still the same -- Valley
February 12th, 1995 – The fans in the Wahoo gym cheered the Warriors to a 109 – 65 trouncing of Capitol Conference foe Valley. It seemed like business as usual in Wahoo – just another phenomenally successful basketball season; nothing new. But that wasn't exactly true.
For each of the past seven seasons, Wahoo had played Valley late in the regular season, the final regular season conference game:
1988 – The Warriors led by 30 at the end of the third period and coasted to a 99 – 57 win and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1989 – Wahoo led by 32 at half and posted a 94 – 48 victory and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1990 – Wahoo defeated Valley 96 – 53 and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1991 – Wahoo posted its largest victory to date over Valley, 100 – 44 and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1992 – Wahoo scored 57 points in the first half and went on to win 108 – 66 over Valley and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1993 – Wahoo held Valley to only 3 points in the first quarter and won 83 – 43 and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
1994 – Wahoo posted its most lopsided win over the Terriers, 105 – 34 and were undefeated in regular season conference play.
In 1995, the Warriors jumped on the visiting Terriers early and hard. The outcome was well determined by half time as Wahoo had built a 38 point lead. The junior trio of Mike Simons, Josh Anderson and Eric Eddie had combined for 53 points in the half. Late in the half, Wahoo scored 12 consecutive points, four each by the junior triplets. The Warriors forced 24 Valley turnovers and ran effectively on the Terriers. Wahoo claimed another regular season conference championship. They were undefeated and ranked #1 in their class.
If you were a casual Wahoo fan just showing up for your first look at the 1995 Warriors you would have thought "just the same old Warriors." The style was the same. The results were the same. Maybe you'd have thought that Valley wasn't much of a test as the Terriers only brought a 4 – 11 record into the contest, but Valley coach Charlie Doeden noted "Last year we got beat 105 – 34 and we had a good team." Doeden's evaluation of the Warriors wasn't much different than past seasons: "When you're running a Porsche against a Yugo, you're never going to win with the Yugo." There didn't appear to be much difference between this version of Wahoo basketball and the championship teams that had preceded them.
It's a common expression: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." If that means that circumstances can be different, but they produce the same result, then that saying certainly applies to the Warriors of 1995. However, the February game against Valley wasn't the end of the story. The 1994-1995 season would not end the way everybody hoped, but in most ways, Warrior basketball was "still the same."