Ashley junior Tyre Gathright backed up his reputation as one of the area’s most gifted offensive players when he erupted for 70 points in a pair of victories last week. The 6-foot-2 swingman had 36 points in Wednesday’s victory at Clinton and then scored 12 of his 34 points in the decisive third quarter of Friday’s 74-61 win over rival Laney.
StarNews correspondent Evan Edwards caught up with Gathright, the Star-News Player of the Week for Jan. 6-11:
How did it feel to carry your team to two big wins last week?
It felt good just to know that my teammates trust me. It all started defensively. Our energy… it all picked up. Then that got us all going offensively.
How has it been playing with a point guard that likes to get the ball out quick and play fast like Jake Stinnett?
He’s really good. I trust him bringing the ball up the court. He brings pressure on defense. He can really pass the ball and he’s just a good point guard. We all trust him.
Your team lost some key players in the offseason due to transfer and graduation. How has it been taking on a new role as the go-to player?
In the beginning it was a learning experience, but as the season has gone on, I’ve learned how to accept the role of being the offensive threat. I had to take on that role and just be a better leader.
Coach David Rutledge recently said you were the most physically gifted player he’s ever coached. What does that mean to you?
It is a big honor. He has told me about some of the kids he’s coached, and how ready they were skill wise. It just feels good to know he said that.
It’s the first year under this new head coach, how much credit will you give to him to your team’s early success?
I give him a lot of credit. He’s done a lot for the Ashley program. He turned it around. He turned us as players. He improved us a lot. It was all just beneficial.
How about all that running that he made you do in the offseason?
At first, I didn’t like it at all. But I realized what he was trying to do, and it has paid off a lot.
Who would you like to say you model your game after?
I would have to say Dwyane Wade. Just his aggressiveness and how he slashes and attacks the basket. Just that mentality of ‘I’m going to get to the rim.’
In the long run, how do you think you guys will fare?
We’ve got to continue to get better, and help everybody out. We just have to get better every day.
Any pregame rituals?
I just listen to music and get my head right. I just think about what I’ve got to do, and what we’ve got to do as a team to win.
Any favorite artists or songs in particular?
Lots of varieties. Every game it’s a different song. Not just one in particular.
Reprinted from the Star-News