Washington Winning With Youth, Inspiration

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WASHINGTON, Ill. — Is it possible the young Washington High School boys basketball team is ahead of schedule?

“I truly believe the ceiling is high. I feel like we are not even close to being where we are going to be as a team,” said Washington head coach Eric Schermerhorn. “It’s going to be a fun next couple of years.”

The fun is already beginning. Washington’s win over Canton Tuesday night clinched at least a share of the Mid-Illini Conference title.

The Panthers have just one senior on the roster. Last year they were regularly starting freshmen and sophomores.

“Everybody beating us and laughing about it, not believing in us,” said junior Devon Vanderheydt. “I think we really proved ourselves.”

The Panthers can win the conference title outright with a victory at East Peoria Friday.

“When (the season) started we talked about being conference champs and win a regional but we had to work hard in the offseason to fulfill those dreams,” junior Tyler Bass said.

The Panthers are quick to point out this conference title started with Kevin Brown, their former coach who lost hius battle with cancer last summer.

“I miss him a lot,” said sophomore Drew Lewis. “We think about him all the time, use his things we use in practice, his quotes and stuff.”

Added Schermerhorn: “We bring up coach Brown’s name virtually every single day… he is with us. It’s his program. And everything we are implementing on the floor is something Coach Brown brought. I’d like to think we are trying to replicate that to the best of our abilities.”

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