- Associated Press - Friday, March 14, 2014

Tania Davis is usually the smallest player on the basketball floor, but she had one of the biggest junior seasons in the state.

At 5-foot-5, the speedy floor general put Goodrich’s team on her back and carried the two-time defending state champions to an 18-2 regular season record. In return, Davis made the Associated Press Class B All-State team and became the first Player of the Year in school history.

She uses her self-described “little person syndrome” on the hardwood to do big things.

“I try to find a way around it,” Davis laughed. “It makes me work 10 times harder knowing that I’m the smallest player on the court, and it’s definitely a challenge because it forces me to find different ways to score and by being creative to do other things.”

Davis averaged 19.1 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game while shooting 78 percent from the free throw line. She scored 25 points or more in five regular season games this year, including a 41-point outburst against Flint Beecher in the fourth game of the season. Davis eclipsed the 1,000-point career scoring mark against Durand on Jan. 30.

Last year’s Miss Basketball winner, Tori Jankoska of Freeland, called Davis her top opponent in the state as a sophomore, when she received special mention All-State. But this year, her game reached another level as she played her best against the top teams on Goodrich’s schedule. The Martians played eight non-league games this season, and six of those teams won district titles.

“For her to be able to lead us to the number of victories that she did this year, especially against quality opponents, and to be able to score the way that she did being the focus of defenses is a brilliant indication of why she won the (Player of the Year) award,” Goodrich coach Jason Gray said. “She has all of the signs of being a really special player.”

Davis got introduced to basketball by her parents, Keyatta Anderson and Roy Davis, who both graduated from Flint Southwestern and played high school hoops. Anderson was a former teammate of WNBA player Stacey Thomas, and Roy Davis played with NBA player Charlie Bell. Roy Davis would let his daughter attend open gyms with him at Coolidge Elementary in Flint as early as 3 years old, and her mother traveled with her to all of her games.

“She played in a co-ed league with boys at 5 years old and I remember she was hitting so many shots in a row in one game, and after she hit a big one with a tight score in the second half she had her wrist up in the air looking at me,” said Roy Davis, who played at Mott Community and Delta colleges. “That’s when I kind of knew that she had it.”

As a senior, Davis wants to get more consistent on her outside shooting and finishing around the basket. She holds offers from Iowa, Kansas, DePaul, West Virginia, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

The rest of the AP Class B All-State team includes a pair of Miss Basketball finalists - Three Rivers senior Teagan Reeves and senior Asia Doss of Birmingham Detroit Country Day - as well as fellow seniors Payton Birchmeier of Corunna, Madison Geers of Scottville Mason County Central, Ally Haran of Flint Powers Catholic, Elisa Jurmu of Houghton, Ashley Overbeek of Hamilton, Maddy Seeley of Alma and Lindsey Winter of Clare, plus Ypsilanti Arbor sophomore Nastassja Chambers and Benton Harbor sisters Kalabrya Gondrezick (junior) and Kysre Gondrezick (sophomore).

Gray was voted the Class B Coach of the Year.



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