Local duo give big boost for Clark women’s hoops

first_img On the final day of a 1-26 season last year serving as Clark women’s basketball’s interim coach, Paul Cannon’s face light up as brightly as the text messages coming into his phone.Within 10 minutes, two Clark County high school career 1,000-point scorers, longtime friends and club basketball teammates as far back as seventh grade, committed to Clark and Cannon’s long-term vision for the program.He calls signing La Center’s Taylor Mills and Hockinson’s Payton Wangler, now both starting for the Penguins as freshmen, as key pieces for Cannon’s big picture of Clark women’s basketball: keeping local talent local.“Getting those two was really big for me,” Cannon said, “and the program. If I was able to land them, we’d be heading in the right direction and it’d help the program tremendously.” Share: Receive latest stories and local news in your email: But they’ve adjusted quickly. Speed and tempo is faster, they said, and so is the size and strength of opposing players. Five of their loss came against ranked opponents.“We’ve learned a lot each game and improved on the mistakes that we’ve made,” Mills said.Cannon’s interim coaching tag got lifted after last season, and his driving force to build the women’s basketball program starts by aiming to keep more of Clark County’s talent pool.And it starts by visibility. He estimates between him and his assistant coaches, they’ll attend up to 80 high school games by March.“We definitely want to make sure we’re getting the local kids and keeping them here,” Cannon said. Local duo give big boost for Clark women’s hoops Mills, Wangler part of local rebuild for Penguin women @MegWochnick (360) 735-4521 GO Share:center_img Follow Follow The Columbian on Instagram By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Meg Wochnick Columbian staff writer By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer Published: January 3, 2019, 9:28pm For Mills and Wangler, the chance to play for Clark seemed elementary. Passing up the opportunities to play with familiar faces while helping their hometown junior-college program was too good to pass up, they said.“It’s fun to be able to play with people you know,” Wangler said, “and the people close to home watch you play.”Wangler’s 13.3 points per game leads Clark in scoring. Mills averages 7.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and frontcourt teammate Mahrysa Thomas out of Renton averages nearly a double-double (12.5 points, team-high 9.5 rebounds per game).Despite a 2-9 record entering Saturday’s NWAC South home opener against Lane, growth and development continues on a young team that features seven freshmen on a nine-player roster. He starts all freshmen who all this time a year ago, played their final high school season of basketball. [email protected]last_img

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