Players’ opinions vary on Lawlor |

Players’ opinions vary on Lawlor

Matt O'Neill and Steve Yingling

RENO – A shootaround an hour before the opening tip enabled Whittell High to get accustomed to the cavernous Lawlor Events Center on Thursday.

However, the larger court and unfamiliar shooting background left the Warriors with varied impressions.

Based on senior center Joel Warnick’s performance, he probably wishes he had played all of his prep games on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Warnick didn’t miss a shot, hitting two field goal attempts and both free-throw tries before fouling out in the fourth period.

“I guess it was making my shot better, because I was making more points,” said Warnick, who scored six points. “That was neat to play on the floor and to look around and see a big stadium. I liked it better because there was no wall behind the backboard. You could see far away, which makes your shot a little bit different.”

Freshman Nick Summers struggled with his outside shot but still burned the Mustangs repeatedly off screens to score a team-high 16 points.

“I know I was a little jittery at the start, not being able to see the end of the gym,” Summers said.

If Greg Goorjian’s name looks familiar, it’s because the Mustangs’ first-year coach played for Jerry Tarkanian and the Runnin’ Rebels in the early 1980s before transferring to Loyola Marymount.

But Goorjian says his up-tempo offensive experiences in college have nothing to do with the transition style his Mustangs play.

“That’s the style we have based on the team we have,” Goorjian said. “I don’t think you’ll always see us play this way.”

Summers tough day shooting might have had something to do with his pre-game ritual being upset. He wasn’t able to watch his inspirational film, “Hoosiers” before the contest because there was no VCR in his hotel room.

One thing is for sure, it wasn’t because of the early starting time.

“I was up at 6:30, ready to play,” the freshman said.

Although the Warriors are out of the running for the state title, they are not planning on going home quietly. For senior Bryan Sigel, he is going to make sure his last game as a Warrior is a special one.

“We just want to finish as high as we can,” Sigel said. “We still want to make a point that we are for real and that we belong here.”

Friday’s game will mark the fourth time that Tonopah and the Warriors will tangle. The Muckers have the season edge at 2-1, but Whittell claimed the biggest of the three wins, beating Tonopah in the division championship.

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