Warriors snag pair of preseason wins
The Warriors kept their winning ways on a roll Friday in a preseason matchup at Loyalton High School.
The boys defeated Loyalton 48-44 in overtime, and the girls secured their game with a 49-33 win.
The Warrior boys basketball team took control of the game when junior Mark Waite and sophomore Bryce Bronken started alternating coverage on Loyalton’s leading scorer. He had scored 14 points in the first half, but Waite and Bryce Bronken shut him down in the second. At point guard, Garrett Bronken, Palmer Chaplin and Austin Neil forced several defensive errors by Loyalton.
“We still aren’t where we would like to be, but we are getting better. Hopefully, we are closing the gap a little between us and the power schools in our league like South Tahoe, Sparks, Truckee and Incline,” boys coach Phil Bryant said in an email. “It’s an uphill battle for us with our small enrollment but as long as the kids are playing hard we can feel good about our effort.”
Bryant went on to say he’s seeing solid senior leadership and promising game from freshmen Chaplin, Colin Bucholz, Quinn Kixmiller and Andy Delgado, who are backing up the seniors.
“Add in sophomores Bryce Bronken and Jake Sharp, plus juniors Mark Waite and Cody Wyatt and the future looks bright,” Bryant said.
High scorers for the boys were Neil with 14, Chaplin with 12 and Garrett Bronken with 10. Neil led the rebounders with 13 boards and Wyatt grabbed eight.
“With a solid group of eighth-graders coming up, we feel this year’s success is laying the foundation to compete for state titles in our division in the future,” Bryant said. “We need to keep the good players in our area, on our campus, and not lose them to South Tahoe, Douglas or anywhere else. We will keep getting the word out that Whittell basketball is building, and players will want to be a part of it.”
For the lady Warriors, Emily Harris led the way with 18 points. Tori Jimenez put up 13, and Amanda Harris recorded 12.
The girls went into halftime trailing by seven, but had a complete turnaround in the second half.
“We came out and went on an 11-0 run in the second half,” girls coach Tom Esposito said. “Our first half wasn’t going well so we talked about slowing it down and the girls came out strong.”
The boys are now 6-1 in preseason, while the girls improved to 5-4 overall.
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