Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com
Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com
THORNTON — Tyler Turner was so excited about his junior season this past winter with the Boulder boys basketball team that overworking himself in preparation nearly caused him to miss it.
Turner, who became the Panthers best player down the stretch and was perhaps the biggest reason the Panthers went from a 1-9 start to a 13-12 finish and the postseason, ended up with a stress reaction in this lower back. It caused him to miss the first half of the season but when he returned, Turner led the Panthers in scoring.
On Friday at Horizon, Turner’s junior season concluded on a high note with an appearance in the Front Range League All Star Game.
The past six months or so have been a wild ride for Turner, but he’s already looking forward to next season when he’ll be called upon to lead the Panthers even more than before.
“Next season is going to be great,” Turner said. “We’re going to surprise some people because I bet you no one thinks we’re going to be good next year. We don’t really have big-name guys. We’re going to work really hard this offseason.”
Well, not yet.
Turner’s is a name to know in the conference. Teammate and fellow senior-to-be Caleb Wehmuller, who led the Panthers in scoring as a sophomore last season, will also return next winter after sitting out 2018-19 because of an injury. Most of the Panthers’ starting lineup will also be back next winter.
“Caleb will be back and a lot of our team will be back,” Turner said. “We finished really strong this season and we’re just going to try to keep that going into next year. We’ve had a lot of good seniors and good role models and we’re excited for our turn to mold our program.”
Another area player who is ready for her turn to assume a leadership role as a senior, Fairview’s Izzy Munson has spent the past winter developing into exactly that. She also played in Friday night’s All Star Game.
For a long time, the Fairview girls basketball team was dominated by a pair of top players in Denali Pinto and Ashley Panem. But those girls graduated a season ago and this past campaign was Munson’s first playing without them on the team to lead the way. The Knights went 7-18 and Munson is determined to get the Fairview program back to the successful seasons they had prior to that one.
“I’m really excited for next year,” Munson said. “This year was a big transition into a leadership role for me and I’m excited to lead my team as best as possible. I’m excited for us to grow as a team. We all weren’t too happy about last season so next year will kind of be a revenge season.”
Munson led the Knights with 14.6 points per game this past season.
In addition to Turner and Munson, the FRL games at HHS were chock-full of local representatives. From Broomfield, Mike Croell coached one of the girls teams that also featured Steph Peterson and Courtney Wristen; Monarch’s Emerson Herrmann and John Grigsby were selected; Legacy’s Jack Olson and Jackson Stapleton joined Turner on Boulder High School coach Riley Grabau’s bench; and Fairview’s Jalen Page and Mark Dolan worked with Fairview head coach Patrick Burke’s all-star squad.
Broomfield’s Steven Croell also participated, as did Legacy’s Isa Valenzuela and Boulder’s Abbie Gillach.