A team on the rise in the WDA is Legacy, winning eight of their last nine games, including a huge upset over Bismarck, but it’s their move away from traditions that are garnering respect in the west.
When Jason Horner saw the roster he had this year, he knew it was time to switch things up. The athletic ability on the Sabers’ roster forcing him to try something new.
“I’ve never been a pressing coach, but I’ve always been a halfcourt, man-to-man coach,” says Horner. “So it’s important to get out of your comfort zone a little bit and try different things, and it’s been working pretty well for us so far. And it’s generated some offense where we’ve kind of gone stagnant in the halfcourt and we’ve kind of picked things up.”
That change has sparked an offense lead by league-leading scorer Nick Kupfer, averaging almost 27 points a game, a player that gets to the free-throw line more than anyone else.
“I think we all really liked it because of our speed and athleticism to really push the ball,” says senior Nick Kupfer. “I think it’ll be nice especially later in the season.”
“Although it’s a fast offense, you have to play slow, so it ends up being fast,” says senior Keagen Woodbury. “So I guess you keep the pace that you want to keep and that helps make it fast.”
It’s not just working on the fast pace on offense and defense, it’s about getting the brain ready for the rigors of a tough style of play.
“We got to be mentally tough throughout the year, and we’ve been working hard on that,” says Horner. “We’ve been working on mindset things and mental toughness things, not just with basketball things.”
“I think a lot of our guys didn’t trust themselves to do the things that they really could do,” Woodbury says. “I feel like this year, it’s changed, and we can move on farther than we did last year.”
Legacy knows that their success can only stick around if they’re prepared, especially with so many good young players in the WDA.
“I’ve already said ‘whoa, who’s that? Whose that kid?” says Horner. “And then all of the sudden, they just play really well. And so we tell these kids that the league reloads every year, and you got to be ready to play or else you’re going to get bounced.”