Basketball teams tip off a new season

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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The 2022–23 Winters High School basketball season is officially underway. Although there’s a myriad of tough opponents filling their schedules, the women’s and men’s varsity squads are looking forward to building upon their respective successes of last season.

Women’s varsity
The women’s team headed to St. Helena last Tuesday, Nov. 29 to start their season in an away-game showdown. However, it wasn’t so much a game as it was a 39-point beatdown of the hosting Saints. The Warriors would march out of St. Helena with a 70–31 victory.

A few days later, on Friday, Dec 2, the Warriors would travel to Esparto for another away game. Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Warrior offense was still scalding hot and the defense was suffocating as the varsity squad would take home an emphatic 78–12 victory.

“The team is doing okay. We’re trying a new style of play and the girls are learning how to play hard in different positions,” said head coach Jeff Christian. “We’re just focused on the team right now. We don’t want it to be a bunch of individual players going for numbers. This year we’re 100 percent going as a team with our style of play and will take everybody on the team doing their job.”

Men’s varsity
The men’s varsity team also kicked off their season last week hosting St. Helena on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Unfortunately, the Saints came ready to play and would stamp a 53–32 loss on the Warriors’ record.

“We had a bumpy start to the season last week. After the flu hit us hard over the holiday, we opened at home versus a very physical St. Helena squad. Despite our youth, we competed for the entire game,” said head coach Brendan McShea.

In his first game on varsity, freshman Lane Brown had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Undeterred, the squad participated in Woodland High School’s tournament later in the week with their first opponent being Sacramento Adventist. The Capitals’ started off hot scoring 38 in the first half, but the Warrior’s defense stepped it up in the second to hold them to just 24. However, it still wouldn’t be enough as the Warriors would lose 62–43.

The next day on Friday, Dec. 2, the men’s squad would lace up against Woodland Christian. It was a hard-fought game, close the majority of the way, however, the Cardinal offense kept the Warriors at bay and would snag the game away from Winters, 76–54.

The Warriors would wrap up their tournament the next day on Saturday, Dec. 3 in a game against Woodland High School. Looking to make up for their losses, the Warriors would bounce back into the win column with a 56–42 victory over the Wolves.

“We continued to build as a team against Sacramento Adventist. We fell behind after missing early shots but tied them in the second half behind good performances by Marcus Lopez and Lane Brown. Woodland Christian was a similar story. Saturday we faced Woodland High School and after a back-and-forth game, we got some big shots from Anthony Duran that put us ahead, and our defense held firm for our first win,” said McShea.

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