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A New Team
A New Season
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A New Season -- blowouts

As Wahoo teams over the next decade racked up victory after victory and were heralded as great teams in a great basketball program, some would voice the criticism that the record was partly due to a weak schedule. There is evidence that this is true. But as the story of the “Glory Days” unfolds, it will be noted that the schedule eventually undergoes some adjustment. In 1989, the team could do no more than play the teams they were scheduled to play. High school athletic schedules are typically set as “home and home” contracts, so many contracts are continuations from the previous year. There are geographic factors, conference commitments, and availability of slots on other teams schedules that come into consideration. And before a school sets about to radically change its schedule, most coaches and athletic directors are keenly aware that athletic success is often a pendulum. To reform a team’s schedule due to a stretch of success (no matter how dramatic) may produce hardships for future seasons. The goal is always to have a balance, with teams facing competitive opponents in as many games as possible. Wahoo would eventually seek out schools (usually schools with larger enrollments and a tradition of basketball success) to provide that competitive balance. On the other side of that coin, some schools would drop Wahoo from their schedule.

For the ‘88 - ‘89 season, it is evident that there wasn’t much of a competitive balance. If a “blowout” is defined as any game won by 20 or more points, more than half (11 out of 20) of the regular season games were blowouts. Four of those games came before Christmas as the Warriors had the luxury of getting their “inexperienced” team some valuable court time before facing a “quality” opponent. The first game of the season was a real confidence builder and was the biggest blowout of the year, a 61 point trouncing of David City. While the starters felt a little frustration at spending a great deal of time on the bench, the bench players walked away all smiles as they played the entire fourth quarter. Along with Steve Volin’s team leading 19 points, senior sub, Ron Stoupa also had his best game as a Warrior, scoring 9 points. Coach Anderson reflected on all of the time the bench players spent on the court, “We tried to keep the score from getting too ugly.” On the other side of the court, David City Head Coach, Tony Weinandt sang a refrain that would frequently be heard from the weaker teams victimized by Wahoo: “We won’t play a better team this year.”

In the first four games, the Warrior “headliners,” Randy Hoffman and Troy and Jason Glock, certainly led the way (Jason Glock was high scorer in the other three games, including a 32 point performance against Bennington), the others continued to get in their licks. Volin reached double figures again in his second game for the varsity (10 against Logan View). Cliff Kreizel capitalized on fast break opportunities to go 6 for 7 and score 14 points against Bennington. Rob Brigham would get 10 against Arlington (a game in which all five starters scored in double figures). Opposing coaches would continue to shake their heads at the prospect of facing the Warriors. Bennington Head Coach, Jeff Graver, lamented that “Their speed and quickness is something you can’t practice against because you don’t have it.” Arlington would be the only game in which the subs didn’t actually extend the lead during their fourth quarter playing time. The victories were so easy that Coach Anderson began looking for things to criticize. He complained of his team’s complacency in the Arlington game, a game in which they led by 23 at half time. When he looked at the final score, he commented, “Maybe we didn’t do as bad as I originally thought. We were still flat footed.” Those “flat footed” Warriors were 4 - 0, their average winning margin was 47 points.

And it wasn’t that the 1988 portion of the ‘88 -’89 season was the marshmallow part. Wahoo would have three blowout games in January and four in February. Along the way, Randy Hoffman would get into the “thirty point club” with 31 against David City Aquinas. Troy Glock would claim a new place in the record book with 14 assists in the same game. Teams began reaching for a way to stop the Wahoo juggernaut. Valley concentrated on sagging their zone to shut down the powerful Wahoo inside game. As a result,Troy Glock set a record for 3 point goals with 7. Fremont Bergan tried to use a triangle and two to stop the Glock brothers. Randy Hoffman responded with 22 points and Cliff Krieizel put up 15 in the first half. Bergan Head Coach, Randy Eikmeier, pointed out that “When you play gimmick defenses, you’re hoping that the other people won’t produce. He (Kreizel) produced.”

The “blowout” of Schuyler in the next to last game of the season almost doesn’t belong on the “blowout” list. Wahoo only led by five in the third quarter. Playing without injured starter, Kreizel, Wahoo needed bench help. All the experience the younger players were getting in the blowouts was paying off. Bernie Inbody nailed two threes in the fourth quarter, totaling 12 points and providing the Warriors with another 20 plus point victory. Schuyler Head Coach, Steve Peterson, bemoaned Schuyler’s fate, “That sophomore kid (Inbody) really did it to us.” But Peterson also observed, “It’s no disgrace to lose to them.”

In addition to the regular season blowouts, Wahoo would win all three Capitol Conference Tournaments games, two of the District Tournament games, and one game at the State Tournament by more than 20 points. That qualifies 17 of the 26 games as blowouts; two out of every three games played. Ashland was victimized three times, Bennington twice. Such easy wins could lead to a let down. So many easy wins could leave a coach at a loss for words. Following the 40 point Conference win over Bennington, Coach Anderson said, “It was a pleasing victory.”

A New Season, Pt. 2: Challenges -- Mount Michael
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Winning by such large margins did at some times become less than exciting for the Warrior fans, but in the opening round of the Conference Tournament, Wahoo neared the century mark and the crowd came alive. Coach Anderson discouraged his starters (who were on the bench) from being too demonstrative, but the crowd really got into it as Steve Volin stepped to the line to score the 100th point. Cliff Kreizel scores 2 of his 15 points vs. the "gimmick" defense of Fremont Bergan. Jason Glock scores 2 of his 28 off the fast break at Ashland.

'88-'89 Blowout Wins
opponent margin Wahoo Opponent
David City 61 95 34
Ashland 56 100 44
Logan View 51 80 29
Ashland 50 96 46
David City Aquinas 48 91 43
Valley 46 94 48
Bennington 44 96 52
Bennington 40 79 39
North Bend 40 83 43
Ashland 36 86 50
Ogallala 36 76 40
Boys Town 35 84 49
Fort Calhoun 34 68 34
Arlington 32 82 50
Syracuse 25 69 44
Fremont Bergan 24 70 46
Schuyler 22 67 45
In the 17 blowout victories, Wahoo averaged 83 points to the opponents 43. Arlington had the most points in a blowout loss (50) while Wahoo's 100 against Ashland was the highest point total for the Warriors.

“A lot of teams that have beaten us, I’d like to play again ... but not these guys.” -- David City Aquinas Coach, Leon Portnoy

Not all of the "blowout" games were easy. Coach Anderson had to do some "coaching" to get the second Schuyler game to a "blowout" as Schuyler had closed to within five in the third quarter.

Troy Glock leads the break at Ashland (trailed by Rob Brigham and led by Jason Glock). The Bluejays counted for three of the blowout games.

Assistant Coach, Mark Watton, huddles with the subs during the fourth quarter of the Ashland District Tournament game. Contrary to what many believed, Wahoo did not try to run up the score in the blowout games as the bench would often play the entire fourth quarter. (Troy Johnston, Bernie Inbody, Ryan Eddie, Coach Watton, Scott Latham, Steve Volin)