1209viningAUDLakeview Academy basketball coach Seth Vining discusses senior Tyler Ward.
1209wardAUDLakeview Academy's Tyler Ward discusses his performance against Flowery Branch in the Lanierland Tournament last Saturday.
Haughton Carswell, Lakeview Academy: 17 points against Flowery Branch last Saturday.
Ishmael Hollis, Flowery Branch: Averaged 17 points in two games last week.
Jayla Moon, West Hall: 34 points against Lumpkin County last Tuesday.
Kavon Williams, West Hall: Averaged 16 points in two games last week.
Rodney Gibson, West Hall: 15 points, six rebounds and five assists against Lumpkin County last Tuesday.
Shunquez Stephens, West Hall: 28 points and 14 rebounds against Gainesville last Friday.
Chris Henry, Johnson: 19 points against Jackson County last Tuesday.
Jim Orr, Johnson: 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against Jackson County last Tuesday.
Devaris Finch, Johnson: Averaged 20.5 points in two games last week.
Branden Jovaag, Chestatee: Averaged 20 points in two games last week.
Ethan Satterfield, North Hall: 18 points against East Hall last Friday.
McKenna Rushton, North Hall: 23 points, eight rebounds and seven steals against Johnson last Friday.
Chase Armour, Banks County: Averaged 18 points in two games last week.
Joseph Smith, Jackson County: 17 points against Banks County last Saturday.
Ashley Skelton, Jackson County: 17 points against Johnson last Tuesday.
Jaymee Carnes, Gainesville: 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks against Chestatee last Saturday.
George Manomano, Gainesville: 25 points against West Hall last Friday.
Darius Minor, Jefferson: 21 points against Hart County last Friday.
Trey Redmond, North Georgia Christian: 31 points against Covenant Christian last Tuesday.
Amber Dodd, Habersham Central: 11 points and 13 rebounds against Monroe Area last Tuesday.
E.J. Young, Lumpkin County: 17 points against West Hall last Tuesday.
Ryan Sheffield, Lumpkin County: 16 points and seven rebounds against West Hall last Tuesday.
Cara Malone, Lumpkin County: 19 points against West Hall last Tuesday.
Ashley Brown, Lumpkin County: 17 points, five assists, five rebounds and six steals against West Hall last Tuesday.
Tyler Dotson, White County: 17 points against Union County last Tuesday.
Doug Maloch, Commerce: Named Most Outstanding Wrestler among lower weight classes in the Panther Invitational last Saturday.
Ryan Howe, Jackson County: Named Most Outstanding Wrestler among heavyweight classes in the Panther Invitational last Saturday.
Logan Herford, West Hall: Eight wins in three meets last week.
Rudy Vazquez, West Hall: Seven wins in three meets last week.
Lakeview Academy’s Tyler Ward doesn’t let the bigger teams in the Lanierland Tournament intimidate him.
He proved that Saturday night.
Ward scored 23 points, including five three-pointers, to lead the Lions in their 79-63 win against Flowery Branch in the first round of the Lanierland Tournament.
The 5-foot-10 senior scored 21 of his points in the first half and led a dominant Lakeview (2-2) offense that put away last year’s Region 7-AAA champion early. The win marked the first win against the Falcons in Lakeview history.
“As a (Class) A school, Lanierland is something we look forward to showcase our program and what we can do,” Ward said. “We’re not the biggest, the fastest or the strongest athletes, but we show we can still play basketball.
“That’s kind of extra motivation,” he added. “To go in and cause an upset and show people in Hall County that Lakeview can play basketball.”
The past two seasons have shown the county exactly that. After a 21-9 last season in which Lakeview won its first state playoff game in school history, the Lions are proving that they can play alongside the rest of Hall County. They’ll have another chance to prove it when they play Johnson in the tournament semifinals on Thursday.
“The mind set going into Johnson is the same as Flowery Branch,” Ward said. “They’re fast, they’re strong, they’re athletic. Our mind set is to just play our game — fast-paced with defensive intensity.”
While Ward has spent the offseason trying to become more of an all-around player, his strength on the court is evident: he can shoot 3-pointers as often as he needs to.
“Shooting 3s is what I’m more comfortable with in my game,” he said. “The 3s were just falling against Flowery Branch so I kept firing them up.”
His abilities from the arc haven’t gone unnoticed either. Lakeview coach Seth Vining is very aware of his senior’s talent.
“When Tyler is on, he’s pretty hard to stop,” Vining said. “When he’s shooting well it brings another dimension to this team, and Flowery Branch was one of those games. It was actually his first game this year that he’s shot like that.”
That means there is a good chance that more high-scoring games are to come. The team chemistry is there to help, as Ward is joined by seven fellow seniors this year, many of which he has played with for his entire varsity career.
“Tyler played some on our varsity as a freshman,” Vining said. “We expect seniors that have been through the wars to accept a leadership role.”
With only four games played so far this season, it might be early to begin thinking about region titles or the playoffs. But as a senior, Ward has high expectations for his final year of high school basketball.
“I would love to win a Lanierland Championship, which we have an opportunity to do Thursday and Friday,” he said. “I want to go back-to-back in the region and get farther in the state playoffs.”