The Warwick Vets boys basketball team has been arguably the top middle school team throughout the state to this point in the 2019-2020 winter season.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 7-0 record to tip off the season, earning big wins over teams like Western Hills, Paul Cuffee, as well as defending champion Park View of Cranston.
Team work and attention to detail have been key to the team’s hot start, according to coach Nick Durand.
“This team hustles, they work hard, they rebound, they do all the little things. They share the ball, they always go for the open look. It has been a fun team to coach,” said Durand.
Vets also boasts a balanced lineup, which is led by a healthy mix of seventh and eighth graders that have plenty of experience on the court together. Not only do the Hurricanes have an experienced roster, they also have one of the bigger lineups in the state which has helped them gain an advantage.
“We’ve had some size matchups, but it’s the hustle that’s been the difference,” said Durand. “We have had some mismatches with teams that may be a little smaller or a little more athletic, but our guys beat them up a little bit,” said Durand.
Although the Hurricanes are excited to jump out to the hot start, they are not taking any team lightly as they are currently battling a different list of opponents from last year. Durand believes that the club just needs to stay focused, not turn the ball over, and take one game at a time.
The Hurricanes dropped their first game of the season against Martin on Tuesday, so they will need to refocus quickly as they dig into the second half of their schedule.
“Last year we had a lot of six graders that got good minutes, and we also had some seventh graders that we knew would be able to take care of the ball, we figured that we would have some success,” said Durand. “We are playing a different group of teams this year, though. We know a little bit about the Cranston teams, a few others, we feel like we can be competitive so we are happy to be where we’re at.”