Incline senior Redfern leaving mark on Nevada record books
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. —Taylor Redfern’s career statistics are stunning.
Her name is scattered throughout the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association record book like it’s a biography.
Points, 3-pointers, blocks, assists — she’s there among the 2A career leaders in all of them, especially when it comes to those 3s.
The Incline star is half way through her senior season and continues to climb the ranks, padding her lead in some categories, while steering the Highlander girls’ basketball team toward another postseason berth.
“We’ve had some good players here but I’ve never seen anybody shoot the ball like her,” said Highlanders head coach Indra Winquest. “You rarely see good corner shooters, but she’s lights out. She’s one of those rare players that got locked in on how to shoot the ball at a young age. She puts in a lot of time, and would be in the gym using the shooting machine taking 2,000 shots a week.”
Redfern first started playing recreation hoops in the second grade with her twin brother Johnny, a key player for the Incline boys’ team, which is working on its own special season.
She played with him on a boys’ travel team until the seventh grade.
During middle school at Lake Tahoe School, Redfern was coached by Tim “TK” Kelly, who now guides the Incline boys.
Kelly said during her seventh and eighth grade years that Redfern made the decision to be great.
“We, Tay, her dad and I, worked really hard in the gym those years,” Kelly said. “In sixth grade she decided basketball was important but those last two years is when she decided to be great. I was just the helper. She was in eighth grade and I knew what she could accomplish. She was ready when she stepped into IHS.”
Redfern was so well adjusted to strong competition that she started as a freshman from the very first game and led the team in scoring (13.2 points per game).
She earned her first of three consecutive first team All-Northern League and All-State awards.
Winquest said Redfern had a “coming out” party in the state championship game where she scored 24 points in a 44-43 loss to White Pine, and looked like anything but a freshman.
“She got fouled in the final minute and hit all three free throws to give us a 1-point lead,” Winquest said.
Kelly was also on the bench and said he has never felt more proud than when he watched Redfern sink all three shots.
“I knew they were going in as soon as she got fouled,” Kelly said. “I sat on the bench with 100 percent confidence because we had shot those free throws thousands of times in the last three years.”
“When I was in middle school and younger it was more about getting to this spot,” Redfern said Wednesday after practice. “TK was helping me get ready for the step up in competition. I thought it was going to a more drastic step coming from middle school to high school, but playing with boys in middle school I was surprised I was pretty well prepared for the next level.”
Dangerous behind the arc
After the freshman season, Kelly helped Redfern connect with a Nike-sponsored club team based in Oregon. Every week Redfern would get on a plane for a weekend of games and fly back for school.
“It was really intense, a lot of travel and I didn’t really like that,” Redfern said. “It felt more like a job and I was getting burned out.”
By her sophomore year, her fire was re-lit and she filled up the basket from 3-point land at a better clip than anyone in 2A history. She drained 93 3-pointers, fourth best in a single season.
She hit more her junior year and fell short of the single season record (104) by five (99). But she also recorded her total in 25 games while the record was set in 31 games. If she played even one more game she might top the list.
“I really want to set the record for 3s in a season, I really want that one,” Redfern said. “I’ve been so close, it’s really annoying.”
“It’s my fault,” Winquest said. “I didn’t schedule enough games.”
By the end of her junior season, Redfern grabbed ownership of the most career 3-pointers for any 2A athlete (246) and is in second place in any division with 290 after hitting 44 from deep in 11 games.
She also owns the 2A record for most 3-pointers in a single game with 11, set her sophomore year against rival North Tahoe, who coincidentally, or not, is her favorite opponent to play against.
The 11 3s are tied for second in the state in any division.
She also is in second place in that category with 10, also against the Lakers last season.
“If you leave her open, she’s going to make you pay,” Winquest said. “She’s got depth so she can go from 25 feet out. A lot of 3s she hits in games are 4 to 5 feet beyond the 3-point line because she’s being guarded so close. She’s so intelligent and creative off the court, artistically, that she has that creative way of looking at things. She knows how to get her shot and get others involved.”
‘Quiet team leader’
Redfern also is moving up the career point leaderboard and is about to break the Incline school record.
With her 187 points in 10 games played this season, she has 1,401 for her career. That places her fifth best in 2A history and just 22 points behind former Highlander great Molly Franklin, who had 1,423 points from 2012 to 2015.
Redfern also has 15 blocks this season and has moved into second place in 2A with 195 behind former teammate Kira Porter (2013-16) who is way out front with 394.
Redfern is also ninth in career assists with 255 and over the next few weeks could move up to sixth.
She has a game high of 46 points set in 2017.
“It’s not a huge deal for me,” Redfern said about her name being all over the record book. “I kind of forget about that stuff. My dad is usually the one to point that out to me, like sending emails and everything. I look more at the game stats, because that’s more what I concern myself with, but it’s cool.”
Redfern does it all with a quiet confidence on and off the court. The humble star is soft-spoken and Winquest said she’s not the type of player who will “start freaking out” on teammates if the team isn’t performing.
“She’s a quiet team leader,” Winquest said. “She’s not going to get up at halftime when we’re having a hard time and start freaking out on girls, but she’ll step up and say something. And when you have that quiet leadership style, when she does talk, everybody listens. She has so much respect from her teammates because she’s been there, she’s been to the state championship game, she’s won a regional championship, she’s battled-tested and I think the players look up to her.”
Redfern says she has no plans to pursue a hoops career at the next level, even though many programs would likely welcome her. She plans to put her education first and is worried playing at a division I college would ruin the college experience.
“I pretty much know I’m not going to pursue playing in college,” Redfern said. “So for me this season is about impressing myself and being satisfied with myself after the end of this chapter.”
The Highlanders (10-1, 4-0 Northern) jump back into Northern League play Friday night with a road clash at White Pine (11-1, 4-0 Northern)
“This season, I want to get to state,” Redfern said. “It’s the first hurdle and the next one is to win it. We’ve come really close once, that was a bummer, you can’t come any closer to winning than we did. That’s something I’ve been chasing.”