The Warren Central boys basketball continues their season as they defeat strong opponents and improve their overall record. With an 8-4 start to the season, the boys have been been trying to once again find their footing and push through their recent losses.
Currently 1-1 in the conference after defeating the Ben Davis Giants 75-60 and losing to Lawrence North, the MIC conference proves again to be the toughest competition for the Warriors as they continue their season. The next conference matchup the boys will be tonight at home against the North Central Panthers.
“The MIC conference is the best basketball conference in the state and one of the best in the country,” head coach Garrett Winegar said. “Every opponent is exciting and each one brings unique challenges.”
Winegar emphasizes not looking ahead, but instead at the current week and the current day as every game the Warriors play is big in their own way and every game takes focus from the team. He also emphasizes the need to improve continuously and not being satisfied with what they have already done and found things that the team can be stronger on. Currently, the team views that their defense could improve going into matchups against future opponents.
“We’ve been working really hard on the defensive end and focusing on our principles. We still have a lot of work to do like forming bonds and bonding as a team and keep working together and get that chemistry going,” senior Cortland Jackson said.
This mindset was one of the key thoughts going into the matchup against the no. 1 ranked Lawrence North Wildcats. The Warriors came out strong in the first quarter making many three pointers and keeping a top ranked team under ten and forcing the Wildcats to take a time out early in the game. The Warriors held on tight to the Wildcats and kept increasing their lead until the third quarter where the Wildcats were able to find their momentum. After ending the fourth quarter tied up, the teams went into overtime where the Wildcats were ultimately able to come out on top 59-55.
“The hardest part about the loss was just knowing that we were just four points away from beating the no. 1 ranked team in the state and obviously free throws were a big part of that. It just let us know that we need to take it more seriously in practice and do it in games,” Jackson said.
The following day the Warriors traveled to Fishers to take on the Hamilton Southeastern Royals. At halftime, the Warriors were down by two but unfortunately were unable to close the gap before the Royals found their momentum. At the end of the game, the Warriors lost to the Royals 58-39 and took the second loss of their season.
In the Marion County tournament, the Warriors matched up against the Pike Red Devils during the first round of play. At the end of the first quarter, the Warriors held a two point lead over the Red Devils and held that lead until the end of halftime. However, despite the Warriors’ best efforts, the Red Devils were able to take the lead back late in the third quarter and held onto the lead until the end of the game. At the end of the matchup, the Warriors were down 51-53 and fell to Pike, ending their Marion County tournament play for this season.
All three of these losses came to the Warriors hard after ending their perfect streak, but they are taking it as a way to get better rather than shutting down.
“I am proud of the resiliency this group has shown to stick together through adversity,” Winegar said. “Every day is a new challenge as a head coach. I do not know what has been the biggest challenge. The challenge is the fun part about it.”