- January 27, 2015
APOPKA — Just two weeks earlier, half of the Windermere Prep boys basketball team’s roster was competing for a championship on the football field.
Three of the Lakers’ five starters — Parker Davis, Michael Stones and Isaiah Curry — were key components in an undefeated season.
Participating in the Metro vs. Florida Challenge Nov. 29 at Apopka High School against the Dr. Phillips Panthers, Windermere Prep scored a huge early-season win, 68-58. It was a win made all the more impressive because of how little time the Lakers had had to prepare as a complete unit.
“This is literally our second week together; we didn’t really have a preseason,” coach Ben Wilson said. “We had to cancel preseason games and couldn’t do any inter-squad scrimmages. … We took some lumps last week, which were expected.”
Those included a pair of losses for Windermere Prep (3-2) against good programs from South Florida. Now, though, the Lakers — which compete in Class 3A — have a significant win to their credit over a program that figures to be among the contenders in Class 8A.
And although the shooting performance of guard Matt Hein (20 points, made 5-of-8 3-point attempts) and contributions from Davis (12 points), Xion Golding (13 points) and Curry (14 points, 11 rebounds) were key, what really stood out is how the Lakers held their own, athletically, with a very lengthy and athletic Panthers team.
It is a byproduct of the emphasis that coaches within the athletics department on campus, like Wilson and football coach Jacob Doss, put on Windermere Prep’s athletes.
“That’s something Coach Doss and I have been pushing on all of our kids,” Wilson said. “We have a phenomenal trainer. … Our kids have all bought in, and it shows. We’re able to hang with those bigger bodies, bigger schools.”
The Lakers will be busy this season juggling a schedule with tough games and some significant traveling. Ahead for Windermere Prep is a road game at Tampa Jesuit at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and a return home to host Holy Trinity Episcopal Dec. 9.
For now, though, Wilson and staff can be encouraged after a nice showing at a high-profile event in the Central Florida basketball scene — important for a team that wants to compete for a state title in 3A.
“It was our first time in this thing and we just definitely wanted to come in and compete,” Wilson said. “This is why we play these games early — hopefully it makes us better for late-January and early-Feburary.”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].