Warriors win 3 of 4 to start hoops season
The Whittell Warriors boys’ basketball team won three out of four games this past weekend at the 17th annual WREC Classic in Wells and Carlin, Nevada to start the 2017-18 season.
The Warriors knocked off tournament host Wells 65-34 in the first round Thursday, Nov. 30, and then a short time later got some sort of revenge over Pahranagat Valley, who knocked the Warriors football team out of the playoffs. The Warriors beat the Panthers 50-44.
Whittell lost Friday to Wendover 59-40 and finished the tournament with a 60-4 victory over Round Mountain.
“The PV win was especially significant because of their size and the history of losing to them in football,” said Warriors head coach Phillip Bryant. “They are the preseason favorite to win state and it was a solid win. We showed great character in coming from 10 down at the start of the fourth quarter.”
Senior Corey Huber led the Warriors with 55 points combined in the four games, including a 25-point explosion with three 3-pointers in the season opener against Wells. He added 16 in the win over Pahranagat and made nine steals in the tournament.
Warriors’ Troy Libert, a 6-foot-6 senior, averaged about seven points while also collecting 40 rebounds, 10 per game. He also blocked eight shots.
Aside from Huber averaging in double digits in points, the Warriors scoring was balanced. Juniors Trent Dingman, and Isaiah Womack and senior Nic Buchholz each scored 23 points, senior Genaro Mena added 20 and senior Connor Huber had 15. Mena added eight assists and eight steals and Buchholz and Womack each made eight steals.
“Corey had a great opening four games and we are starting to develop a strong rotation,” Bryant said. “We play up-tempo on both ends of the floor and have to have depth to do that. I was really pleased with the energy that Troy is playing with. He did a great job against 6-9 Cullen Highbee in the PV game. We still have a long way to go to be where we would like to be and our consistency needs to pick up to do that.”
Whittell won the 1A state championship two seasons ago and last year was knocked out in the Northern Region semifinals.
Whittell began its home schedule Tuesday night against Loyalton and will host the Whittell Invitational Tournament from Wednesday, Dec. 6 to Saturday, Dec. 9.
Eighteen boys and girls teams will compete in the four-day event, including Truckee, Excel Christian, Hug, Pershing County, Eureka, Lone Pine, Pyramid Lake, North Tahoe, Silver Stage, Mineral County, Tonopah, Dayton, Incline, Ashland, Mammoth, North Valleys and Owyhee.
The Whittell girls will kickoff the tournament at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Owyhee with the boys following at 7:30.