Warrior boys target deep run to success
Depth is a concern for Wheatmore boys basketball coach David Spell.
He returns a solid nucleus from a team that went 12-13, finished fourth in the PAC-6 2A and came within a few missed free throws of advancing to the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs.
The core is led by 6-2 senior Jason Ozment, who can play a variety of positions and averaged 10 points and almost 10 rebounds per game last season. He will joined in the front court by another senior, Anthony Harris. The rest of the starters include junior Madison Fountain, whom Spell believes is the best perimeter shooter; guard Jordan Fulp; and point guard Marshall Lang, a sophomore who Spell says must play the entire game.
Also available are senior post player Dalton Stevenson, seniors Garrett Rains and Nathaniel Hammett; sophomore perimeter players Wyatt rains and Steven Avolado and freshman perimeter player Chris Myers.
But, because of injury, the Warriors started the season without 6-5 freshman Ryan Grant and sophomore Braden Hardin. Grant is sidelined by a broken wrist and could return in time for Christmas tournament action. Spell is unsure of Hardin will play at all after injuring a knee in the final football game of the season.
“We need to get everyone healthy,” Spell said. “ We needed to get our depth built by getting our sophomores and freshmen varsity experience. Hopefully, we’ll be where we need to be by the start of conference play in January.”
The Warriors will play aggressive man-to-man defense and will be uptempo on offense.
“Our bugaboo last season was we couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Spell said. “We have to do a better job scoring, We shot something like 60 per cent from the free throw line. If he had shot a decent percentage, we would have won 20 games instead of 12.”