Whittell triumphant in Bryant’s return to former school | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell triumphant in Bryant’s return to former school

Whittell coach Phil Bryant poses for a picture with his team Wednesday, Jan. 17, on his court “Coach Bryant Court” at Westwood High School in Northern California.
Provided / Boyd Dangtongdee |

Whittell basketball coach Phil Bryant was triumphant in his return to the place where he coached for 37 years.

Bryant’s Warriors celebrated his return Wednesday night, Jan. 17, with a 72-32 victory over the Westwood Wolverines on the court named after Bryant.

“I have so many great memories of coaching there and the many, many great players who contributed to both the football and basketball championships we won,” Bryant said. “They even saw the retired football and basketball jerseys of my son, Matt, who set a number of Northern California records.”

Bryant didn’t exactly like the way his team started the night, but the Warriors still led 18-7 after the first quarter and pulled away from there.

“We started a little slow in the first quarter but from there on it was our defensive press that took over,” Bryant said.

Bryant brought some junior varsity players on the trip and everybody got into the game.

Corey Huber drained five 3-pointers and led the Warriors with 17 points and Nic Buchholz added 11 points.

Bryant was pleased with his big man’s continued dominance in the paint and the aggressiveness of his point guard.

“Troy Libert continues to be a monster on the boards and I have been particularly impressed with the play of Genaro Mena,” Bryant said. “He has really stepped up his play on both ends of the court and is aggressive in attacking the rim.”

The Warriors (16-2, 7-1 Western) faced Western League leader Sierra Lutheran (8-1 Western) Friday, Jan. 19, (after press deadline) in Carson City. Sierra Lutheran was responsible for the Warriors lone league loss.

The Warriors will then come home Saturday, Jan. 20, for a 5:30 p.m. battle against Virginia City (6-2 Western).

“If we can win both, that should get us where we want to be,” Bryant said.

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