Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

February 5, 2014

DeHaven key to improved Raiders

BRADSHAW — There is an old adage in sports that offense fills the seats but defense wins games.

River View’s Taylor DeHaven must believe in filling seats and has an eye toward winning games for the Raiders.

The 6-foot senior combined for 46 points and pulled down 24 rebounds in a pair of wins last week against Class AAA Lincoln County and Hurley

DeHaven popped in 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Hurley and tallied 29 points and cleared the glass 14 times against Lincoln County to earn Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week honors.

DeHaven recalled the games.

“We were just playing well. Tyree (Baker) was passing me the ball and I was getting good looks,” DeHaven said. “We were just going with the flow.”

The season has had a good flow for the Raiders who currently are 6-5. DeHaven talked about the team’s turnaround.

“We have a new coach this year, he’s doing well with us,” DeHaven said. “We go over new offenses and it’s just working for us.”

Asked which part of the game he preferred, DeHaven was quick to answer, “Rebounding. Defense.”

Roger Hale is in his first season at River View. He spoke of DeHaven and what he means to the team.

“I think he has led by example. He puts forth the effort in every practice, just like from day one in practice he has led by example,” Hale said. “He is not a very verbal leader, he’s a humble guy.

“He would do anything to get the win. He’ll step up and score, he’s a really good block down defender. He, to me, leads by example. He’s real important to our team.”

Hale went on to express what he feels are DeHaven’s strengths on the court.

“Offensively I think (shooting) off the dribble is his best. If he takes it inside, off the dribble, that is the best part of his game,” Hale said. “All around, I think his strength is rebounding. He’s a really good defender and for his size he rebounds wonderfully.”

DeHaven is one of five seniors on the River View squad this season and this senior class is the first group of players who have played their entire high school career for River View, a consolidation of Big Creek and Iaeger High Schools. DeHaven is proud to be a part of that group.

“It’s different and an honor to be the ‘real’ class of River View, to represent and be the basketball team at River View High School,” DeHaven said.

The senior began playing ball at a young age, spurred on by his father Scott, who played at Big Creek in the 1970s, and aided by his older brother, Zach, who played and graduated from River View two years ago.

“I started playing at Iaeger Elementary and always played outside and in the AAU league in Oceana. I shot every day and dedicated myself to playing. I love it,” DeHaven said. “My brother helped me and always played with me outside.

“He helped me in rebounding. He pushed me to go harder. My dad — I was always smaller than everyone and I grew over my ninth grade year — he always pushed me in rebounding and taught me to be aggressive.”

DeHaven plans on attending college after graduation this spring, most likely Bluefield State where he hopes to enter the engineering program. But at present time he and his River View teammates have a little bit more work to do.

“I hope we can get a couple more wins and hopefully go deep into the postseason,” DeHaven said.

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