Coach Bryan Merritt starts five seniors, led by E.J. Golightly and Joey Sylvester.
Golightly, a 6-foot-2 guard, averages 23.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists, while the 6-4 Sylvester adds 16.2 points and 11.2 boards inside.
PERFECT PERKINS-TRYON TAKING SIMPLE APPROACH
Longtime Perkins-Tryon coach Jerry Burnett hadn't been paying much attention to the Demons' record.
And then they won their second tournament this season. That's when he realized a perfect regular season was possible for the first time in school history.
“It's something we don't talk about very much, but we're happy to be undefeated,” Burnett said.
Perkins-Tryon (26-0) opens the Class 3A state tournament at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against Hugo (19-8) at State Fair Arena.
The Demons, though, know that their record doesn't necessarily mean much starting Thursday.
“If you look at the big picture: state tournament, playing at the fairgrounds, it can become overwhelming,” Burnett said. “We're going to focus on it's just another game and we need to come out and play like we always do.”
Perkins-Tryon is led by 6-foot seniors Jordan Gorham and McKenzie Stanford. They combine for nearly 30 points and 17 rebounds per game.
“They control the boards every night,” Burnett said. “Obviously, they're a big reason for our success and when our outside game is on, we're pretty tough to beat.”
KETCHUM ONE WIN FROM RECORD
No. 2 Ketchum, which knocked off No. 1 Northeast 52-51 in the area finals, will set a school record for most victories in a season with one win in the state tournament.
Ketchum coach Grant Callison said the Warriors are unbeaten (26-0) partly because they play with three point guards on the floor.
The team's leading scorer — 6-4 senior Jeylyn Sharpe who averages 23 points and 11 rebounds per game — was the club's starting point guard two years ago.
“He grew about five inches over that summer and we moved him inside,” Callison said.
Tanner Mouse, a 6-2 guard who is averaging four steals per game, played the point last season but moved to the No. 2 guard this year when 6-1 senior Trae Fairchild transferred from Liberty. Fairchild is the son of the new girls' coach at Ketchum.
“We have three guys who are used to running our offense,” Callison said.