By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
After losing to Newark Memorial in the North Coast Section Division 2 championship game, Windsor basketball coach Steve Kramer admitted that center Tanner Giddings had tired out by the end of the game. And he understood why.
“We ask Tanner to do so much,” Kramer said. “Tanner inbounds the ball. Tanner brings the ball up the floor. Then we get the ball out of his hands, then we want him to catch it and be able to score. And he’s gotta defend the basket. And he’s gotta rebound. He does everything. I know he gets tired. But we got him off the floor, we got a different guy taking it out, and we turn it over. We just can’t function without him.”
With Giddings, the Jaguars functioned well enough to have the best season in program history, going 28-7 and winning a game in the CIF state playoffs before their run finally came to an end. Giddings’ role in Windsor’s memorable run makes him The Press Democrat’s 2012 Large School Player of the Year.
“I really enjoyed it,” Giddings said. “Were were really all there for the same reason, to see how far we could go in the playoffs. We went about as far as I projected us to go.”
Certainly, Giddings had help. The Jaguars had a more-than-solid starting five with seniors Kameron Richardson, Christian McAlvain and Kameron Kiech and junior Casey Myers joining Giddings. But there was no doubt who powered Windsor to an 11-1 Sonoma County League record.
“That’s what an MVP is — you take Giddings off that team, and they probably finish third or fourth,” one opposing coach said.
Giddings averaged 16.7 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.5 assists per game, but of course the numbers don’t tell the full story.
The 6-foot-10 center controlled the post on both ends of the floor. On defense, he forced opponents into a perimeter game with his lanky reach. On offense, the ball usually went through Giddings.
“He’s always unselfish,” Kramer said. “If they doubled him inside, he’d kick it out to find the open guy.”
Giddings isn’t done playing. He has committed to Fresno State, where he is likely to play forward for the Bulldogs. All that effort taking on non-traditional center tasks is about to pay off.
“It was a lot of pressure, but it helped me better my game,” Giddings said. “Bringing the ball up the court — I know I’ll do a little of that next year.”
You can reach Staff Writer Phil Barber at 521-5263 or email@example.com.
LARGE-SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tanner Giddings, Windsor, senior
Jalen Gilbert, Analy, senior
Mohannad Haleweh, Analy, senior
Kenny Love, Cardinal Newman, junior
Brian McCammon, Montgomery, senior
Kameron Richardson, Windsor, senior
Nathan Benjamin, Analy, senior
Brian Johnson, Maria Carrillo, senior
Kyle King, Cardinal Newman, senior
Tim McCullough, Cardinal Newman, junior
Alec Raven, Montgomery, sophomore
Chris Cavalin, Cardinal Newman, senior
Ricky Garcia, Rancho Cotate, senior
Kiel Long, Montgomery, sophomore
Cameron Lutz, Healdsburg, junior
Chase Stafford, Casa Grande, senior
COACH OF THE YEAR
Tom Fitchie, Montgomery