Victories were few and far between for Willowbrook basketball last season. But if the busy June summer team season was any indication, the Warriors are building for a solid season this winter.
The Warriors finished with a respectable 4-2 record in the Willowbrook Shootout at the end of last month. Coach Chris Perkins said the entire returning cast is focused on erasing the memory of last season's 2-25 record.
"We had lost 90 percent of our scoring the previous season and we were very inexperienced last season," Perkins said. "Last year, we struggled finding scoring, and wondered where our points would come from. I think this summer we took a lot of steps in the right direction. I saw some encouraging play and several kids stepped up and made plays."
The Warriors, whose lone wins last season came against Lindblom and Fenwick, played a competitive summer schedule. They competed in a talented-filled shootout at West Aurora and capped a solid month at their competitive tourney.
Perkins praised the play of 6-foot-7 senior post player Chris Roycroft and senior forward Kyle Rushing.
"Chris just started playing basketball seriously two years ago, and he's really bought in and worked on his game," Perkins said. "Kyle's really coming into his own and had an excellent summer."
Perkins said junior shooting guard Kevin Miller is a player to watch. The Warriors need a consistent shooter to take the pressure off Roycroft and Rushing in the paint. Overall, the Warriors have more depth at nearly every position.
"We're going to be deeper this season," Perkins said. "That will help us defensively, so we can rotate guys in and out. Our chemistry is the strength of the team. This group has really bought in. I think we had a successful summer."
As one of several seniors on the roster, the 6-foot-6 Rushing wants to finish his career on a high note.
"I know a lot of guys are motivated to have a good season," he said. "I think we will be successful, and you will see a new Willowbrook team next season. We definitely have better chemistry and we have more scorers."