Whittell Warriors hoopsters keep rolling | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell Warriors hoopsters keep rolling

Whittell's Genaro Mena drives for a layup Saturday, Jan. 6, against Smith Valley.
Provided / Boyd Dangtongdee |

Whittell started the new year as hot on the hardwood as they were at the end of 2017.

The Warriors boys’ basketball team defeated Excel Christian 72-35 Friday, Jan. 5, on the road and the next day knocked off Smith Valley 75-48 at Zephyr Cove. The boys have won 11 straight games. The last loss came over a month ago, on Dec. 2.

“We are playing really well right now with our defensive presence and our ability to get multiple players in double figures in scoring,” said Warriors head coach Phillip Bryant. “I attribute a lot of that to the willingness of players to come in over the holidays to put in quality work in conditioning and execution.”

The Warriors got a head start to the weekend by dominating Excel Christian in Sparks, Nevada.

Corey Huber hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points and Trent Dingman added 18 points to help lead the Warriors’ balanced attack.

Isaiah Womack scored 15 points, Genaro Mena added 10 points and four assists, freshman Malachi Womack grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists, sophomore Zack Johns made four steals and Connor Huber hauled in six boards.

“We are not the typical picture perfect team that runs precise sets and gets six or eight touches on the ball every possession,” Bryant said. “We rely on playing hard and creating easy scoring opportunities with our defensive pressure. We like to force the pace and tempo and see what happens.”

Dingman led the Warriors offense the next day with 21 points against Smith Valley. He added four rebounds and three assists.

Also for the Warriors (13-1, 5-0 1A Northern League), Mena added 19 points, four assists and four steals, Isaiah Womack had 16 point, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists and Connor Huber had seven points.

The Warriors play fast-paced and go up and down the court. Points come in bunches and there are also some dry spells, but not too many so far this season.

“Our ‘system’ requires a great deal of patience from me as we miss and make shots in bunches,” Bryant said. “The players buy in and we all understand there are a lot of ups and downs playing … that way. It’s fun for all of us and entertaining for the fans because it uses the entire court.”

The Warriors have two players averaging double-digit points per game including Corey Huber (14.2) and Dingman (11.7). They have five others just short of 10 points per game including Troy Libert (8.9), Mena (8.8), freshman Mason Brown (8.0), Nic Buchholz (7.1) and Isaiah Womack (7.1).

“Genaro, Trent, Corey and Isaiah have all scored in double figures consistently and Libert protects the lane and offers his length as a deterrent to inside scoring,” Bryant said. “The bench guys all produce as well so we are on a good roll right now.”

The Warriors played Sage Ridge on Tuesday, Jan. 9, and will host Sierra Lutheran (4-1 1A Northern) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, before finishing the week Friday, Jan. 12, with another tough test against Mineral County (4-0 1A Northern) in Hawthorne, Nevada.

“We will take whatever happens with the style we play,” Bryant said. “We know Sierra Lutheran and Mineral County are very good and it may or may not work against them but it’s what we are going to do. So far the results have been good.”

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