Wando focused on repeating as state champions in basketball
By David Shelton
Mt. Pleasant – The Wando High boys’ basketball program captured its first-ever state title during the 2013-14 season, finishing off a 25-4 season with a win over Hillcrest in the Class AAAA state championship game.
Wando enters the 2014-15 season as the favorite to repeat as champions and began the season as the top-ranked team in AAAA in the South Carolina coach’s poll.
Things have started off well enough for the Warriors, who won their first six games of the season, including a win over second-ranked Spring Valley in the Chick-Fil-A classic over the holidays.
Seventh-year head coach David Eaton returns an experienced and talented squad, and adds several quality players to the mix from the junior varsity program. But, as the coach says, talent and experience does not mean wins.
“We have to be a team that is focused on working hard and improving each and every day,” says Eaton. “We cannot be a team that simply gets ready to play in the big games. We have to be focused in every game if we want to achieve our goals.
“We have very high expectations. We definitely talk about winning the region title and the state title but we also talk a lot about the process. We have to work hard and stay in the moment and the championships are the rewards for our hard work. The work comes first, not the championships.”
Indeed the Warriors are loaded this season. Leading the way is 6-10 senior post Matt Pegram, a Wofford signee. Pegram shoulders the load inside with solid double-double performances on a nightly basis.
“He’s the leader of this team and he leads by example, through hard work every day,” says Eaton.
Junior 6-5 small forward Jamez Rogers, who earned all-state honors after averaging 17.3 points per game last season, also returns.
Senior 6-5 wing Taylor Majewski is one of the state’s top three-point shooters, consistently good for about four makes per game. Majewski scored 25 points in the team’s win over Spring Valley.
Also returning in the post is 6-5 senior forward Jack Delongchamps.
Sophomore guard Amp Moore also returns in a starting role as a perimeter threat and slasher. 6-5 sophomore Ore-Tre Smith will add depth in the paint.
Look for senior Raekwon McFadden and junior Trevor Behrens to handle most of the duties at the point guard. Junior Jordan Coakley will be a major addition in the backcourt as well, scoring a career-high 19 points in an early season win over Summerville.
“We have a good mix of size and athleticism and we have some shooters,” says Eaton. “I think this is a well-balanced basketball team. We also have good senior leadership. We want our seniors to enjoy the ride and get the most out of their final season. We have a lot of competitive kids and they really want to win. Hopefully it will come together at the right time.”