WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va. – We continue our high school winter sports team previews with a look at the Webster County boys basketball team.
The Highlanders are now two years removed from winning their first state championship.
That means that the goal every year that follows that magical run in 2019 will be to climb back up to the top of the mountain.
“A lot of times in practice they bring that (up). They’ve been there, they’ve seen the lights, they’ve listened to the anthem,” said head coach Michael Gray. “They’ve been on that court. They’ve had that experience. And they’ll talk about that all the time, and then these other kids, you can see them buying into it – the excitement of getting there and what you can do, and the feeling of it.”
Gray’s Highlanders will be led by second team all-state junior, Rye Gadd
“As a sophomore last year, he was our leading scorer and leading rebounder. We asked a lot out of him,” said Gray. “He’s one of the biggest kids on our team. We relied on Rye too much last year as a sophomore, we really did. That’s a lot of pressure for a sophomore, but he had an outstanding year.”
Assisting in the on-court production will be Kaden Cutlip and Carter Williams, among others.
“Kaden’s put on some weight, and looks good. As a point guard he can handle the physicality of the game,” said Gray. “We need more out of Carter Williams. He’s a really good slash kind of kid that gets to the rim really well. We need him to give us more and be more of a leader.”
Gray has once again put together a schedule that will test his team throughout the regular season. He has a team with a mix of experience, and skill, that he hopes grows as the season goes on, and hits its stride late in the year to peak at the right time.
The quest for a second state title begins on March 5, just short of two years to the day that they captured the first one.