Varsity Basketball

WEST BOYS: Competitiveness comes from depth

It's taken four seasons, but West boys coach Phil Daignault is finally starting to see his plan take shape.

After winning one game in his first season, two the next and four last season, the Pioneers may now have the depth to compete in the powerful City League.

"We are certainly going to be more productive because we won't lose much when we have to go to our bench," Daignault said. "In this league, a few good players isn't enough. There are some schools whose cups are overflowing with talent. We are hopefully getting to that point now."

Diagnault's plan also has West at least doubling its win total from last season, in hopes of getting a higher seed in its Class 5A sub-state and getting an opportunity to go to the state tournament.

The last three seasons, the Pioneers have been the No. 8 seed and been eliminated in the semifinals.

Despite only winning four games, another positive sign that Diagnault has West moving in the right direction was its ability to give some of the league's better teams fits.

The Pioneers lost to Bishop Carroll by four, Kapaun by five, and East by 12.

Back from that team is leading scorer Jamez Jones (12 points) and defensive specialist Dontrez Washington.

Dorian Flournoy, a 5-11 guard and Daylin Thomas, a 6-4 post player, will most likely be starters, while newcomers Devion Griffin (transfer from Texas) and Travis Gantt (transfer from East) also figure to get significant minutes.

Diagnault said his kids are already carrying a different swagger and there is a level of excitement that hasn't been in the program for a while.

"There has been a real meat to the practice so far and it's just a different atmosphere," Diagnault said. "The kids are hyped up and are really looking forward to opening night."

WICHITA WEST









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PLAYERS TO WATCH









OUTLOOK

Gone from that team is leading scorer Lulu Meadows. In order for West to improve on its win total, finding chemistry with its new players will be key early. Counted on will be Reyes and Rhone, both of whom played significant minutes.

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