For this preview article, we head to Sioux Falls and we are checking out the Warriors from Washington. WHS ended last season with a 3rd place finish at the State Tournament. The Warriors lost a great senior group of players but they have plenty of returning talent. Jeff Tobin is the head coach of the Warriors and he is a very good up-and-coming coach in South Dakota. Keep reading for more info on SF Washington….
Last season the Warriors got off to a slow start but finished the season playing their best basketball. The Warriors finished the season with a 16-8 record. The Warriors were a senior-heavy team and will look for some familiar and new faces to take over bigger roles for the upcoming season.
The Warriors will look to utilize a balanced attack of transitioning quickly combined with effective half-court basketball. With size and skill both inside and outside, they hope to take advantage of mismatches and be effective on both the offensive and defensive boards. The biggest emphasis will be placed on the defensive side of the ball where the Warriors will look to apply pressure and force difficult shots.
This squad is going to be one of the best in AA!
Players To Watch
6.3 ppg and 3 rpg last season. Sheppard is the only returning starter for the Warriors from a team that finished 3rd in last years’ State Tournament. Sheppard is a 6’5 forward with range out to the 3-point arc. Zharic is a crafty lefty who will continue to improve his inside/outside game as well as his ability to defend and rebound.
7.3 ppg, 4 rpg, and 2.5 apg last season. Mohamed was the first man off the bench from last years’ team and was a primary play-maker. Mohamed has a great feel for the game with exceptional court vision. Mohamed has a nice 3-point shot and he will spearhead the Warrior defense as a lockdown d-stopper. Mandalla is also a top-notch athlete that makes exciting plays in transition and he can finish above the rim in impressive fashion.
3.5 ppg and 2 rpg last season. Peterson will step into a guard role as the Warriors replace guards Mikele Kambalo and JoernUttecht. Peterson is a vocal leader who makes great decisions on the basketball court. Peterson is a skilled offensive player with deep shooting range. Peterson will be responsible for the majority of the ball-handling responsibilities. Cole is unselfish, see the floor well, and he makes others around him better.
2 ppg and 2 rpg last season. Auten came off the bench for the Warriors last season and played an elevated role as the season neared the end. Auten is a strong perimeter defender who adds physicality to the lineup. Tryg has a very nice shot from 3-point range and he is not afraid to do the dirty work that is needed. Auten has the ability to be a breakout player this season.
He will be new at Washington. Akot was previously at O’Gorman. AJ is a long and bouncy. He is certainly a next level athlete. AJ is another very effective player in transition. He is great on the offensive glass and he will give WHS many extra possession throughout the season. AJ is also very unselfish and a willing passer. I think Akot will be an X-factor for the Warriors.
He saw varsity action last year and you should expect Gasca to have a much more serious role this season. He is lanky with a long wingspan. He plays well around the basket but he can also step out to 3pt land and hit shots. I like his rim and lane protecting potential. Gasca is also productive on the glass. Gage will be another X-factor for the Warriors.
Who are the rivals for Washington?
The biggest rivals for WHS would include, as always, the Lincoln Patriots who the Warriors will match up with in the first game of the year. Other notable rivalries include the O’Gorman Knights, who they battled closely with in three games last season. Lastly, both the Jefferson Cavaliers and the Roosevelt Rough Riders from the west side always make for challenging metro games.
Coach Jeff Tobin comments on his squad
“Sheppard and Mohamed share the bulk of experience from last season on the varsity floor, but other players including Peterson and Auten saw valuable minutes throughout the course of the season as well as in the post-season. Couple these with fellow seniors, , Kaden Schmidt, and Daniel Sanchez, and the Warriors should have good depth to bring in fresh bodies throughout the course of a game.“
Coach Tobin talks about some of the top teams in AA
“Top teams in the region would include the Jefferson Cavaliers, Harrisburg Tigers, and the Lincoln Patriots. All of those teams have unique talent that makes guarding and scoring quite difficult in their own ways.“
Best of luck to the Warriors!