Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia is a passer one game, a scorer the next

first_imgThree days after Tiana Mangakahia torched Georgia Tech to the tune of a career-high 44 points, then-No. 11 Florida State tried to clamp down on SU’s dynamic point guard.When Mangakahia seemed to slip free of her defender thanks to an on-ball screen, the Seminoles sent help to hedge hard and force the point guard to find an outlet. FSU wasn’t going to let Mangakahia beat them.She still did though, dishing 13 assists, namely to Miranda Drummond, who racked up 38 points and led the Orange to an upset win.“It’s about what we needed,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We needed all 44 points for us to win the game, and she went out and did that. The next game, they kinda sat on her a little harder and she just found her teammates.”Roughly halfway through her inaugural season with Syracuse (14-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast), Mangakahia has shown an innate ability to flip the switch from scoring to passing. On Jan. 4 against the Yellow Jackets, it was her turn to pile on point after point. Against FSU, she quickly realized she couldn’t be the main scorer and fed Drummond. One way or the other, game by game, Mangakahia can fill whichever role is needed of her.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I’m not having a good day,” Mangakahia said, “we can all step up, we can all contribute.”Dan Olson, the director of girlsbasketballreport.com, which is partnered with ESPNW, ranked Mangakahia as the top junior college point guard when she was at Hutchinson Community College. Then, she was entirely pass-first, and Olson called her the “purest of point guards” and a “distributor.”Earlier this season, Mangakahia fit that bill. She started the season with a six-point, 10-assist outing against Morgan State, and didn’t dip below 10 helpers until the ninth game of the season — a 79-39 blowout against Colgate in which Mangakahia played a season-low 28 minutes.Now, though, Mangakahia looks to pass or score based on what she sees from a defense, she said. Against GT, the defense “sagged” when she came off screens. This gave her room to move downhill and attack the basket.Kevin Camelo | Digital Design EditorThree days later, Florida State went out of its way to stop Mangakahia, so she beat them by helping Drummond light it up. Against FSU, the defense dictated Mangakahia’s play, Hillsman said.To slow Mangakahia down, the Seminoles sent an extra defender to the top of the key when she dribbled around a ball screen. If they didn’t show her a double team, the Seminoles hedged the screen hard, slowing Mangakahia enough to let her defender try and fight through the screen.But by choosing to doggedly focus on Mangakahia, the Seminoles left others open.“I did feel like they weren’t letting me get into the lane as much,” Mangakahia said. “… when teams start to take away something, you try something else.”When she is forced into passing, Mangakahia has excelled at making defenses pay — 11 times this season, she has racked up at least 10 assists.Some passes come in the form of drive-and-kicks, when Mangakahia will crash into the lane, causing the defense to collapse and letting her feed an open shooter. In other instances, she’ll bounce a pass to a back-cutting Drummond. When she looks for the bigs down low, Mangakahia will float a lob, letting the lengthy Digna Strautmane or Amaya Finklea-Guity grab it.“I just try and do whatever the defense gives me,” Mangakahia said. “Against Georgia Tech I felt like I could attack them, and I stuck to that.”During a five-game stretch starting in December, Mangakahia failed to eclipse 10 assists in any contest. However, she averaged 24.4 points per game over that span, the most of any Syracuse player.One of those games was a 12-point, nine-assist outing against UNLV on Dec. 22, but the day before, Mangakahia scored 20 against then-No. 5 Mississippi State. A week later, on Dec. 28, she poured in 26 in South Bend, Indiana, when SU faced then-No. 2 Notre Dame.Then, it was 44 against GT. It seemed Mangakahia was poised to continue her hot scoring, to fill it up every game, almost at will.But Florida State decided to slow her scoring, so she decided to pass. Comments Published on January 16, 2018 at 11:27 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Exercise picks up body, and soul

first_imgVaughan, a Canyon Country resident, has been a personal trainer before. He did the same thing for his father, Oliver “Mike” Vaughan, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 1987. “That normally kills people in three days,” Vaughan said. “At that time, he could move nothing but his left hand.” Vaughan took him to a local gym regularly for five years. “It does good things for your heart, but it also keeps you more mobile because your muscles are stronger,” Vaughan said. Vaughan’s father started with 10-pound weights. At the end, he was doing leg presses with 160-pound weights. His father died two weeks before his 92nd birthday, Vaughan said. Vaughan believes that the exercise routine helped his father recover from his hemorrhage and live longer. And he thought he could do the same thing for his friend. Moeller fell off a ladder at his Newhall home while trimming a tree the day before Thanksgiving in 2006. He suffered brain damage and was in a coma for nearly five weeks at local hospitals, his wife, Betty Moeller, said. Moeller had to learn how to walk and talk again, and his memory can be spotty. While Moeller was in rehab, Vaughan told Betty Moeller what he did for his father and offered his help. The exercise sessions started last April, and Betty Moeller remembers her husband smiling at the first one. “I just knew that he was enjoying it,” Betty Moeller said. Vaughan started Moeller on 10-pound weights. Now, Moeller can boast about leg presses with 130-pound weights. At the gym, Vaughan guides Moeller through the maze of machines, sets the weights and tells him how many repetitions to do. Betty Moeller follows them around armed with a clipboard and an exercise log that Vaughan created. She uses color-coded pens – purple, red and blue – to keep track of her husband’s progress. Moeller makes sure they aren’t late for those scheduled workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “He watches the clock,” said Betty Moeller, 73. “He preaches the time to me.” Vaughan has no formal physical-education instruction, but said he’s learned by reading and exercising since 1952. He keeps a kind-hearted drill-sergeant tone during the roughly 30-minute workout, praising Moeller while pushing him to do more. “When I go home from here, I’m tired,” said Don Moeller. But, he admits he has more energy and feels better since he started exercising. He said he helps clean up the backyard and can do light chores at home. Vaughan downplays his role. “I think that is what friends are for,” he said. jerry.berrios@dailynews.com 661-257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CANYON COUNTRY – When Don Moeller and Marion Vaughan met, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and astronauts were more than a decade away from landing on the moon. It was 1956, and the two worked at Hughes Aircraft Company in Palmdale. Vaughan was a storeroom supervisor and Moeller was an electronics technician. They lost touch but were reunited some 20 years later when they both worked at Litton Data Systems Division in Van Nuys. “He was the program manager on the program I was working on,” Vaughan said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe two men drifted apart again until they ran into each other several years ago at Newhall Hardware. They have that easy kind of friendship that time and distance can’t tarnish. So when Vaughan heard that Moeller fell off a ladder while trimming a tree last year, he offered to help him rebuild his strength. Since April, Vaughan, 72, has guided Moeller, 73, through a series of exercises designed to help him pump up his body, mind and spirit. They can be found three times a week lifting weights at 24 Hour Fitness Active in Canyon Country. last_img read more