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Well-rounded Warriors


Well-rounded Warriors

Hot shooting, aggressive defense key for RRMR in 2015-16

With the boys basketball season underway, the Warriors have a lot to look forward to this season. Shooting talent, height advantages and speed are among the key attributes filling a strong, offensive roster at Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock for the 2015-16 season.

Two players, Tony Hain and Zach Bushbaum, have already caught head coach Ben Klapperich’s eye in the first game of the season. Some success for Hain and Bushbaum in the Warriors’ overtime win against Nashua-Plainfield in the first game of the season didn’t just come from working out in the previous weeks.

“It doesn’t just start from tonight. It starts from back at the end of last year, when our season was over,” Klapperich said. “They made a concerted effort that they were going to go out and get themselves better. And they did just that. They played AAU all summer long and worked hard to get themselves better as individual players.”

Bushbaum will provide key perimeter shooting this season. His hot hand from outside the arch kept the Warriors in the game against the Huskies and eventually co-authored the win with Hain.

A fast, quick-footed and intelligent player in Hain also helped with the first win of the season for the Warriors. He’ll provide an edge on fast breaks and isolation drives on the basket.

Down low, the Warriors receive a big hand in Dalton Winters. A senior this year, Winters can provide a large post-up advantage with his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame. Winters is also perfectly capable shooting outside as well, which can provide a tough match-up for opponents.

“He’s a utility player for us,” Klapperich said. “And he’s really figured out what he has to do to be good at the high school level. He’s learned if someone’s playing behind his back, he’s posting up. Or if somebody’s working up front, he’s calling for that reversal and working to pin his guy.

“He’s just really absorbed a lot in the past three years that I’ve been here.”

What makes Winters even more versatile is his ability to do things outside the scorebook. Klapperich said with his size, Winters is able to alter shots on defense, giving him an edge down low as well.

Klapperich and the Warriors know they’re going to play in a lot of close games in the new Top of Iowa Conference this season. With that understanding, the Warriors know they have to scrap for every point they can get, and force their opponents to make bigger mistakes.

“We’re going to play in a lot of single-digit (margin) games, and we will do whatever we can to get a point here or a point there,” Klapperich said. “We teach our kids how we can work off that offensive board or where is that play going. We make sure our kids are very disciplined on offense. We’ve just got to focus on playing a full 32 minutes of basketball.”

By Stephen Koenigsfeld [email protected]

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