Pack boys prepare for season opener|Play of seniors will be key for WHS

Published 7:00 am Sunday, November 21, 2010

By By EDWIN MODLIN II,, Staff Writer
The Washington High School boys varsity basketball team looks to have a promising season this year with new players and strong leadership returning.
The boys played hard, ran fast and played every shot as though it were their last — and that was just practice.
The Pam Pack will be led by this season by first-year coach Steve Flowers, who replaced former coach Joe Lawrence.
Flowers said the team is a young, but there are some key players that have returned for their senior seasons. Washington will look to fill the void of losing post player William Chance to graduation, as well as losing its leading scorer, Taraja Langley and the leading rebounder and shot-blocker, Chris Albritton.
“We have a young team, as most of these guys didn’t play varsity last year,” Flowers said. “Brandon Tripp, Ridge Hodges, Josh O’Neil are all returning players, as well as Joseph Conner. All of them had pretty good minutes last year and should be good additions this year.”
According to Flowers, the new guys are learning and the veteran upperclassman are helping them with their game.
“Brandon Tripp and Joseph Conner are our two big guys, about 6’3” and 6’4,” Flowers said. “That’s as big as we get. We have a few six-footers as well.”
Flowers added that O’Neil and Hodges are a couple of really good shooters.
“Ridge is back for his senior year,” he said. “He didn’t start last year, but he got a lot of minutes.”
Ricky Dunlop, an eleventh grader, ruptured his Achilles tendon and will more than likely be out for the season.
“Doctors orders,” Dunlop said. “But I’m going to sit it out and rest up for a couple weeks and then see if I can come back and play.”
Tripp, the “high tower” of the team, seems to be able to float through the air when jumping for a shot, almost as though he were suspended in animation.
Flowers said his team is comprised of roughly half and half of both seniors and underclassman.
“They’re fairly mature, but there is a quiet leadership,” he said. “There’s not any vocal leadership. But the one good thing is that they all get along, so they don’t need to be pushed and told what to do. And if somebody does push, they respond to each other. But it’s a learning process where leadership and maturity do play a key role.
“If we hustle and play hard, because we’ve got a lot of heart, I think we’ll be fine. So hopefully they’ll work hard and play hard and we’ll be good.”
The Pam Pack will debut on Tuesday when it hosts Southside High School at 6 p.m.