HAILEYVILLE — Even from a distance, it’s obvious Haileyville junior Bryer Stites is pretty tall. But the closer you get, the more your neck cranes upward, almost to the point of pain.
By the time you’re at a conversational distance, your eyeballs have rolled so high in their sockets that you can almost see the inside of your skull.
All of which means, simply, that Stites is really, really big.
“I’d like to know how tall I am, but the scale at the clinic doesn’t go that high,” Stites said Wednesday.
“It’s kind of fun being tall. But in some spots ... like walking through doors, I’d rather be short.”
Stites is the starting center for the Haileyville Warriors. He measures approximately 6-foot-9 and weights 323 pounds.
He averages 15.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game, according to coach Jody Hull. He’s been a key member of a 2013-14 Warriors team that shocked the rest of the Pitt 8 Conference by upsetting the top three seeds and winning the Pitt 8 Tournament.
“For not being there in 70 years, it’s a bigtime deal, and it was really fun to play in,” Stites said of the Pitt 8. “I enjoyed it.”
Everything seemed to come together for the Warriors at the Pitt 8, but since then they’ve gone 1-3. They head into Friday’s district semifinal against Clayton at Stuart on a three-game losing streak.
“If we play like we did our last three games, we aren’t moving on,” Stites said. “That’s what we’re doing today, is working on getting our minds changed over and get back that Pitt 8 momentum, that spark we had.”
Hull said Stites’ numbers this season are “about the same” as last season, but this Warriors squad is without doubt a better team. Guards Tristan Tiger and Seth Davidson, a move-in and a freshman, respectively, have vastly improved the Warriors’ backcourt, but Stites attributes the team’s success to the rapport he’s developed with veteran forward Jason Mayo.