The Warriors Have A Recipe For Success

Posted: December 08, 1987

Height, speed and experience are necessary ingredients for a successful basketball team.

Woodlynde School has that blend of talent this year.

"Some people would say that's unbelievable if you were talking about Woodlynde," said coach Dave Shank.

The Warriors will start four seniors and a postgraduate. With 6-foot, 7 1/ 2-inch center Joe Wolf and 6-7 postgraduate Paul Johnson, the Warriors have one of the biggest front lines in the area.

"I don't think anybody in our league can match up with us there," Shank said. "If we can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, we should be OK. It's the most well-rounded squad we've ever had."

COACH. Shank has coached the Warriors since they began their program, in 1983. He has an overall record of 21-39.

LAST SEASON. Woodlynde finished tied for second in the Tri-County League. The Warriors were tied with Swarthmore Academy, which beat Woodlynde in the semifinals of the postseason tournament. The Warriors were 9-3 in the league and 12-9 overall.

PLAYERS LOST. George Hamilton (center), Dylan Walker (forward), Jason Lerner (forward).

PLAYERS RETURNING. Dan McCauley (guard, 5-9, senior); Jon McDaniel (swingman, 6-0, senior); Skip Tyree (forward-guard, 6-2, senior); Luke Zerdes (guard, 5-7, junior); Wolf (center, 6-7 1/2, senior); Terry Moran (forward, 6-0, senior); Mike Salvitti (guard, 5-11, junior).

NEWCOMERS. Johnson (forward, 6-7, postgraduate); Matt Fredericks (forward, 6-0, junior); Jeff Robbins (guard, 6-1, junior); Steve Spurgeon (guard, 5-8, junior).

STRATEGY. Get the ball to the big men down low. That's the offensive scheme for the Warriors. Shank expects offensive production from the two giants occupying the lane.

When opposing defenses start to sag in on Johnson and Wolf, the ball will be kicked out to McCauley and Tyree, whom Shank calls threats shooting from the perimeter.

"McCauley and Tyree are able to hit the three-pointer at 50 percent," Shank said.

That will be the setup when the Warriors run a set offense, which Shank hopes isn't too often.

"We're quick and will fast-break," Shank said. "I'm hoping to not get into a set offense. I know that's almost impossible."

Defensively, the squad will play primarily man-to-man, but Shank will not hesitate to switch to a variety of zone defenses. One thing is for sure: Johnson and Wolf rarely will be outside of the foul lane on defense.

OUTLOOK. Woodlynde is going to take the season one game at a time. "We're going to have to work for everything and not take anything for granted," Shank said.

The test will be on the coaches, according to Shank.

"We're doing a different kind of teaching right now," Shank said. "In the past we were teaching basics. Now we have experienced players, and we're learning from them. We're being challenged as coaches."

Another effect on the season's outcome will be the number of games the Warriors can play away from their 65-foot-long gymnasium.

The short court makes a fastbreak offense difficult to run, so Woodlynde is looking for games away from the school. Already scheduled is a Jan. 8 league game at the Spectrum. Hill Top will take on the Warriors in a preliminary game before the 76ers play host to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We're optimistic," Shank said. "If we can pull together on and off the court, we should be all right. We're in that direction now."

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