A Surging New Plymouth Squad Makes Significant Progress This Summer


Posted On: 06/26/18 7:56 AM

Head coach Jeff Lavender has kept his team busy this summer so far, and following another small school tournament win, he has them moving in the right direction. Prep Hoops Idaho caught up with the coach who is entering his second season at the helm for New Plymouth and got a breakdown of his squad and their summer season.

For Lavender, there was some motivation entering the summer months this offseason, “we wanted to establish a winning attitude on and off the court.  We only won four games last year and were very young. We started out 7-8 in our first two weeks of the summer, but finished the last two weeks at 15-3, winning two small school tournaments (Vallivue and South Tahoe.)”

Lavender’s group got things going and seem primed to carry over the effects from a beneficial summer. Lavender added, “we have turned the corner. We have figured out how to win and had a great second half of the summer. It was our young guys figuring things out.”

Looking at the makeup of his team, Lavender returns three starters from last year, 2019 Kaden Leslie 5-10 shooting guard, 2019 Jimmy Riggs 6-7 Center, and 2021 Hyrum Lindsey 6-4 power forward.

Lavender broke down the three returners saying, “Kaden has been a prolific scorer this summer, averaging over 20 points a game. He has great range and has been able to develop dribble drive moves to complement his long range shooting. Jimmy Riggs is a great rim protector for the 2A level.  He has improved in every area of him game and is ready for his senior year. Hyrum Lindsey was our best all around player last year as a freshman.  He has grown and expect him to be one of the best players in the state for the class of 2021.  He is a classic stretch 4 man. Just needs to develop his body so he can be more effective on the inside.”

In terms of varsity returners, Lavender will welcome back Nick Woods 6-5 center, Dereck Hampton 6-1 shooting guard, Taede Stuki 6-2 shooting guard, and Dylon Watson 5-7 point guard.

Lavender gave us a closer look at this group as well, “Nick Woods developed an impressive low post game this summer.  He will be hard to deal with at the 2A level.  He will be a high level college football player after he graduates. Taede Stuki has really come on strong this summer.  He has great range on his shot and scored over 20 points on numerous games this summer. He is strong and athletic and is only going to get better with his over the top work ethic.  Dereck Hampton will give us additional outside shooting. Dylon Watson and Jesus Valdez 5-10 point guard will take care of the point guard duties for us. Jesus is our best passer and Dylon will give us another shooter.”

New Plymouth will also have a potential impact player up from their junior varsity team this upcoming season. According to Lavender, “up from the JV team is Tony Ray 6-1 small forward. Tony gives us a tremendous athlete that can get to the rim against almost anyone.  He has a high ceiling and will only get better with experience.”

New Plymouth looks ready to do big things in year two of the Lavender era especially coming off a successful summer.