DENVER – It’s easy to get overshadowed when you’re playing alongside the Lincoln County all-time leading scorer (and prom queen), but as a sophomore Brianna Tadlock still put up 12 points a game as Destiny Johnson’s teammate.
Now the sharp-shooting East Lincoln guard is taking what she learned from Johnson to elevate other areas of her game.
“She was like the leader of the team, so I’m going to have to take over that role for her,” Tadlock said. “I’m not the loudest person out there, so I’m going to have to be more vocal toward the team and lead them in the right direction.”
Mustang coach Jason Otey is passing the torch to Tadlock, who will be playing more point guard.
“Obviously we’ve had a certain identity for last three to four years, and ball has always gone through No. 5 (Johnson), and that allowed Brianna to gain confidence,” Otey said. “That’s gonna change this year, because she’s transitioning to a different position. With that comes a lot of responsibility.”
Against North Gaston – a 3A school – Jan. 13, Tadlock was responsible for 44 percent of East Lincoln’s points. That night, Tadlock caught fire, hitting on 6-of-10 3-pointers, finishing with a game-high 28 points.
“It was fun heating up, and I started shooting the ball better, and everyone’s getting into it,” she said. “It was great having that feeling.”
Once Otey realized what the defense was doing, it was an easy call to get his shooting guard the ball.
“Anytime you have a kid who gets hot, you try to get them the ball as much as possible,” he said. “They were basically giving it to her. It’s the kind of game she’s capable of.”
And with Tadlock’s elevated role, Otey said she’s been putting in the necessary work to lead a team. With close to 20 rebounds per game gone from Johnson and all-conference center Ciara McClain, Tadlock will likely have to be one of many Mustangs crashing the boards.
“She’s our most experienced player that we have, and she’s ready for it,” Otey said. “She lives in the weight room, came to every open gym, knowing her responsibility.”