Elida Tigers Basketball

Elida Tigers Basketball
Posted on 09/09/2018
Elida Tigers Basketball

December 5, 2018

Albuquerque or bust

Last season’s Elida boys basketball team was just in the second year of the program’s return, so a 13th seed and first-round exit in the state tournament weren’t too shabby.

The Tigers, though, want more this year. Losing just two players — one to graduation and another who decided not to come out for the team — Elida seems poised for a trip to the state’s largest city, poised for a deeper tournament run.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the quarterfinals and get to go to Albuquerque,” Elida head coach Logan Turnbow said. “But we got our foot in the door, and we’ve got a lot of guys coming back that are hungry.”

Turnbow thinks a big boost for this year’s basketball Tigers was the return of Elida varsity football and its trip to the Six-Man state championship game against Animas.

“I really think that’s going to carry over and pay huge dividends for my basketball program,” Turnbow said.

The Tigers have a deep 13-player roster that could shuffle the starting lineup and the minutes.

“We don’t really have much of a dropoff as far as talent goes, 1 to 13,” Turnbow said, “so we’re really excited to get everybody in the game in more of a platoon style of basketball. We think that we’re deeper than anybody we’re going to see this year.”

And Elida plans to use that depth to its advantage. “We’re excited to get into some pressure,” Turnbow said, “full-court press people, and try to wear down their legs as much as we can.”

Senior forward Teigan Delk (6-1), senior guards Cris Diaz (5’10) and Baylee Oder (5-11), junior guard Tyce Delk (5-9), and sophomore guard/forward Teagan Burton (6-1), were the starters in Saturday’s 63-53 season-opening win at Grady/San Jon/House. But with Elida’s depth, that lineup could change.

Junior guard Will Haley (5’9) is one of the other players who should be integral this season. “He played a lot of minutes for us in the past off the bench,” Turnbow said. “Really good defender.”

Junior forward Logan Victor (6-1) , a post who can play at the 5 or 4, has been solidifying his spot in the rotation. Senior posts Elian Gallegos (6’4) and Dario Rascon (6-1) are both players expected to give Elida a strong inside game.

Junior Colton Ferguson (5-7) should play point guard when healthy, but is currently recovering from a broken collarbone. “We won’t have him for another month or so,” Turnbow said, “but we look forward to having him back once we can get him.”

Also on the roster are juniors Wesley Polling (6-0 forward) and Johny Woodruff (6-2 guard/forward).

“We’re finally a team of junior and seniors,” Turnbow said, “not a team of freshmen and sophomores.”

There is, however, a freshman on the roster — 6-1 post Rylan Creighton. “He’s probably going to have more of a limited role,” Turnbow said. “We don’t see him getting a ton of playing time, but we’re excited to have him on the varsity. ... We’re excited to watch him mature.”

At press time, Elida was heading into Tuesday night’s game at Mescalero Apache with a 1-0 record, thanks to Saturday’s victory. It’s always big to win the season opener, but Turnbow says his team looked a little ragged at times.

Elida led only 19-17 after one quarter, but outscored Grady/San Jon/House 20-11 in the second quarter to take control. Elida was outscored 25-24 in the second half, so that second period was crucial.

The victory was just one step on a long path toward a state tournament berth. Turnbow is optimistic, though, even in a newly-realigned District 4-1A where his team now resides.

“I think my district is a whole heck of a lot more winnable than the one in the north,” Turnbow said. “I think Tatum’s going to be tough; I think Gateway Christian’s going to be tough. But I put us right there in the mix with both of them. I’d go to bat with my guys any day. I think we’re going to be right where we want to be in late February and early March. So we’re excited.”