Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Instead of focusing on one sport, Tara Gehring has excelled in both soccer and basketball for Wasatch High School.

HEBER — It would not be a stretch to trace much of Wastach's good fortune in girls basketball this season back to Tara Gehring's copycat abilities as a child.

Gehring, a Wasp senior, took a fascination with basketball at an early age. Whenever she watched a game on TV, she quickly took to the driveway and started mimicking whatever she saw. It didn't matter if it was a hook shot or a pull-up jumper. Gehring would try to do the move at least once after seeing it on TV.

"I tried to copy some people's moves," Gehring said.

There are many players, no doubt, who wish they could copy her. Gehring has been a driving force behind Wasatch's 10-0 start. The senior is an all-around threat, leading the team in scoring (18.1 points per game), assists (4.2 per game) and steals (3.9 per game).

When the ball is in Gehring's hands, it's a safe bet it will end up going through the hoop. In her first nine games, she shot 66 percent from the field — including a phenomenal 62 percent from 3-point range — and converted 85.7 percent of her free throw attempts.

"She is a terrific ball player," Wasps coach Roger Pyper said. "Absolutely amazing."

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Gehring's success on the court is that she has not gone through the AAU team or summer camp route to get her skills to their present level. Basketball is her first love among sports. But she always felt satisfied to simply play for Wasatch in the summer and stay with her friends and teammates there, rather than join up with a travel team elsewhere.

"There's a lot involved with those other teams," Gehring said. "Traveling to other states. Lots of money involved. I just decided I didn't want to (do it). I wanted to take a break."

Having extra time also gave Gehring a chance to participate in girls soccer during the fall. Just like in basketball, Gehring led her team with 25 goals in 19 games and played a huge role in helping the Wasps carve out a spot among the elite teams of 3A.

Many of those soccer teammates have joined her on the basketball — another reason why Wasatch's perfect start is not so surprising. And they also play important roles as well, especially Kim Parker, who is team's second leading scorer (15.2 points per game) and rebounding leader (8.0 per game).

With Parker and Gehring, the Wasps have a top twosome that can match anyone in 3A.

"They both make everyone else better," Pyper said. "They're not the least bit selfish."

Playing soccer together has rubbed off on the court. Wastach can run an up-tempo offensive scheme because everyone is used to running. And few teams are able to adjust quickly enough to prevent the Wasps from putting away games early.

"They are slow and like to set up their offenses, and we just like to run and gun," Gehring said. "We usually get some good leads in the first quarter."

Ultimately, Gehring hopes for a different ending to this season than what she experienced in soccer (the Wasps lost in the semifinals). Holding up a championship trophy is the only way she can take an already memorable senior season to even greater heights.

"It's been everything I hoped it would be — except for a state title," Gehring said.


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