Whittell basketball team rolls through preseason
December 13, 2017
The Warriors boys' basketball team had a great weekend, winning four games in four days at its own Whittell Invitational Tournament.
The Warriors finished the pre-league season with eight victories in nine games — a better pace than two years ago when they won the state championship.
"We had a great tournament in terms of wins and improving play," said Warriors head coach Phillip Bryant. "Team unity is already at a higher point than it was all last year."
The Warriors have depth and are flying up and down the court. The team is committed this year to playing at a pace faster than ever.
They sprinted past each of their four tournament opponents, beating Owyhee 83-31, Mammoth 78-28, Tonopah 74-33 and Silver Stage 82-56. The Warriors on average this year are out scoring their opponents 67-38 per game.
The Warriors go seven deep with juniors and seniors and also have a few sophomores and freshmen who are contributing.
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"We have always been an up-tempo team but this year we have even stepped it up more," Bryant said. "It is always a gamble to force pace to the level we have, but the players have bought in and we like our chances to continue to be productive. We are scoring at a higher rate, generating more turnovers and shooting a higher percentage than we have even in our state championship years."
Senior guard Corey Huber is leading the team in scoring, although the Warriors have a balanced attack with four and sometimes five players reaching double digits in the same game.
Junior 6-foot-6 forward Troy Libert asserts his will inside, senior Nic Buchholz grabs boards in the post, and the point-guard-by-committee of Trent Dingman, Isaiah Womack and Genaro Mena is pushing the pace.
"Corey has moved from three years as a point guard to become our leading wing scorer," Bryant said. "Troy has become a force inside with his length and has become a serious scoring threat down low. Nic has moved from wing to a post/wing position and really brings a lot of effort to rebounding and assisting. Trent, Isaiah and Genaro handle the ball and push it up court. It is a 'whoever gets it goes with it' philosophy. Each of those guys brings a different look when the go with the ball. Then add Connor Huber to the mix and you have instant offense when he comes in."
The Warriors will get Zack Johns back soon and he will join Malachi Womack, Dyland Wade and Jack White as freshmen who are making contributions and gaining experience.
The Warriors (8-1) began play in the 1A Western League Tuesday afternoon against Sage Ridge in Reno.
They will play Friday at Pyramid Lake and return home Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. clash against Coleville.