Whittell hoops wins 5th straight to open season; host big tournament this week
The Whittell Warriors made it five straight wins to start the basketball season by winning four games in three days at the WREC Tournament in Wells/Carlin, Nev.
The Warriors traveled about six hours to Elko County and beatRound Mountain 66-35 and Carlin 94-49 on Thursday, got past Wells 63-56 Friday and topped Tonopah 59-40 Saturday to claim the tournament title.
In the four games, Trent Dingman led the Warriors with 84 points, Dylan Wade scored 66, Zach Johns added 56 and Isaiah Womack had 30 points and also dished 21 assists.
The Warriors defensive pressure has been key to their strong start, that and shooting the lights out.
Warriors head coach Phil Bryant said Malachi Womack has done a great job applying pressure to inbounds passes and that his older brother Isaiah and Zach Johns are the two best off the ball defenders he’s ever had, and he’s been coaching and winning championship for over 40 years.
“It is not a typical zone or run and jump press; it is a hybrid press that requires quick and accurate reads and then even quicker reactions,” Bryant said about his defense. “Malachi is a big disruptor and from there it is the speed and quickness of the other four defenders. We are also shooting well and have 37 threes in 5 games. We do go in to occasional funks but seem to always have enough left to finish strong.”
Bryant said he’s working on getting deeper on his bench by developing his younger players and he has a perfect chance starting Wednesday at the massive Whittell Invitational Basketball Tournament that lasts through Saturday.
About 30 boys’ and girls’ teams will participate in the four-day event that starts Wednesday and ends Saturday.
The Warriors will play four games in four days starting with Silver Stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. They will play Mammoth at 8 p.m. Thursday, Owyhee at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Oasis at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The price of admission is $6 for adults 19 and older and $3 for kids 18 and under.
“I’m really pleased with our early season progress and how we are playing,” Bryant said.