Strength in numbers: Brookwood Warriors dominating on the court

William Huff
Last season as the Brookwood Warriors boys basketball team got off to a hot 10-0 start, it felt a bit false. They weren’t exactly facing top level competition and that led to a first round playoff exit to number nine seeded Lakeview Academy, despite an excellent regular season record. This year is different.

On their way to a stellar 17-2 record, the Warriors have faced tough public school competition and have significantly improved throughout the season.

“You have to go through adversity to become the best that you can be. Obviously, this year we changed it up a bit,” said head coach Nate VanDuyne on the need for a tougher schedule this year. “We went on the road a little bit more. We went to Highland Christian, which was a really tough game for us that we came out on top. At Florida A& M, that was a tough place to go and play, that was a battle. We’ve got several more public schools on our schedule this year that have just challenged us in a different way. Maybe they’re not necessarily as skilled, but they’re just so much more physical and it just creates a lot higher degree of difficulty for us.”

There are three key ingredients that have led to Broowkood’s remarkable regular season success. The first is their rotation. The Warriors run an 8-10 man rotation during games and when they are able to stay out of foul trouble, it works significantly to their advantage. They are able to keep their guys fresh while also putting players on the floor together that compliment each other.

The second is rebounding, which has been a problem for most of the season. The Warriors were letting teams back into games, leading to close one possession games that Broowkood should have been dominating. However, the Warriors have turned a corner, winning the rebound battle in their last three games.

The third is an unmatched scoring prowess. That has been a theme all season. The Warriors have scored less that 50 points in just three games this season. They have scored 60 or more in 11 games and hung massive scoring totals several times this season. Brookwood posted 70 on Florida A& M and in their two games against Westwood they put up 83 and 76 respectively.

Part of the Warriors’ scoring prowess comes from what they call ball speed.

“Coaches talk about ball movement, we use the term ball speed,” VanDuyne explained. “When you catch it, the moment that ball hits your hand we want you to shoot it, drive it or rip it. The sum of our parts is really good.”

It also has a lot to do with the Warriors’ dramatic improvement in their three point shooting. Last year, Brookwood had zero games with ten or more threes. This year, according to Van-Duyne, they are averaging close to ten threes per game. It also helps when you’ve got “a little bit of everything” on the offensive side of the ball.

“We are just shooting the ball so much better. Obviously, Jordyn Jean plays a massive role in that,” VanDuyne said. “When you can shoot it from the perimeter, but then you’ve got guys like Levi (Williams) can get downhill and he’s such a strong driver, then you’ve got a 6’9 guy that is hanging around at the rim, then you’ve got a guy like Roscoe (Jones) that can mix it up. You’ve just got a little bit of everything. It’s just really hard to guard.”

At time of writing, the Warriors have seven games left on their schedule, most of which are region contests. Brookwood currently sits at 17-2 and are 4-0 in region play.
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.