker said.

Baker has a veteran squad with eight 8th-graders, but it was 7th-grade speedy guards Aundre Baker (16 points) and Bryce Baker (12 points) who led the team against West Glades. Eighth-grade guard Bryce Ward also contributed 12 points and Wyatt Hines had six points.

On the girls side, Jewel Buck is settling into her first year as head coach in fine fashion. The girls won two of their first three games, including a comfortable win against West Glades.

Buck was a standout player with the Tribe when she played in high school and college. She never thought she would be a head coach, but is glad to be at the helm after a couple years as an assistant on a team that went 25-3 and won two conference championships the past two years.

Her first team as head coach is a young bunch with just three 8th-graders (Javale Anderson, Giselle Micco and Shylynn Testerman).

“It’s a wonderful experience. I’m learning right along with them,” Buck said.

With six players from grade six, there’s bound to be some growing pains along the way, but Buck said she’s impressed by the squad’s enthusiasm.

“I love that they’re ready to go and jump in there. They want to play. I love that they’re learning together as well,” she said.

They are also learning to win together. PECS’ defense suffocated West Glades on the way to a 33-15 win. Micco led the team with 12 points followed by Jana Johnson with nine and Carlee Osceola and Preslynn Baker with six each.

2018-19 PECS Boys Basketball

Head coach: Preston Baker

Charlie Armstrong

Aundre Baker

Bryce Baker

Pherian Baker

Jarrett Beecham

Liviticus Berry

Jace Brown

Wyatt Hines

Jordan Johnson

David King

Bryce Ward

2018-19 PECS Girls Basketball

Head coach: Jewel Buck

Javale Anderson

TT Anderson

Preslynn Baker

Willo James

Jana Johnson

Neela Jones

Cakiyah Koger

Candice Melton

Giselle Micco

Carlee Osceola

Shylynn Testerman

Nena Youngblood

Bryce Ward scores two of his 12 points on this layup against West Glades on Dec. 12. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Boys coach Preston Baker guide his team to victory Dec. 12 against West Glades Middle School. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Pherian Baker forces a turnover against West Glades. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School girls coach Jewel Buck guides her team to victory. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Carlee Osceola leads a fastbreak for the Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School girls basketball team Dec. 12 against West Glades. PECS won 33-15. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Cakiyah Koger, left, and Giselle Micco provide tough defense in the Lady Warriors’ win against West Glades. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
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