WINCHESTER, IL. (WGEM) -- They began the season largely thought of as a work in progress.
That's what happens in the transition of head coaches while projecting a pair of sophomores to earn significant varsity minutes.
But the West Central boys basketball team has been one of the best teams in the area in the season's first month and a half.
16 games in and the Cougars have wound up on the right side of the scoreboard all 16 times. One quarter of those wins came last week during their impressive run to a championship at the Waverly Tournament.
You could not have asked for a better start for new head coach Ryan Sichting and a team playing with veterans and youngsters.
"We're getting better as the season is going, offensively (and) defensively," first year head coach Ryan Sichting said.
"Our guys have bought into what we're trying to teach as coaches and I couldn't be more proud of the guys right now."
According to senior guard Luke Coultas, "With a ton of young guys starting and a couple of guys - seniors and juniors - they can lead them, show them the ropes, and then go out and win games."
Coultas and Derrick Montgomery lead a cast of six seniors on the Cougars roster. Both have had their one shining moments in the early going, most notably Coultas who had the game winning basket in last week's title game in Waverly.
A mix of the old and the new has sparked West Central to a remarkable start.
"They really help you get to know the plays and show you what to do, and where to go on offense," sophomore guard Gabe Cox said of the veteran players. "They really help me keep my head on (straight) sometimes."
Sichting added, "We just got to take one game at a time and keep getting better because there's things we need to continue to work on, and our guys are buying in and working hard every single day, not just games, but every single practice."
West Central eyes its 17th win in as many tries when they host Greenfield Thursday prior to the start of the highly anticipated Winchester Invitational Tournament on Saturday.