Athletes of Week: Pyles, Tomlin tight on, off court

cfghoops-3and13The first time Cheyenne Pyles and Alexis Tomlin met on the basketball court, they were on opposing teams. That was at a 3-on-3 tournament six years ago, and the two have been teammates ever since – now as sensational sophomores at Carolina Forest.

As the Mammy’s Kitchen Co-Athletes of the Week, the duo provides the perfect compliment for the Lady Panthers: Pyles as a 4-foot-10 floor general and point guard, and Tomlin as a 6-foot center and rebounding machine.

Both players are averaging 10 points per game for Carolina Forest and lead the team in other categories – Pyles with four assists per game and Tomlin with an astounding 14 boards.

“We’ve been good friends and teammates for a long time and playing with her is awesome,” Tomlin said. “It’s like we know each other’s games so well and where the other one is going to be. She’s a great ball-handler and passer and I handle things down low.”

Pyles concurs: “She is a great post player and she always plays hard,” Pyles said. “We work well together because we know each other like the back of our hands. I think that’s important because we know we can always depend on each other.”

Pyles and Tomlin, who were named team co-captains as only sophomores for their youthful leadership, are trying to bring that same feeling of togetherness to the entire team. The Lady Panthers are showing signs of reaching that goal, beginning with their surprising run to the championship game of the Carolina Invitational in Charleston over the holidays.

“The Charleston tournament was one of the first times we really played together as a team,” Tomlin said. “We have a young team so we seem to keep getting better the more we play together. We know the region games aren’t going to be easy but we’re ready for the challenge.”

Along with sophomore 3-point sharpshooter Ellen Nardella, who leads the team with 12 points per game, the Lady Panthers have some bright years ahead. But they are ready to make some noise now.

“If we can keep improving every game and come together as a team,” Pyles said, “we can do something big this year.”

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