Warriors looking for return to postseason

If Tuesday night’s scrimmage against Souhegan High School was any indication, the Wilton-Lyndeborough boys basketball team is headed in the right direction.

After the year the Warriors endured in 2012-13, that’s welcome news.

“We had a rough year last year,” said WLC coach Ken Garnham, whose team went 3-15 in Division IV in his first season as coach. “I think it takes a while for players to believe in themselves, to get rid of that stigma and learn to play hard enough to win. That’s our challenge. I think we’re getting there.

“The one thing I was pleased with was that we really worked hard on defense and loose balls. That’s something we’ve had an issue with. I think it was our best effort whether it was a practice or a scrimmage.”

While the Warriors have a senior-laden roster, its a group of younger players who will likely be leading the way, starting with junior Jordan Litts.

“Jordan is a very good all-around player,” Garnham said. “He’s got a lot of experience. He’s very creative, he’s a scorer. He’s somebody that when we need a basket or a shot, I think Jordan can create it.

“He’s also a very good passer. He gives us an element that we haven’t had in a long time. He gives us something out there that on a given night is going to be a problem for teams.”

Litts will get some help in the leadership department from Kyle Pratt and Patrick Martin, the two team’s two seniors in the starting lineup.

“They are our leaders, but the rest are young players,” Garnham said. “When it comes to the starting lineup, it’s a young team.”

It’s not a particularly big team, either, and Garnham has already stressed to the Warriors the need to be physical underneath the basket and to be aggressive on defense.

“We got hurt on the boards (against Souhegan),” he said. “That’s an area that we have to work on. We’re not a strong rebounding team and we’re not a big team, so that’s an area of concern. Our strength is our speed. We played pretty good defense at times. We turned the ball over and we attacked the basket on defense. That’s going to be our strength, that’s what we’re going to emphasis.”

WLC will get one of its toughest tests of the season on Tuesday, when it hosts Derryfield, the team to beat in the division.

“Derryfield, I think, is one of the top 10 teams in the state,” Garnham said. “They brought everybody back and they were within a basket of winning a championship last year. The other teams lost a lot and it’s going to be interesting to see. We’ll have to wait and see.”