There’s a blueprint here for Amity that is somewhat enticing. The energy is there, they’re well structured and know what they’re doing, they play smart and avoid the big mistake, and, most importantly, they seem to have an identity.
The obvious limitation is the lack of an A+ guy. Unless coach McSshane, who got his first career win as a head coach tonight, is going to lace up and step on the court himself, there will be nights on a regular basis where Amity will not have the best player on the floor. However, if what was on display tonight–A level defensive intensity, A level physicality, and A level situational awareness–continues into the future, there is a lot to like about the Wariors. Colby Nyseth as a defensive presence in the paint–and tonight a dominant offensive force, the plethora of young perimeter players who play aggressively when on the ball, Trent Carton’s offensive versatility, etc. If Amity finds themselves in Coos Bay in March, it will be because they adopted the Junction City model, threw in some extra beef and height, and efficiency/tough their way into wins. There are a lot of rosters in 3A this kind of identity would not fit, frankly it would make them a worse team overall trying to work within it, but Amity not only fits the mold, they seem to already have accepted and embraced it. Beware the scrappy underdog.
Willamina was out some guys tonight and it showed in spots, but that didn’t stop Cohen Haller from showing off some of the athleticism and skill that make him a preseason favorite to make the all-state list. Not the most explosive game offensively, was held scoreless in the third as Amity started to make their run, but nonetheless showed off the range that makes him a unique talent at the 2A level this year. The Bulldogs are still a favorite to make Pendleton, but the supporting cast has to play their part once Willamina is healthy again or the blueprint for taking them down could already be in place.
Amity: George Meeker 13, Trent Carton 12, Colby Nyseth 8