Depth is the strength for Taft

LINCOLN CITY — It was a 17-day break for Jake Tolan between the end of the football season and starting his next head coaching season — this time as the Tiger’s girls head basketball coach.

Tolan will be the third head coach for the Tiger girl’s basketball team in as many seasons. After spending the previous year as the JV coach, taking over the girl’s program was a natural progression.  And when you have a daughter, Claira Tolan, in the program, the opportunity to coach her too good of an offer to pass up.

“I probably wouldn’t have done if she wasn’t playing,” Jake Tolan said. “I get to watch her, I get to coach her, but it’s a good group, they are very coachable, they work hard, it’s been good so far.”

One of the things that Tolans has found out is the difference in the way he has to communicate with his players is different when dealing with teenaged boys versus teenage girls.

“They just learn differently,” Tolan said. “They have different skill sets. It takes different coaching styles between boys and girls. You still want to teach being physical in basketball and football. But the biggest difference is they learn differently so you have to coach them differently.”

Taking over a program that won only three games a season ago, Tolan noted that the team is a little more athletic than a season ago and can shoot the ball better. Last year making baskets was the Achilles heel for the Tigers, who managed to keep opposing offenses from scoring points, but just couldn’t match the scoring output.

“That’s what we are trying to grow at the most is our ability to make baskets especially last year with the JV and varsity,” Tolan said. “We would play really good defense but we can’t make shots. That’s been our emphasis is shooting the ball with confidence.”

The depth of the team is another thing that Tolan is excited about entering as Taft enters the regular season. It’s also another way to help with the scoring if you are making baskets, then you can stay on the game.

“I feel confident with all 10-11 of our players,” Tolan said. “I told them after the game, any given, whoever gets the minutes are going to be dependent on whos working hard and who’s hot. The end goal is winning as a team and being unselfish.”

In the Tigers’ first action of the season in the two-game jamboree against Toledo and Nestucca. Taft split the two games losing to Toledo and beating Nestucca. Against the Boomers’ full-court press, the Tigers had mixed results breaking the press. But against Nestucca, the areas that needed improvement did indeed improve.

“It was good for them to see that when we do it the right way, it works,” Tolan said. “Against Nestucca, it was closer than it should’ve been but for us to do the things we needed to do to win in 12 minutes, we did better, we rebounded better, we defended better all the things we didn’t do well in the first game we did better in the second game. It was nice to see from one to next making improvement and growth.”


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