Sporting WCA

Boys Basketball Making It Rain Early

Coming into the season, one of the main challenges for the Wildcats was going to be that they are not a very big team. Outside of freshmen Sam Vestal and Austin Vick, (6’ 4 and 6’ 6), the Cat’s biggest player is Brennan Orf at a little over 6’2. But the team has not been worried about size.

The Wildcat offense is a quick moving, 3-point heavy, scoring machine, capable of pulling away in the blink of an eye. They look to swing the ball until a quality shot opens up that their sharpshooters will knock down. 

“We need to focus on controlling the ball,” said Coach Dale Ribble, “if we are crisp with our passing, scoring lanes will open up, giving us a good opportunity to be successful on offense.”

The Wildcats’ speed is also a huge advantage on the defensive end of the floor. Their 1-2-2 zone can shift with the ball and force opposing teams to dribble too much and make risky passes that can be stolen. This defensive look leaves Jerram Adams, Luke Linam, and Blake Jewell, seniors, expecting to rack up a lot of steals and fastbreak points over the year.

After the first few games, Westminster is 2-1, with the one loss coming on a buzzer beater 3 in a nail bitter against St. Charles West. 

The Cats quick pace has proven to be devastating to teams in the second half, as the rapid ball movement weres out opponents, allowing the Cats to pile on points as the game progresses.

However, while the high energy play has helped thus far, it has also been the Wildcat’s biggest weakness. On defense, they have been able to jump passes and create turnovers, but at times Wildcat defenders have miss time a steal and find themselves out of position.

Similarly on offense, there have been times where the guards try to do too much. Instead of slowing down and making a smart pass, they try to forced the ball in between defenders and end up turning it over. 

“Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and slow things down,” said Jerram Adams, senior shooting guard, “If we stay smart with the ball and on deffense I think we can play with any team.”

But early in the season, over aggression is not neccesarrily a bad thing. They’ve showed that they can hit from long range, giving them a cussion to work with. In their most recent game the Cats shot a rediculous 14 for 17 from 3pt range, blowing out McCluer South 91-6. 

Westminsters relience on the three ball has worked thus far, as through the firt 3 games 46% of of their points have come of 3’s. So the big test for the Cats as the season progresses is whether or not they can score from inside the arc as well. So far any inside penetration has come from Brennen Orf, who has score 20, 10, and 21 points in the first three games. His low scoreing day came during the loss to St. Charles West, 

But overall, Westminster has looked strong in the early goings, and clearly this is not the best the will be. With the rising freshmen, Casen Lawrence and EJ Williams as well as Matthew George, junior, the Wildcats have depth to work with and the upperclassman leadership to have a strong year