Warriors bring home state trophy

SPOKANE — Even though the King’s West Warriors didn’t bring home a state basketball championship, they still accomplished all of the lofty goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year.

“We reached all our stated goals — undefeated league championship, tri-district championship and to win a trophy at state,” said coach Rick Walker. “Obviously we would have wanted to win state, but we left everything on the floor.

“That is all you can ask of anyone.”

After winning their first two games in the state tournament, the Warriors (24-4) ran into eventual state champion Sunnyside Christian and fell behind 18-5 by the end of the first quarter, losing 53-41 at the Spokane Arena.

Leading scorer Adam Shildmyer was held to only four points in the contest.

“I give credit to the great defense of Sunnyside Christian. We did not get the shots we wanted close to the basket,” Walker said. “They got out to a lead and sat on it.”

In the third-place contest against Northwest Christian the Warriors fell behind 18-8 at the end of the first quarter and never recovered, losing 61-51.

Shildmyer led the way with 23 points in the contest.

“The kids were physically and emotionally spent in the second loss,” he said. “They didn’t have much left in the tank.”

The state tournament marked the end of the road for seniors Erik Bright, Jesse Reeves and Shildmyer who played key roles in the Warriors success.

“The seniors will be remembered for their dedication and the way they played the game - with class,” he said. “They have left a legacy has set the standard for King’s West boys basketball.”

In addition to those three, KW will also lose seniors Phillip Wrigley, Stan Moore, John Lamsma and Adam Burleson.

Even though this year’s team was the best to play at the school, its legacy will be felt beyond the basketball hard wood, he said.

“The younger players have had excellent role models and teachers in the senior class,” he said.

As he looks to next year, Walker said he still expects good things from what will be a largely inexperienced squad. He said the team should have no problem adjusting to the program.

“I expect them to embrace the tradition and grow into the program,” he said. “We will be inexperienced next year, but I see good things in the making.”

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