- Associated Press - Sunday, March 8, 2015

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - Coming from a basketball family has helped a Wahpeton brother-sister duo become stars on their high school teams.

Blaze Irwin is leading the boys basketball team as the conference’s top seed. His younger sister, Tylee, is relishing in her role as captain of the girls basketball team. Both lead their teams in points and rebounds.

The pair grew up around the game thanks to their father, Craig, a former basketball coach at North Dakota State College of Science. That’s also where their older sister Tawny played college ball.

“I would go to practices a lot, shooting free throws on the side or something like that. Sometimes I’d play one-on-one with some of the players, or Blaze,” Tylee told the Wahpeton Daily News (https://bit.ly/1GpIzQ9 ). “It was always one of my favorite things to do, go to the college and watch the practices and shoot-arounds.”

Blaze said his matchups with Tawny were once one-sided. She had the height advantage, he said, and always blocked his shots.

“Finally I hit my growth spurt and it kinda flip-flopped around,” Blaze said.

Blaze, a 6-foot-5 senior, broke a school record last month for most points scored in a varsity career. He has verbally committed to play at Minot State University next year, choosing basketball over football.

Tylee, a sophomore, achieved a rare feat by scoring her first points on the varsity team when she was in seventh grade. Tawny was a senior on the team that year.

In eighth grade, Tylee saw more playing time. She was named all-conference her freshman year, and repeated the feat this season.

Tylee’s coach, Brian Watson, said she’s a “complete player” and was ready to take on the role of captain this season. The girls team finds itself in the middle of the pack in conference play as it battles for a state berth.

Having older siblings in basketball, has helped hone her game, Tylee said.

“If I ever have a question, it’s not too hard to ask somebody,” she said. “I always have someone to go out and shoot with.”


Information from: Wahpeton Daily News, https://www.wahpetondailynews.com


Information from: Wahpeton Daily News, https://www.wahpetondailynews.com

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