Wayne Dawkins knew from the get-go that the odds were in his team’s favour for their first league basketball game on Dec.6.
The West Hill junior boys coach couldn’t have been more right.
Dawkins’ Warriors destroyed the Blue Devils at Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate, 77-34, in a game that still left Dawkins expecting more.
“We came in with a little bit of an advantage, a little bit of an edge,” said Dawkins, who recognized Laurier’s team is still in the midst of being rebuilt.
“A powerhouse team can collapse to one of the weakest teams on any given night.”
Putting in work
A steady performance by Warriors’ point-guard Dane Smith produced 18 points as thegame’s top scorer.
Smith, 18, saidthere’s always room for improvement.
“Our team needs to get better at execution,” said the Grade 12 senior who has played for the team for three consecutive years. “Hopefully, we’llwork on that for the season.
“This is our year to make it to OFSAA [provincials]. It’s just up to us to work it out and practice.”
Assistant coach Carter Livingstone, who works with the team to ensure their defence is up to par, said Smith is coming along.
“He had a bit of a rough go a couple weeks ago and he’s coming back strong.
“We’ve got some good battles here at Laurier,” added Livingstone of the team’scross-town rivals. “It’s good to get off to a good start for the regular season.”
Get the job done
Livingstone added though the “floor general leader,” team captain Sean Monplaisir, may not necessarily be a top-shot on the score sheet, he gets the jobs done.
“He gives the ball to the right guys at the right time.”
Monplaisir said he has reason to doubt.
“On an individual level, I don’t think I fared too well Ð not as well as I could have,” he said. “I could’ve been more of a leader and had more defensive pressure.
“At the end of the day it comes down to me being the captain and having to be the leader. Everything falls on me.”
Dawkins asserts that he motivates his players to disregard any advantage and step up their game.
“There are two main things that we talk about everyday,” the Warriors coach said. “One, to play hard. Two, the ability to execute.
“Do what the coach gave you the ball for and do it as a team.
“It’s a hard one for their young egos to swallow, but if they want to be successful in sports, that’s the way it goes.”
The Warriors finish 2007 against David & Mary Thomson Collegiate on Dec. 20.