PREVIEW: Warrenton optimistic despite late start to season

By John Rohlf, Sports Editor
Posted 11/18/23

The Warrenton boys basketball team is looking to overcome a late start to build on last season’s 12-win campaign. 

Warrenton returns several players with starting experience from last …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

PREVIEW: Warrenton optimistic despite late start to season


The Warrenton boys basketball team is looking to overcome a late start to build on last season’s 12-win campaign. 

Warrenton returns several players with starting experience from last year’s team that finished the season with a 12-15 record, a nine win increase from their 2021-2022 campaign. The Warriors’ backcourt will once again be led by senior Troy Anderson and sophomore Deadrick Forrest. Anderson led Warrenton with over 17 points per game last season. Forrest scored over nine points per game as a freshman. 

“I definitely think the most weight should be on my shoulders just because I’ve been here the longest, been playing the longest and know most of the stuff around here,” Anderson said of his leadership role. 

Mason Thompson and Tyler Oliver are also back after playing in over 20 games last season. Oliver, who averaged over nine points and six rebounds last season, will be out the first part of the season stemming from an injury suffered during the spring baseball season. 

“(Oliver) went down with a baseball injury, so we don’t expect to have him back till earliest, late January,” Warrenton boys basketball coach Mark Thomas said. “So that changes a lot of things for us with our different types of zones. So we are working on seeing what we can put in. But I’ve got to figure out what these guys that just showed up can bring us to add to that.” 

Warrenton will also get Joe Goldsmith back for his senior season. Goldsmith sat out all of last season from a knee injury he suffered during the 2022 football season. Goldsmith was a starter during the 2021-2022 season. 

With the Warrenton football team advancing to the district championship game, the Warriors did not have their full team at practice until earlier this week. Prior to this week, there were less than 10 players at practice. 

Forrest said since they did not have enough players to run plays 5-on-5, they focused on shooting and conditioning. 

“It’s just like a whole bunch of shooting, a whole bunch of conditioning getting ready,” Forrest said. “Now that they’re back, a lot of plays, a lot of plays getting ready.”

The Warriors were initially scheduled to open their season this Friday with a home game against fellow Warren County school Wright City. The game was rescheduled to later this season due to Warrenton’s limited practices. The Warriors were still scheduled to participate in a Jamobree Wednesday in Clopton. 

“It’s basically going to be a throwaway where it’s not even gonna be as good as what we could get done in practice, to be honest,” Thomas said. “But we’ll use it as a conditioning. Get out there, try and run some of the stuff that we put in the last couple of days and then we’ll know what we need to work on. We’ll see our conditioning level, we’ll see what areas that they’ve picked up quick, which ones need to be addressed still. And then that way, practice plans can be adjusted from there, hopefully prior to next Tuesday’s game.”

Thomas said they will put in a base model of both the offenses they are trying to run at different levels. They will then start adding multiple sets to those offenses. With several players that have not played for several years or new to the program completely, the offensive installation will be new for most players. 

Anderson stressed there will also be an adjustment for the returning players who have not been at practice. 

“Even the returners from last year that played football still haven’t really known these new offenses,” Anderson said. “So it’ll take the eight guys that have been here for the past two weeks to help everybody and get everybody through it and help them gradually learn it.” 

Thomas said it is beneficial that their two main ball handlers, Anderson and Forrest, have been at practice and are some of the higher skilled guys on the team. 

“If we were relying on the guys that were rusty and haven’t been around basketball in a while to do that, we would be in a lot more trouble than we are.” 

Thomas said the only thing he has reservations about with this year’s team is that they are far behind in installations. Anderson and Forrest will take on the leadership role early on to help the other players along because they were with the program since practice started and even over the summer. Thomas is “excited for what we can do this year.” 

“Talent wise and skill level and cohesiveness, this should be one of the better groups that we’ve had for a number of years that have played together before,” Thomas said. “Even with Joe being out hurt for a year, he’ll fit right back in. We’ve got other guys that are smart and once they learn the stuff, they’ll fit right in with us nice as well.” 

Warrenton will open the season at Fulton Nov. 21. The Warriors’ home opener is slated to be played against St. Charles Dec. 5.