Jason Mead and Marcus Skeete have both been at Waubonsie Valley for four seasons. The impact the coach (Mead) and the senior (Skeete) have made is immediately clear by just glancing at the win totals: eight, 13, 27.
That’s rapid, impressive improvement and it doesn’t happen by chance. The Warriors knocked off host Clemente 66-45 on Saturday to pick up their 24th win of this season.
“Marcus has put in a lot of work over the last few years,” Mead said. “Ever since I’ve known him he’s grown as a player and as a person. The person one is more important. I’m just really proud of him and I hope he gets the finish to his high school career that he deserves for how much work he’s put in changing our culture.”
Skeete, a 6-5 guard/forward, finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds against the Wildcats (16-10).
“He knows when to be aggressive and he knows when to pass,” Mead said. “He’s grown a lot in terms of his perimeter ability and being able to get to the rim. He’s better defensively this year and probably the biggest thing is his leadership has taken a step up.”
Clemente was able to hang with Waubonise Valley for just more than a half.
“That is one of the best coached programs we have seen,” Clemente coach Adam Hoover said. “They just chipped away. We tried to throw a couple junk defenses at them and they carved us up. They can play Trey [Spires] and Terrell [Taylor] one on one, which a lot of teams can’t.”
Junior Carter Langendorf had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors (24-4).
Spires led Clemente with 19 points and seven rebounds and Taylor finished with 14 points and six boards.
Skeete’s leadership and the emergence of junior Ben Schwieger helped the Warriors to 16-1 start to the season. The team won its way into the Super 25 for the second consecutive year.
“I got stronger over the offseason and improved all aspects of my game,” Skeete said. “This year I’m able to get to the basket and get shots off so it’s been easy to get points and rebounds and make plays.”
Skeete is averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. For some reason the college offers haven’t followed. He has interest from all levels, but not a single offer.
”I’ll just keep playing hard,” Skeete said. “Keep doing that and winning.”
Schweiger has missed the last three games with an injury, but it hasn’t slowed Waubonsie Valley much.
“It’s definitely tough without him,” Skeete said. “He’s a 17-point scorer and a good leader. But we’ve adjusted well. Caleb Brackett has come on. Mason Marinelli has played real well and Carter Langendorf. The guys are buying in and playing hard but it will be nice when [Schweiger] is back.”
Mead says Schweiger is currently day-to-day and they hope to have him back before the state playoffs begin in March. The Warriors have big plans for the postseason.
“The sky is the limit for this team,” Skeete said. “We just have to keep putting the effort in and we will be a tough team for anyone to beat in the playoffs.”