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Waubonsie Valley kicked off play at this year’s Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament with a win on Wednesday, but there’s more to a Christmas basketball tournament than wins and losses, especially for the coaches.
“The hospitality room at this tournament is my favorite,” joked Warriors coach Steve Weemer.
Weemer had reason to be cheerful after his Warriors won 80-21 over Holy Trinity. Weemer applauded the effort put forth by Trinity but Waubonsie Valley (8-4) took control of the game early and dominated play to the final buzzer.
“It was a good game for us to open the tournament with and it gave some guys a chance to play who might not play as much as they’d like to,” Weemer said. “Those are guys that may help us down the stretch. We did some good things and no matter who your opponent is, you have to play hard.”
Waubonsie Valley led 45-8 at halftime with Bryan Jefferson netting all of his 14 points in the first half, as the Warriors forced turnovers en masse and turned them into fast-break layups throughout.
Waubonsie’s Jared Brownridge scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the third quarter as the Warriors led 65-17 heading into the final quarter of the one-sided contest.
Jack Cordes finished with 14 points and Jamal Robinson netted eight for a Waubonsie Valley club that senior point guard Gary Sutton believes is finding its footing.
“We’re getting back on track,” Sutton said. “We got off to somewhat of a slow start this year and didn’t perform as well as we thought we should. We’re finding our chemistry and our team defense is getting to where it needs to be. We’re finding our rhythm and we want to show people what we’re capable of.”
One year after winning the title in the consolation bracket at York, the path to this year’s championship bracket gets tougher on Thursday for the Warriors when they take on Lyons Township.
“Talk about a good program and a very good coach – we’ll have our hands full with them, so we’ll have to be ready to play,” Weemer said. “But I like this tournament because we get to play teams that we typically don’t get to play.”