At 6-feet 2-inches tall, Spanish Springs’ point guard Kenny Meyer isn’t going to physically intimidate anyone walking off the bus – he waits until pregame shoot around to do that.
Meyer finds the bottom of the net, a lot.
Through nine games this season (the Cougars are 5-4, 2-1 in league games), Meyer leads the team in scoring at 19.6 points a contest while shooting a team-high 45 percent from the floor. He scored a season-high 26 points in the Cougars’ 63-53 win over North Valleys last Thursday.
“We rely on him (Meyer) to do a lot of things,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said. “He is our point guard so he has to handle it and he’s our best scorer too so he has to score for us. So we really rely on him to take care of a lot.”
Meyer said he realizes his responsibility as the team’s go-to scoring option but is also aware of the traditional role of his position: passing.
“Sometimes I feel like it is kind of my job (to score) because we have to have that scoring,” Meyer said. “But hopefully if it doesn’t, then we have other people to step up.”
When he isn’t scoring, he is helping his teammates get in a position to get into the stat sheet, leading the team with 3.9 assists a game.
Twice this season, with the game on the line in the final moments, Penney has drawn up plays for Meyer to take the last-second shot. He is 2-0 in those shots.
Meyer hit a layup at the buzzer in the consolation championship of the preseason Wine Valley Classic, against Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.), to force overtime before the Cougars hoisted a trophy with a 61-51 win. He finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the game. Earlier in the same tournament, Meyer hit a shot in the final seconds to force overtime against Vintage (Calif.).
“Both those games he did that, the play was drawn for him, with other options as well but he is definitely our first option,” Penney said. “He has come through both times so there is no reason to go away from it.”
Playing hoops since the fifth grade with several of the players on this year’s squad, Meyer’s intelligence on the floor is parallel to this athletic ability. The senior point guard has committed just 21 fouls this season (2.3 per game) allowing him to stay on the court.
That is not to say he isn’t aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. Meyer leads the team in steals with 3.4 a game. Dupree Kness’ 1.9 steals a meeting are second on the team.
Meyer said his goal for the season is to host a playoff game for the second straight season. He said last year’s home playoff game against Carson, as the High Desert League’s No. 2 seed, was the highlight of his career.
The Senators topped the Cougars 38-37 in the North quarterfinal, however, before falling in the North title game, in overtime, to Hug.
As for his post-high school career, Meyer remains undecided where he wants to play but is determined to compete in the college ranks. He has received interest from Willamette University (an NCAA Div. III school in Salem, Ore.) and Southern Oregon University (a NAIA school in Ashland, Ore.).
Meyer recently visited the Southern Oregon campus and said “he liked what he saw.” The Raiders’ coaching staff has also recruited Meyer in person already once this season. Southern Oregon (13-2) is currently the No. 2 NAIA team in the nation.
But before he starts deciding how he is going to decorate his dorm room, where ever that may be, Meyer simply hopes to soak in the final months of his high school basketball career with his buddies.
“(I am going to miss) being able to play with my friends,” Meyer said. “All these guys … I’ve been with them since (fifth grade) and it’s going to suck not playing with them.”