Jacob Meseke | sports editor
WHS basketball teams will play in the Royal Valley Invitational Tournament this weekend despite missing key players due to quarantine. Boys basketball has six players out due to quarantine and one injury. Girls basketball will be without one starter as well.
The seven missing boys includes all five starters.
“It’s always tough missing key players,” head basketball coach Christian Ulsaker said. “This isn’t an exaggeration, each player quarantined played meaningful varsity minutes. We just started putting in a new offense and I believe we were turning the corner on understanding it better, then players got put into quarantine. That’s frustrating as a coach. We started focusing more on our defense and having proper rotation, but that’s something we will have to start back up when they return from quarantine.”
Coach Ulsaker looks to make changes he usually doesn’t make with players out.
“We will run more zone. My players will tell you I hate running zone. Our first two opponents will outmatch us physically so we have to make up for it with packing the paint. I still plan to mix in some man to man,” said Ulsaker.
With inexperienced players now playing, this will be a great chance to gain experience for young players.
“This is a great learning experience for some of our younger players. I told them yesterday, we don’t shy away from a challenge. We have to deal with adversity and control what we can control. This will be a good test of their abilities. If anything, it will show them what they need to improve on to continue to get valuable varsity minutes,” said Ulsaker.
Basketball will play at Royal Valley tonight vs. Chapman at 3:30 and 5:00, Friday vs. Royal Valley at 6:30 and 8:00, and Saturday vs. Santa Fe Trail at 12:00 and 1:30. Girls will play first followed by the boys. Games will be streamed on the Royal Valley Youtube channel.