Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Plano West senior Tyara Warren lived up to expectations despite scoring two points all season
Plano West coach Kristen Perry was counting on a big season from senior guard Tyara Warren.
The West Virginia signee has lived up to those expectations despite scoring only two points during Plano West’s 27-5 season, which continues with a 5A state semifinal against Manvel on Friday in Austin.
Warren, West’s lone returning starter and a four-year varsity player, missed the opening game of the season after taking her official visit to West Virginia. She returned Nov. 12, scored two points against John Paul II and then tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee while going for a steal.
It was a crushing blow for West, which was looking to its experienced senior to lead a young team with a first-year head coach.
“It hurt,” Perry said. “I was afraid that it would hurt our chances of how far we could realistically go.”
Even though Warren hasn’t been able to lead the team on the court, she has discovered a new role as an assistant coach.
Warren still works out with the team, her name is still announced with the lineups and she has a place right next to Perry on the bench.
During games she informs and instructs in much the same way any coach does.
“I’m really just telling them what I see on the court,” Warren said. “A lot of times I see what they can’t. I just inform them and help them.”
Plano West rallied behind its injured star on the way to a 9-1 start. It won the District 10-5A title, then downed Pflugerville in a rematch of last year’s 5A Region II semifinal at the Ferrell Center.
West slipped past Skyline, 43-42, on Saturday to claim its first berth in the state tournament since 2006.
“These girls wanted to do it for Ty,” Perry said after her team beat Pflugerville. “This is for her. That was in the back of our minds.”
Warren played a big role in some key games during her high school career.
She scored 10 points in Plano West’s victory against Duncanville in 2011 as Plano West was the last team to beat the Pantherettes before their still-active 104-game winning streak.
The following season Warren scored a game-high 28 points in Plano West’s 107-105, quintuple-overtime win against League City Clear Springs, the highest scoring game in Texas girls basketball history.
Both of those Plano West teams went at least three rounds deep in the postseason.
Without Warren this year, Plano West has relied on several young players.
Sophomore guard Morgann Yancey took Warren’s spot in the starting lineup. She has emerged as one of the team’s top 3-point threats and averages 7.1 points.
Juniors Sydney Skinner leads the team in assists, and Kaelin Domingeaux leads in rebounds. Sophomore Callie Owens is an athletic guard who averages 7.7 points off the bench.
Sophomore guard Natalie Chou, who looks destined to be one of the area’s top recruits, leads the team with 17.4 points per game.
“We realized we’re going to have to find a way to pick up her points, all those steals and her defense,” Skinner said.
Perry said she’d rather have Warren playing, but she can’t help believing Warren has had an even greater impact from the bench.
“These girls needed her right here on the bench,” Perry said. “They needed her as a coach.”