New Kids on the Court – 2016 WWS

By Will Compton

Two new high school teams will be competing in the Wild West Shootout this year, and they’re looking to make their mark.

Spanish Springs: Making a Statement

An exciting new year for the Cougars is topped off with their first appearance in the Wild West Shootout. Bringing up many star players into their senior year, like Marcus Loadholt, Josh Prizina and Bryce DeLong, Spanish Springs is going to be coming into the tournament with eyes on them.

Spanish Springs' Josh Prizina
Spanish Springs’ Josh Prizina

Spanish Springs went 16-9 in the regular season last year, blowing out power teams like Bishop Manogue, Carson High School and McQueen. Their season came to an end after a loss to Galena High School in the playoffs. Now, with a new season in motion, Spanish Springs is ready to make their statement.

“It’s exciting.  It is the very beginning of the season with an opportunity to play in a tournament that features some very good teams with exceptional coaches,” said Head Coach Kyle Penney. “It’s a great opportunity for us.”

The pressure is on for the Cougars, and Coach Penney knows what to expect from his own team and what everyone should expect as well.

“We’re focused on the process.  The success we desire will really hinge on our culture, buy-in and the process of everyday matters. We want to seek continual growth and play with certain standards every night out.”

With that in mind, there is always something more to see than just the game. For Coach Penney and Spanish Springs, it’s all about the experience and getting to work for the prize of winning the tournament.

“Being with these kids is fun.  Working through the process together and the opportunities that we have on our schedule are fun,”  he shares. “As far as easy, nothing is easy.  The standards and culture we want to play and work with take a lot of time, hard work, intensity, and toughness.  The end results for all that effort becomes rewarding and fun.”

Marcus Loadholt from Spanish Springs
Marcus Loadholt from Spanish Springs

Spanish Springs will play their first game vs St. Mary’s at 5:30 p.m. on the opening day of the tournament. Don’t miss out on this strong and intimidating team this year.

Lowry Basketball: Young Underdogs

A small powerhouse team from Winnemucca, Lowry is coming in to the Wild West tournament with a lot of momentum behind them.

The Buckaroos went 17-9 in the regular season, and made it to the regional playoffs before losing to South Lake Tahoe High off a last second shot. Now, Lowry is coming in to this season with a fresh start.

Lowry will be facing adversity this year, as they lost eight returning seniors to their squad. Now, with a fresh new season, they will have a fresh new team, with one freshman and two sophomores to get more and more reps throughout the tournament, as well as the season.

“We are very excited to be here. Anytime we can come down and get some reps against great teams, it is an amazing opportunity to get to be apart of,” said Head Coach Chad Peters. “We’re definitely rebuilding this year as .a. team, but the hopes are very high.”

The Lowry basketball team has always been one to fear in the state of Nevada.

Known for their tenacity on defense and quick offense possessions, Lowry will be educating their new future stars the ropes of Lowry Basketball.

“Defense is always our focus. Yes we do focus on offense, but defense is where we thrive. December is the time of year to learn, and we’re learning how to dominate defense,” Peters said. “We have some young players who are ready to go, and I think they’ll impact our team in a positive way. I can’t wait to see what these kids do.”

With a positive attitude in mind coming into the Wild West Tournament, Coach Peters and the Buckaroos will make sure to stay locked in and focused in the game, as big leads and multiple mistakes will be their main focus of prevention.

“We can’t get caught up in the scoreboard, and a lot better athletes than we are used to. We have to keep the pedal down and can’t let teams get ahead of us. We’ll play one possession at a time,” Peters said.

Lowry will take on Bishop Manogue at 7:15 pm on opening day of the tournament, and it will be their ideal situation to shine and to show what the Buckaroos are all about.