One not familiar the team must wonder while watching the Hillsboro High girls play as to why this little fifth grader is out there competing on the high school level.
Well, Tynesha Campbell is no fifth-grader.
She is an impact junior guard for the Burros, who again are challenging for the District 11-AAA basketball championship.
Listed on the roster as 5-foot tall, Campbell admits to being 4-11. She is a bundle of energy as she races around the court, hounding opponents in the Burros’ fullcourt press and setting up teammates with pinpoint passes.
“That’s my game, defense,” she said after the Burros rolled past Franklin 53-32 Friday and moved into a tie for first in the district. “Defense is what gets us going.
“I like to use my lack of size as my advantage. I like to set up my teammates on offense. I think we can go a long way if we keep playing this way.”
Perhaps no team in Nashville has as much of a contrast in height throughout the lineup. The Burros max out with 6-3 post player senior Isabelle Harrison inside and the diminutive Campbell on the perimeter.
“I love playing with her [Harrison],” Campbell said. “She has been a great role model not just for me, but for our team. She makes life easier for me.”
In many respects, she takes the mindset of her coach Katrina Carter, who is also small in stature, but was an outstanding player in her heyday.
“Tynesha adds so much to our team,” Carter, who guided the Burros to the 2009 state championship and a region title last year, said. “The guards are the driving force on our team, and she is such a force not only on our press but our offense as well.”
Seeking a strong finish
Hillsboro’s win Friday, coupled with Ravenwood’s 35-32 upset win over Brentwood, threw the district race into a three way tie in the loss column. Hillsboro is 5-1, while Brentwood and Ravenwood are both 4-1 with three weeks to go in the regular season.
Carter likes her team’s position for the stretch run.
“At this point, we’re kind of like a diamond in the rough,” Carter said. “We are just starting to come out of our shell. We’re starting to blend together, play well, and our talent is starting to emerge. The key is our guards. They get things rolling.
“We’ve played a very challenging schedule, going against teams like [No. 1 ranked] Riverdale, Mt. Juliet, CPA — really good teams. We are starting to play our best basketball, something that is really key as we near the tournaments.”
A huge rematch with Brentwood is scheduled Friday night at Hillsboro homecoming. The Burros will try to avenge their lone district loss.
The winner gets the inside track for top seed for the District 11-AAA tournament at Centennial High.
• Happy 40th at Father Ryan: Saturday was a big night for Father Ryan.
The Irish celebrated 40 years of girls sports at the school with the introduction of 75 former players and 13 on the current team who were introduced in between the twin bill with Harpeth Hall and MBA. As a bonus, the Irish won both games.
“It was great to be back,” said Lyndsey Warbington, one of the honorees who, as a senior in 1999, led her 24-7 team to the state tournament final four. “It was great to see all the players and coaches, including my coach, Jinx Cockerham, who all had such a positive influence.
“And it was great to see the fight in this year’s team after they were behind 17-1 and came back to win [46-43 over Harpeth Hall].”
Ryan’s boys finished off a great night for the Irish when they led all the way and completed a season sweep of defending DII state champion, Montgomery Bell Academy, with a 45-38 victory.
“It was a wonderful testament to the girls and their 40 years of sports,” boys coach Doug Bontrager said. “And our guys played very well. Just a great night in all for our school.”
Father Ryan is 14-4 overall, 3-2 in the region.
• Rescheduled games: The key District 12-AAA twin bill between Hunters Lane and McGavock postponed from last Friday has been rescheduled for Thursday at McGavock.
The postponed Lipscomb at Maplewood district twin bill has been reset for Monday. Also rescheduled: Hillwood at Cane Ridge (Monday, 5 p.m.), Harpeth Hall at Pope JPII (Monday), Hume-Fogg at Stratford (Feb. 10), Lancaster at Glencliff boys (Feb. 10) and Goodpasture at Greenbrier (Feb. 12)
• Overton’s Lobasco tops: Overton’s Frank Lobasco leads all of Nashville with 12.7 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 power forward grabbed a school-record 27 in the Bobcats’ championship game win over Memphis Westwood in the Overton Christmas tournament.
• Dickey speaker: New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, a former MBA standout, will be guest speaker Wednesday at the Alternative Board of Nashville leadership seminar on the topic of “The Human Narrative.”
The event will follow a 7 a.m. breakfast Richland Country Club. Tickets (from $30-$40) for the seminar are available on-line at tableadershipseries3.eventbrite.com.