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T-For-Three – Kearns leans on leadership of Tayler Marteliz

By Alex Napoles

Photos by Dave Argyle (DBA Photography)

 

Last season, the Kearns High varsity basketball team made history. We all remember the great run from the “lost boys” of Kearns fighting for their place in the 4A state championship game, only to come up just shy of the title.

Kearns guard Tayler Marteliz helps set the tone for the Cougars. (Photo by Dave Argyle, dbaphotography.com)

Kearns guard Tayler Marteliz helps set the tone for the Cougars. (Photo by Dave Argyle, dbaphotography.com)

Now, a year later, the newly found boys of Kearns find themselves lost again. The departure of Bushmen Ebet left many Kearns students wondering who was going to carry the team on his shoulders.

The question was answered very quickly as Tayler Marteliz started the season very strong. In the season opener, Marteliz tallied 21 points against Juan Diego, including five makes from the three-point line, hence earning the nickname “T-For-Three”, acquired from the students at Kearns.

“I feel like we are playing to our potential. I believe we can make a good run again,” stated Marteliz, reflecting on his team.

Tayler Marteliz began playing basketball in the second grade.

“A lot of gym work and traveling,” stated Marteliz referencing to the work he has been putting in since.

Marteliz has also just recently scored his 100th made 3-pointer.

“It has been a lot of time in the gym,” Marteliz said. “I practice to get them right.”

With the big void left behind by Bushmen Ebet, Buay Kuajin and Mautrice Carter, Marteliz knew he, along with teammate Kur Kuath, had to take those leadership roles.bankofaf1 instoryad 021216

“Bushmen, Buay, and Mautrice are all great players,” Marteliz said. “Those are big shoes to fill but I feel like me and Kur had to step up and take a lot of leadership on this team. I feel like we have done that so far, letting our team know that we got them.”

Head coach Dan Cosby and Marteliz have been working together for four years now and Cosby has his players and team back for another run at the state playoffs.

“Tayler’s done a good job for the most part,” Cosby said. “He hit some bumps and bruises along the way, but it seems like he’s picking it back up and trying to carry us into the playoffs. He’s a senior. He has leadership and his ability and understanding, his knowledge of the game, it helps them. He knows all the plays from over the years and I never have to ask him about a play. His basketball IQ is high.”

Despite this team being very young, Cosby believes that this team can make it to the place they were last year.

Marteliz is a playmaker and a shooter. (Photo by Dave Argyle, dbaphotography.com)

Marteliz is a playmaker and a shooter. (Photo by Dave Argyle, dbaphotography.com)

“They just have to understand the knowledge of the game and understand game situations,” Cosby said. “We’ve been giving up leads and we cannot do that in the state tournament.”

Marteliz enjoys a strong relationship with his head coach.

“Oh man, Dan is like a father to me. I love that guy,” Marteliz said. “He’s done everything for me and I think that is the main reason why I came to Kearns. I don’t regret that choice at all.”

This season, Marteliz has tallied over 200 points and continues to score from the three-point line.

“T-For-Three. I like it,” Marteliz said. “This name has stuck with me and it’s fun. It’s funny.”

The senior has put in some great performances and wants to win the state championship for himself, the school, and Dan Cosby.

“I want to go out with a bang,” Marteliz said. “Like I said, I love and respect Cosby. So I want to give him a championship ring before I leave Kearns High School. I want to give a ring to Kearns High School.”

Marteliz also sends a message to young basketball players – “You’ve got to keep your head up and don’t get down. Play to your potential and never give up.”

 

alexnapoles kearns mugLRKearns High sophomore Alex Napoles wrote this story as part of the of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.bankofaf horizontallogoLR

 

 

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