Wild West: Western boys rally at WIT - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Wild West: Western boys rally at WIT

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WINCHESTER, Ill. (WGEM) -

It was Christmas break and the Western boys basketball team had won just half of its 12 games to start the season.

It was then when the Wildcats realized they weren't playing to their potential and Curtis Stout's team knew something had to change.

"We just had a talk because we weren't competing and we were playing as individuals," said senior guard Jacob Goertz

Prior to the holidays, Western received the nine-seed in the Winchester Invitational Tournament and disappointment set in considering the fact the Wildcats knew they were better than that.

The team held a meeting during the break to correct issues on the floor in hopes of turning around their season before it was too late.

"We just wanted to make it a new season and see how good we could do because we knew we had potential but we just knew we weren't meeting it," Goertz says.

"We cleared the air a little bit," rememebers Stout. 

"We identified some mistakes that we were making and some roles that needed to change and we've played some good ball."   

To this point, it seems the Wildcats own airing of grievences has worked to their advantage

In Saturday's start at Winchester, Western knocked off undefeated and top-seeded West Central.

"We've just tried to bring more energy into the practices and into the locker room. And it's translating on to the floor," said senior guard Easton Billings. 

Monday night, the Wildcats punched their ticket to the semifinals with an overtime thriller over Routt which included buzzer beaters from Easton Billings and Kyle Colgrove. 

Now a new energy has seemingly gripped the Wildcats. 

"Both of us, players and coaches, needed to be a little more positive and it's resulted in a couple of big wins for us," Stout said.

Western looks to keep its 'Cinderella run' at the Winchester Invitational alive later this week in Thursday's semifinals. 
 



  

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