Skyline basketball enjoy up and down seasonFeb 22, 2022 09:33PM ● By Daniel Olsen
Kolton Smith reacts after knocking down another three-pointer, one of the team captain’s specialties. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Daniel Olsen | [email protected]
After some rough losses in this up-and-down season, coach Cory Plant still had high hopes for his Skyline Eagles boys basketball team in the postseason. Many of their losses were close contests, and they finally snapped a three game losing streak with a two-point win over East.
“We started out hot at 9-1,” Plant said. “But then we dropped some games, won a few, and dropped a few more. Covid kind of affected us and we also had some injuries. Most of our defeats are under six points. We score around 67 points a game while giving up 61 points. Our highest scoring performances were 88 points which we did twice.
There were several key contributors honored on Senior Night when Skyline.
“(Kolton) Smith is a really good shooter who can hit a lot of threes,” Plant said. “He made 10 in one game. Teams plan their games around him now. The secret is out. He is hot in rebounds and leads the team in defensive rebounds. He’s probably the second leading scorer on the team. He shoots 41% from three, 70% on free throws and 47% from the field. He is also high in assists and steals.”
Smith and Hansen Gu were the team captains, ready to help lead the team to victory.
There are younger players who are also had a huge impact on games for the Eagles. One of those players was Yorgio Golesis.
“Golesis is a great junior who leads the team in scoring,” Plant said. “He shoots a 48% field goal average. He shoots the ball well and attacks the basket. He’s one of the state leaders in assists. He also leads the team in steals. He’s averaging 20 points per game and seven assists.”
With all the ups and the downs, there have been several fond memories that the 2021-22 Eagles will have about this season.
“In the first part of the season we were giving up a lot of fast break points,” Plant said. “We turned it around to change. We are getting better. Fortunately, these juniors that have been doing so well are coming back. We can be a formidable opponent for anybody. We lost by 16 points to Olympus. All other losses were by six points and under. Three were overtime games. We can excel and continue on a good path.”
While the team has been improving, there is still room for growth on one end of the floor.
“It comes down to one thing and that’s defense,” Plant said. “We need to play consistent defense. Someone needs to pick up the breakdowns when we have them. We need to keep attacking and pressure the ball. We also need to deny passes and defend the three-point shot.”
While every high school basketball team has aspirations of a state title, there are smaller goals the Eagles set.
“We want to make more threes than the other team,” Plant said. “We want to get to the final four and play at a university. We also want to get to the foul line more than other teams. That hasn’t always happened. That starts by attacking the basket. We need to try to move the ball more. We need six passes per possession. By doing that you win that possession.”
“The thing about Skyline is the kids work all year round,” Plant said. “We played some tournaments in the offseason and beat a lot of good teams in good leagues. You go through some adversity every season. The ones that handle it better come out stronger.”