In every game, he said, his players might have had to fight for every ball, every point, but they honestly believed they'd emerge victorious.
"They really believed we were going to win every, single night," he said.
Lyman led the team with 17 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds per contest. She also earned 87 steals and 67 blocks.
"She's by far the most complete player I've coached," said Phelps. "And I've had some really good (players) over the years. Her defensive ability is incredible. She's definitely one-of-a-kind."
Kandice Gleave, Piute
Kandice Gleave's athletic ability is obvious to even the most casual observer. But that isn't the reason the Thunderbirds were able to have another successful season after losing most of the starters from last year's state championship team to graduation.
It is because she was willing to teach her young teammates what she knows.
"She is not afraid to show the girls what they need to do," said Piute head coach Wade Westwood. "She was just a girl who caught onto things really easy. So she took on the role of teacher really early."
Whether it is shooting advice, post moves or dribbling, Gleave spends countless hours helping other players with their skills. She is also an Academic All-State winner with a 4.0 GPA, an all-state volleyball player and track athlete. She hasn't decided where she wants to go to college or which sport she'll pursue.
Her willingness to share her knowledge and experience helped the T-birds to the top of a tough region, which is something not many people expected.
"It's easier when one of their teammates helps them and works with them," he said. "They pick it up easier than me showing them. She would just constantly be helping out the freshman this year."
Gleave averaged 20 points per game, but is also one of the state's best defenders. She is a physical, tough player who helps her teammates reach their potential on and off the court.
"She's our backbone," Westwood said. "She's just tough. There were a couple of times this year, once down by 20 points, and she just told the girls, we're not giving up. She's tough physically and she never gave up. She just never quits."
And with a player like that on the floor, a coach can be certain of one thing.
"I felt like at every game, when Kandice was on the floor, we had a chance to win. She's not a player you get every year."
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