Despite integrating many new faces to the lineup and the loss of a key returning contributor from last year’s team, the Warrenton Warriors earned their most wins in five …
Despite integrating many new faces to the lineup and the loss of a key returning contributor from last year’s team, the Warrenton Warriors earned their most wins in five seasons.
Warrenton ended the season with 12 wins and a district tournament win. The Warriors had not won 12 games or won a district tournament game in five seasons. Warrenton increased their win total by nine from last year’s three-win campaign despite playing the season without junior Joe Goldsmith, who suffered an injury earlier in the school year. Goldsmith was among the Warriors’ leading scorers last season as a sophomore.
“We took a group that’s not used to playing together,” Thomas said. “Took a guy that we’re used to having and relying on as a scorer for you and he wasn’t around at all with no expectation of getting him back. And you came together as a group and you worked hard. That’s a compliment to your character and how much you care about the program and each other. I told them I was extremely proud of the season that they had.”
Warrenton got contributions from three graduating seniors. Seniors Deacon Forrest, Kannon Hibbs and Maison Rader all were key contributors to this season’s turnaround. After spending his first two seasons on junior varsity and coming off the bench last season, Rader found a niche as a starter for the Warriors this season. He led Warrenton with 6.6 rebounds per game.
“He worked his way into being a starter and he led us in rebounds as a 6’1’’ guy,” Thomas said. “That’s a testament to him. He was a JV (junior varsity) player for two years and he’s just been on varsity for two now. He really worked.”
Forrest played for Warrenton his freshman and sophomore seasons. He returned to Warrenton this season after transferring for his junior season. He averaged over five points per game and started multiple games for the Warriors.
Hibbs played critical minutes for the Warriors despite not playing basketball his first three years at Warrenton.
Thomas is optimistic about the Warriors’ prospects heading into next season. Troy Anderson and Deadrick Forrest are among the key contributors returning from this year’s squad. Anderson led Warrenton with nearly 18 points per game and averaged over five rebounds per game. Forrest averaged over nine points per game as a freshman starter for Warrenton.
Thomas is also hopeful to get contributions from Goldsmith and the current sophomore class. Several sophomores were part of the Warrenton bench this season.
“I’m hoping that the moments they sat there all year long maybe they didn’t get a lot of minutes but they learned from what I’m looking for and now they see what other teams have to offer that we have to go against,” Thomas said. “Maybe they’ll progress. I’m really excited for next season as well. Hopefully Joe can be back with us and we can make another run at this thing.”
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