MILLEDGEVILLE — Missing the state playoffs this year due to a loss in the region tournament, Baldwin High girls’ basketball finished 11-14 on the 2013-14 season.
While the result was not the storybook ending the Bravettes had hoped for this year, it was not due to the lack of effort, as sophomore Tykeasia Williams led the team in almost every contest playing on a torn meniscus in her right knee.
After losing Jayla Waller at the conclusion of last season, Williams made the decision to fill the role as a team leader on and off the court, ultimately earning her player of the year honors.
“Right after the season, Ty told me she wanted to take over that role,” head coach Randall Owens said. “What she did this year didn’t really surprise me. I knew she was going to have a good year, but I didn’t know that she was going to have a breakout year.”
Williams improved drastically in her first two seasons at BHS, going from scoring less than 4 points per game as a freshman to knocking down 10.8 per game in her second year.
She also led region 2-AAAA in assists with 4.5 per game and steals snagging 3.9 per contest, while claiming a spot as one of the top-10 leading scorers as well.
“There were literally times where I would take Ty out of the game to get a break, but we’d turn the ball over and then I’d tell her it’s time to get back out there,” Owens said. “She was the glue that held us together.
“Tykeasia Williams is a very well-rounded basketball player,” he added. “She played several positions for us and showed her versatility throughout the season. Having a player like her makes my job easier as a coach.”
The young player has played a lot of basketball in her career as a prep, and admits she did not always play at such a high level.
“I didn’t just wake up and play like that,” Williams said.
Owens attributes her level of play to hard work, maturity and her comprehension of the game.
“It is very unusual to have a sophomore to lead the basketball team; however, Tykeasia has played a ton of basketball and truly understands the game,” he said. “She has a maturity that is unmatched by anyone in my years of coaching.”
Her understanding was put to the test this season, as Owens had the sophomore playing at the point the majority of the time.
Williams displayed her ability to control the game and put the Bravettes in scoring position on numerous occasions.
“Tykeasia knows all of our offensive sets, so I count on her to get us in the right play at the right time,” Owens said. “There were times this season when she called the offenses and defenses, which allowed me as a coach to sit back and observe. She is a very heady player, who knows and understands the game of basketball.”
With two more seasons left at BHS, Williams believes there is still more to learn about the game and her abilities can improve.
“I just have to work harder,” the sophomore said. “I have to work during the season and in the off-season.
“I need to fix everything, because I’m not perfect,” she added. “Until I am, I have to work on everything.”
Owens admits that with the work ethic of the young standout, she has the opportunity to become one of the best players to come through the program at BHS.
“Tykeasia Williams deserves every award given to her, because she has worked so hard to become the best basketball player she can be,” Owens said. “As her coach, the best is yet to come for her.
“Tykeasia is following in a long line of great players in the Baldwin Bravette tradition,” he added. “I can foresee by the time it is all said and done, that she’ll be one of the best players to come through Baldwin High basketball.”