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Talent-rich Warriors primed for playoff run

  • Monday, November 25, 2013

Wando starters (from left) Andrew Glover, Jamez Rogers, Matt Pegram, Taylor Majewski, Amp Moore lead a talented Warriors squad. PHOTO BY FRANKIE MANSFIELD

Wando returns a loaded crop of talent this season ready to reestablish the Warriors as a contender in Region VII-4A.

After 46 wins and two region championships from 2010-12, the Warriors gave ground last season, winning just 14 games to finish third in Region VII. But last season’s potential has turned into this season’s talent as sixth-year head coach David Eaton returns four players ranked in the top-30 of their class statewide.

“Last year was kind of a rebuilding year,” Eaton said. “We played three sophomores and a freshman a lot of time last year. We were kind of planning for the future. They’re not young guys anymore. They got the experience last year and we think they can be really good this year.”

It’s unlikely many teams will stand over the Warriors this season with all five starters 6-foot-4 or taller. Andrew Glover (6’4”) will be the lone senior amongst the starters. Glover is an excellent shooter with a natural scoring mentality. He’s one of the best leapers on the team and is ranked No. 29 in the 2014 prospect class.

He’ll be joined in the backcourt by junior Amp Moore (6’4”). The rangy point guard has good ability to drive to the hole and score, and can use his length to create defensive mismatches. Moore is ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the 2015 class.

“Our guards’ energy and the way they drive to the hole or hit open shots is really going to get our post guys open,” Eaton said. “One of our advantages is that we’re big. So hopefully those guys can get down there and rebound too.”

Junior Matt Pegram (6’10”) returns to anchor the Warriors’ post. The mountainous center was hobbled with injuries most of last season but returns healthy this year and at 250 pounds should eat up a lot of space in the paint. Pegram is ranked No. 27 in the 2015 class.

Junior Taylor Majewski (6’5”) is big enough to play forward but versatile enough to shift to guard as well. Majewski is a good shooter and decision maker with the ball in his hands and should be able to help the Warriors rebound. He fits in well with his teammates and is already garnering attention from the likes of Loyola and West Point.

Jamez Rogers (6’5”) rounds out the projected starting five as a sophomore forward who logged plenty of varsity minutes in his first year last season. Rogers is long scorer ranked No. 5 in the 2016 class.

Eaton expects to play as many as 12 players throughout a game with 10 seeing major minutes. Juniors Jack Delongchamps and Raekwon McFadden should both push the starting five for playing time.

“We have a lot of talent back this year,” Eaton said. “We can run a lot of numbers on you and wear you down that way. I think we should be able to bully some people around and rebound a little.

“We’re probably more talented than ever this year. This is my sixth year and this is probably the most talent I’ve ever had.”

Wando tips off the regular season Nov. 27 against Garrett Tech in the Military Magnet Thanksgiving Classic. They’ll open at home Dec. 3 against longtime rival Summerville, the preseason No. 7 team in S.C. Basketball Coaches Association 4A preseason poll.

“We feel like we are a top-10 team,” Eaton said. “I can’t wait to see us compared to a team that everyone thinks is a top-10 team.

“We really think we should win a region title. We have the Lower State championship and state championship as goals. Our guys have experience now and feel like they can compete with, and beat, anybody down here.”

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