Not many players are asked to shoulder the scoring load as a freshman, especially at a Class A school.
But that’s exactly what Tailey Harris has done for Lockwood this year, finishing the regular season as Class A’s No. 2 scorer at north of 20 points per game.
The points pop off the page for Harris, but that’s not even her best asset according to head coach Rob Tedlund.
“Her strength is passing and facilitating, but she’s had to take on a scoring load this year because of the young team we have. The great thing about her, too, is her defense. When she gets angry after games, it’s because, in her mind, she didn’t play good enough defense,” he said.
“My mentality isn’t just scoring or isn’t just getting the ball to my teammates, it’s making the right play. If I know what to do at the right time, then I’ll shoot at the right time if I need to or if I need to pass I’ll pass. It just kind of comes to me.”
Tedlund is right. Harris led Class A in steals per game (5.2) and finished second in assists (4.3). Harris is going to have a special opportunity at Lockwood. It’s not often programs get a talent like her, let alone one in its infancy like the Lions.
“We talked to her this offseason and said, ‘You have a unique opportunity to do a lot of things that no one else will have the chance to do. You’re going to start for four years and play 30 minutes per night. The one thing is you have to lift these other girls up.’ Offseason workouts, lifting, open gyms, she’s done that. It’s like an aura. She just gives it to everybody else on the team and it makes our job a lot easier as a coach.”
Harris has two older sisters, one of which, Cami, is a senior at Billings Skyview. Cami was an all-conference pick last season and the battles at home have helped turn Tailey into the player she is today.
“It gets kind of rowdy. We sometimes will kind of start a fight, but she probably will win.”
Harris was instrumental in Lockwood’s opening round win at the Eastern A divisional tournament, the program’s first. With her leading the charge for the next three years, you can bet there will be several more.