The preseason hype for new head basketball Coach Joey Bryson started the day it was confirmed that he would be the next men’s basketball coach at West.

Bryson, the former West standout, was hired following Coach Billy Phillips resignation in June. Bryson made a name for himself early by having workouts during the first week of school.

“Coach Bryson established values of hard work and effort way before the season even started,” senior guard Will Lindsey said. “We all bought into his process and got excited to get the season going really quickly.”

With only four seniors, the 0-3 Falcons are one of the youngest groups to ever. Lindsey, Kole Thomas, Iias Sellas and Logan Wyant are providing senior leadership.

The starting line-up on Tuesday against Erwin only had two players with any varsity experience. Freshman Ben Bryson, son of Coach Bryson, has been the starting point guard in all three games, and the leading three-point shooter on the team, junior Mason Lyda, played his first game as a varsity basketball player on Nov.  26, against East Forsyth. Sophomore Cameron Kanetzky has played center in all three games, despite only having one year of junior varsity basketball under his belt.

“There is no doubt that we are a really young team, and we know it,” Lindsey said, “but I think having that adversity against us has really driven us to prove that we can compete.”

The Falcons lost their season opener against East Forsyth in the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout fundraiser at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, 66-44. On Tuesday, the boys lost their home opener to Erwin, 64-51.  

“We haven’t started off the way we want to,” Lindsey said, “but I am confident that with growing experience, we are going to start playing a lot better.”

West will travel to T.C. Roberson on Friday to take on the 1-0 Rams and former coach, now assistant Roberson  coach,  Billy Phillips. West will start conference play next week against North Henderson.


By: Jackson Whiting

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