Come the Region 6-AAAAAA tournament, the good news for opposing boys’ basketball teams was that Lambert junior guard Tanner Hall was stuck on the sideline. He had mono. This was supposed to be the chance for another team to upset the Longhorns.
That sentiment sums up the 2014-15 Forsyth County News’ Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year’s season in which Hall asserted himself as arguably the most complete player in the county.
Coming off the best season in school history, Lambert had question marks with the graduation of three double-digit scoring starters. Hall led the way for the retooled Longhorns and made sure they had answers, averaging 14.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 steals. Hall stood out in Lambert’s balanced system, whether driving, dishing, shooting or defending.
The one caveat: He wasn’t healthy enough to contribute as Lambert eventually won that region tournament and then reached the second round of the Class AAAAAA tournament.
If Hall has his way, he won’t give opponents the hope of seeing him on the sideline when it matters most next season.
Question: How would you describe your team’s season?
Hall: “I think our team came together a lot more than I thought we were going to, because we lost a bunch of starters from last year. But this year I felt we were a lot deeper and we could play 10 guys, as opposed to last year when we could only play seven. I felt we really played good defense. Just played as a team. We came together in the end, and it showed.”
Q: What about your season?
Hall: “I felt like I had a bigger role this year. With all those guys leaving I had a bigger role. I had to score a little more than I’m used to. I felt like I did a good job of playing defense and getting my team the ball when other people were hot when I didn’t have such good games. Somebody always stepped up.”
Q: What felt like the biggest challenge this season?
Hall: “The region tournament, the toughest part was not playing, definitely. Knowing what it felt like last year to lose in the region championship and then how the whole year I thought about winning it this year, and then I got mono and couldn’t play. That was the toughest part, just not being out there with my team.”
Q: What would you call the highlight of your season?
Hall: “Well, [the region championship] was the worst and best part, because I got to see my team come together, really play as a team and get that revenge from last year. That was the coolest part for me. Even though I couldn’t play, it was awesome seeing that.”
Q: Skip ahead to next season. What kind of things do you want to accomplish as a senior?
Hall: “I want to definitely have the school record for wins [in a single season], which we broke this year. I want to go to the Final Four. We have almost everybody back. We lose a couple people, but I think we can make something happen next year, make a run. That’d be awesome for my senior year, to go out like that.”