Just a few games out from losing a leader and top scorer, the Waukee boys basketball team kept up the winning tradition weekend style as they traveled to Ankeny to take on Ankeny Centennial.
In a contest that featured lock-down defense, the Warriors picked up their 13th win of the season in a 59-36 victory. The win consisted of three straight single digit scoring quarters for host Ankeny Centennial. The first quarter was a fast start for the Warriors who blew by their first quarter scoring average thanks to the likes of 19 points. They then took to the halftime break with a commanding 28-15 lead before breaking out a 20 point third quarter, their 16th 20 plus point quarter of the season. The only quarter in which Waukee didn’t outscore Centennial was the fourth but in the end, Waukee still walked away for the victory.
It was yet another strong victory despite the loss of Noah Hart which highlighted what head coach Justin Ohl spoke about before the contest.
“To lose a player like Noah this sudden is always a hard pill to swallow and definitely shakes up our line-up in a not so good way,” began Ohl. “The thing is most of these guys have earned playing time this season, they know the ins and outs of our system, and their very comfortable working with everybody on the team for great chemistry. No one can truly replace what Noah brought to the table but we are still effective with because of the talent of the depth we have.”
The Warriors had two players score in double figures on the night including future collegiate hoops star Dylan Jones who led the team with 13 points on six-of-seven field goal shooting and a perfect one-of-one from the free throw line. Jones also tied with sophomore Tucker DeVries for the team lead in rebounds with seven on the night. One such individual who has made the most of his recent playing time has been sophomore Payton Sandfort who broke out off the bench to score 11 points Saturday. Sandfort did so on five-of-ten field goal shooting with a mark of one-of-three from beyond the three point arc.
In all, nine Warriors captured at least two points on the night as Waukee managed to raise their record to 13-0 on the season. The Warriors remain as one of just twelve teams across the state to yield an unblemished record and despite a lot of teams gunning for a win over Waukee, the Warriors feel no pressure.
“The great thing about this team is that they don’t feel any pressure,” began coach Ohl. “Some teams can focus on the unbeaten record and get caught up in it but this team truly focuses on one game at a time and doesn’t let outside forces break their focus. They simplify the game down that way which makes it much easier to come away with a win night in and night out. The only pressure this team feels is the normal pressure of coming out with a win every night.”
Weather pending, the Warriors will take back to the competitive hardwood on Friday, Feb. 1 with a trip to Southeast Polk High School.