By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
While the Nanih Waiya boys basketball team may be filled with youth, it also has some experience.
“I didn’t lose anybody (from last year’s team),” said NW head coach Brent Blackwell. “We are still a very young team, just like last year.”
Blackwell said his Warriors, who are expected to play their first games of the season this week, will be quick, but that his squad will lack size.
“I only had three guys who didn’t play football, so we have been practicing for about a month trying to get ready,” Blackwell said.
Nanih Waiya was scheduled to open its season on the road against Ethel on Tuesday before traveling to Ackerman for the Choctaw County High School Tournament on Wednesday and Friday. The NW girls and boys were set to take on host Choctaw County High School at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday before facing French Camp Academy at the same times on Friday.
Blackwell will be looking toward sophomores Isaiah Eiland and Jamarlo Smith to lead the way for the Warriors, while Ben Cumberland, John Harry and Devin McQueen will also be on the floor for NW, as will senior Jacob Hemphill, who Blackwell is counting on to provide some key leadership.
Blackwell said he is hoping that Ken McQueen, who suffered a neck injury prior to the football season, may be cleared to play for the second semester. “He is our missing link,” Blackwell said. “He will really be able to help us.”
Don’t look for the Warriors to push the ball up and down the floor this season.
“We are going to be about shot selection and taking our time with the ball,” Blackwell said, noting that his team will employ mostly a slow-paced offense and a zone defense. “We want to be patient. We aren’t going to outscore people. We need to play good defense and make our shots count.”
After the Choctaw County Tournament the Nanih Waiya boys are set to visit Grace Christian in Louisville on Monday, while the boys and girls will host Noxapater on Dec. 19.