David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

OAKS-So what basketball program really doesn’t want more wins?  But in the case of the Oaks Warriors this is especially true.  Winning only a pair of games last season doesn’t sit very well with fifth year head Coach Gary Hummingbird and his team.  After losing senior starter Colby Marlar early on in last year’s campaign the Warriors really never could find their groove, even with the services of the extremely athletic Logan Reasor. 

But that was last year and this season they will have only one senior, 5-11 Douglas Thompson.  Hummingbird has high expectations of his junior sharp shooter Derrick Smith, saying “When the kid gets hot, he can hit from anywhere.” 

Manning the Warrior middle will probably be junior returning starter, 6-3 Tanner Philpot. Coming off of a wildly successful football season, 5-9 Jeremiah “Jet” Snell looks to be ready to take a spot in the Oaks starting five.  If Snell’s natural athleticism can translate successfully to the hardwood, a Smith/Snell combo could make for a powerful tandem.  Jason Sanders, a 6-2 sophomore, looks to be the final cog in the Warriors’ high/low offensive scheme.

Without any official conference affiliation the Oaks basketball teams must schedule themselves in a non-traditional manner.  And without a definitive conference, the Warriors and their female counterparts are forced to schedule both significantly larger schools in addition to private educational institutions. 

But Hummingbird is not making any excuses about that, saying, “It will only make us tougher and hopefully better when playoff time rolls around.”