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All-State girls basketball: MVPs were talented, unselfish and tough

Published: Monday, March 21 2011 8:52 p.m. MDT

"No athlete is perfect, and there were times when she wasn't shooting the ball the best or she didn't make a layup," said Warner. "She'd get up early or go late at night to her church house and shoot. She asked coaches to look at her shot; she wanted feedback. She just fought through it."

The future BYU Cougar is just as committed to every endeavor in her life, including her studies. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and is an accomplished pianist and organist.

Warner, who also played at BYU, said Eaton's abilities even exceed her expectations at times.

"She surprises me all the time," said Warner. "She's just so dang athletic. She elevates over everybody. Her ability to shoot, rebound or finish strong, all the time. I love watching her. Part of the reason I enjoy it is that I know she's never going to settle for anything less than 100 percent."

3A MVP

Taylor Mann, Emery

Being the player the team relies on can wear on anyone. But Taylor Mann dealt with the pressure by playing even better.

"She was our go-to player in the post," said Emery head coach Steve Gordon. "She tried to establish the inside game, and she was double- and triple-teamed sometimes, so our guards could hit outside shots. She controlled the boards."

Her ability to rebound, especially in the second half of the state championship game, is one of the key reasons Emery found a way to beat Carbon for the 3A title. The two teams had met two other times this season and the Dinos won both of those contests.

"I think the girls were calm," said Gordon. "I was probably more scared to play them than the girls were. They didn't seem to be scared at all."

In addition to being in the title game, the Dinos are the Spartans' biggest rivals, despite playing in a different region.

"They all played each other in junior high, so it was more than just that game," Gordon said.

And no one was more prepared for a rematch than Mann.

"Especially in the second half, her ability to control the boards was huge for us," he said.

Mann's leadership style was to push her teammates as hard as she pushed herself.

"She was always on our second team trying to make them work harder," he said. "I didn't have to put a lot of pressure on the girls. Taylor was more vocal this year and she really wanted to win."

Mann maintains a 3.9 GPA and led the Spartans with 20 points per game. She is also an 82 percent free throw shooter. She finished the year with 269 rebounds and 62 blocks. Mann will play for BYU-Hawaii next year.

"It's going to be hard to replace her," said Gordon.

2A MVP

Tressa Lyman, Enterprise

When the Enterprise Wolves took the floor after a timeout, they were prepared to execute the adjustment made by their coaches.

As the two teams prepared to resume playing, coach Brian Phelps noticed the opposing team wasn't in the system they'd expected.

"Tressa (Lyman) picked it up as fast as the coaching staff did and told the players to change the plan," Phelps said. "She's just very intelligent. She really is like a coach on the floor."

Lyman is a three-sport athlete (volleyball and track) with a 4.0 GPA and a 32 ACT. She will play volleyball for Idaho State next season. This winter was all about redemption for Lyman, who helped the Wolves to the title game two years in a row. Last year they lost to Beaver. This year, they beat their rivals.

Part of the Wolves' success came because Lyman was able to lead a very young team.

"She made the young kids feel needed and wanted," said Phelps. "Her confidence is so strong that she just felt there was no way we were going to lose. She helped instill that in the other kids."

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