Sports

Warrior boys' spark comes from Tennessee

"CHICO - If the King's West High School boys basketball team fulfills its goal of advancing to the state Class B tournament, they might just have Pat Summitt to thank.The Warriors, in the words of coach Rick Walker, have put some spice in their game, thanks to a defensive wrinkle Walker learned from watching Summitt's University of Tennessee Lady Vols.We started it a couple of games ago, said senior guard Garrett Anderson. We just wave our arms up and down - it's real intimidating to the other team.The ploy has energized the Warriors' zone defense, and with it their whole game. They won their second straight game since adopting it Thursday, beating Christian Faith 59-42 at Gundy Hall.Monday, they pinned a 49-44 defeat on Sea-Tac League South Division leader Evergreen Lutheran that allowed them to start thinking more optimistically about their postseason goals.Offensive-ly, we seemed to have found a groove, but there was one thing lacking, Walker said of his team, which begins league tournament play Tuesday. I noticed the Tennessee women's team doing this, and I took it to our practice. Sometimes, it just takes something like that to provide a spark.The Warriors held the visiting Eagles to just five first-half field goals and gushed out to a 37-22 halftime lead. Garrett Anderson scored their first 11 points as they raced to an early 11-2 lead.A fourth-quarter lapse allowed Christian Faith to pull within nine points on a couple of occasions, but King's West scored the last eight points in a row - including Garrett Anderson's 3-pointer at the buzzer - for a final margin that was more indicative of how it had dominated things.I thought we did a super job, Walker said of his young team, which has only two seniors - the elder Anderson and forward Jon Gagliardoni. We've got good chemistry right now. The sophomores are playing well together, and our two seniors have embraced that. The rest all want to do what's best for the team.Walker acknowledged the Warriors' lack of postseason success in recent years, but said he has high hopes for the upcoming Sea-Tac and Tri-District tournaments.We haven't won a district game in eight or nine years, he said. But this is the group, if it keeps playing well together, that can make it happen.Garrett Anderson finished with 21 points for King's West. Two sophomores, Brandin Jones and Blake Anderson (Garrett's younger brother) added 14 and 13, respectively. "

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