Woodcreek seniors at 100 victories, and counting
Basketball has been the gold standard at Woodcreek High School of late.
Last season, the Timberwolves won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II crown, and the team enters 2011 postseason play tonight against visiting Los Banos with a 23-4 overall record, a Sierra Foothill League co-championship and the top seed.
Several new faces were on the court this season, including four senior starters who increased their minutes considerably from limited time last season. Sophomore Tyler Milani joined the group along with head coach Paul Hayes, who returned following a stint as the junior varsity coach.
But it’s ironic how all the new faces are all too familiar with each other. The senior class won its 100th game since its freshman year Friday night with an 86-50 blowout of Roseville. The core group has played together since middle school, and it’s been team chemistry that has held the squad together.
“The key to our success is just knowing each other and just knowing everyone’s skill set, where everyone’s going to be,” Jamie Geyer said. “We’ve been playing together since seventh grade. It’s just chemistry.”
The class has won league titles at every level. Point guard Devin Murphy has averaged more than 10 points and six assists per game. Even more astounding, Murphy’s hops have allowed him to lead the team in rebounding as well.
A chunk of the Timberwolves’ scoring has come from senior John Peska, averaging more than 20 points per game. Center Sam Anderson showcased impressive defense in the middle, holding Roseville center Andrew Schmidt to zero points Friday.
Geyer, doubling as the class valedictorian, has displayed an all-around game with eight points and three rebounds per game and key defense against athletic forwards. The Timberwolves allowed fewer points this season than any other SFL team.
But Geyer, Hayes and the rest of the Timberwolves know these accomplishments would seem much less if they were to face an early exit. There are high expectations, and Hayes feels the key to Woodcreek’s success will be decision-making under pressure.
“If there’s one thing we can work on, it is always decision-making,” he said.
The road to success won’t get easier. Woodcreek has the best record in Division II but may have to face other 20-win teams such as Antelope, Del Campo and Fairfield.
“We want to try to run through our sets a little bit more,” Geyer said. “We have a lot of dynamic scorers, and sometimes, we don’t get as many passes per possession as we’d like. We want to improve that going into the playoffs.”
It’s been a long run for the Woodcreek senior class to this point. Hayes and the Timberwolves are shooting to finish what has been a long run of success.
“If we work on our decision-making, I like our chances,” Hayes said. “The kids have played real hard.”
Los Banos at Woodcreek
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
About Los Banos: The Tigers are 16-11 this season and enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak. Los Banos also won five in a row in December.