WINAMAC — Kyle Johnson knew his Winamac Warriors team had the makings of something special at the start of the season.
It just took awhile for them to find their footing. Or perhaps more accurately, their basketball legs after many of the players were members of the semistate football team that led to a late start to the basketball season.
With the late start to go with the horrendous weather this winter that led to several postponed games and missed practices, the Warriors have somehow found themselves amidst the chaos.
It may have been a stretch of February when they played 11 games in 22 days that the Warriors really forged together as a team. They went 8-3 in those games with the only losses being narrow decisions to Lewis Cass, Argos and Logansport. During that time they also won themselves the Midwest Conference title outright with a string of hard-fought league games, four of six of which were on the road.
The Warriors then knocked off Rensselaer twice in a row, the second of which was a sectional game on the road, before avenging an earlier loss to arch-rival North Judson with a 69-50 throttling in the sectional championship game.
The Warriors have won 9 of their last 10 games overall entering Saturday’s Class 2A North Judson Regional.
Winamac (14-8) faces No. 13-ranked Woodlan (18-6) at 11 a.m. EST Saturday at North Judson. The later semifinal pits No. 5 Hammond Bishop Noll (21-3) vs. Westview (20-4). The final is at 8:30 p.m. EST.
“Everything we’ve gone through has prepared us,” Johnson said.
The Warriors have a very balanced offensive attack, as Parker Fox (12.0 ppg) is the only player averaging in double figures. He is followed by Adam Gruenig (8.2), Colin McGee (6.9), Jeremy Bentle (6.8), Derek Dotlich (6.4), Dalton Button (5.1), Levi Schultz (4.5) and J.T. Garnett (4.3).
Even the Warriors’ rebounding is pretty spread out as Button leads the way at 5.1 per contest. Fox adds a team high 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game.