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The Windsor Chronicle

The Windsor Chronicle

Johnnie+Reed+%2812%29+makes+a+behind-the-back+pass+against+Greeley+West+in+Saturdays+game.+The+Wizards+won+the+game+92-44.
Samantha Wilcox
Johnnie Reed (12) makes a behind-the-back pass against Greeley West in Saturday’s game. The Wizards won the game 92-44.

Boys basketball team remains undefeated at home and in conference play after a senior night win vs. Greeley West

Saturday, Feb. 3, was senior night for the boys basketball team, as they faced off against Greeley West for their final home regular season game of the season. Behind a strong three-point effort with 14 total threes, the boys secured an easy 92-44 win.

Madden Smiley (10) led the team in scoring with 20 points, but the scoring was a pretty overall balanced attack as Henry Jones (12), Johnnie Reed (12) and John Backhaus (11) all scored double-figure points as well. Reed notched a double double with 10 rebounds, and also finished with seven assists. Coach Jon Rakiecki (staff) after the game was happy with the performance, saying, “The guys played well, played hard and it was awesome to send our seniors out.”

Seniors Henry Jones, Johnnie Reed, Lamar Herron and Gavyn Helm all got the starting nod Saturday in honor of senior night, playing their final regular season home game of their high school careers. After the game, Reed said, “It’s saddening because I’ve spent four years here, almost all four with Rak (coach Rakiecki).”

Deacon Schmitt (10), Henry Jones (12), Johnnie Reed (12), Noah Foth (12), Gavyn Helm (12) and Brady Kingsley (10) watch from the bench as the Wizards rout Greeley West. The game was the final home game of the season and senior night. (Samantha Wilcox)

With a large senior class last year, Reed, Smiley and Backhaus are the only three rotational pieces to return from last season’s final four team. Furthermore, Reed is the only starter to return and has stepped up in a much-needed way this season, averaging almost a double double, 9.7 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game and adding 4.8 assists per game. Smiley and Backhaus also have stepped right into their starting roles well, with Smiley leading the team, averaging 16.8 points per game, and Backhaus being the second leading scorer, averaging 10.3 points per game.

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Smiley and Reed, two of the main leaders of the team, have a special connection, as both their dads coach basketball together at University of Northern Colorado. Their chemistry shows on the court, as they have known each other and been playing together for a long time.

The team has also recently been improved by the up and coming shooting of wing Brady Kingsley (10) and guard Tadese Keyworth (11). Both players have been recently thriving in catch and shoot situations and are knocking them down at a great rate. Keyworth is first on the team with an absurd 44% three-point FG percentage, and Kingsley is right behind him shooting 40%. Their ability to knock these shots down at any time has been a large part of Windsor’s success, as it spreads out the defense and really makes a large difference on the team.

Saturday’s win was Windsor’s 10th straight and kept them perfect in conference play. They have defeated every team in the conference at least once and are currently the No. 1 ranked team in 5A according to MaxPreps. The Wizards also have not lost at home the past two seasons, going 16-0 at home during that span.

Lamar Herron (12), Gavyn Helm (12) and Johnie Reed (12) prepare for their names to be announced. All active seniors started the game to celebrate senior night. (Samantha Wilcox)

The team is rolling right now, after dropping four of their first nine games. But if you look more closely into the opponents in that game, those teams are now ranked 61st, 30th, 21st and 8th in the overall state rankings. “We could’ve probably had a better record and played easier teams, but we chose to play those tougher teams,” assistant coach Dean Brockway (staff) said.

Not only does playing these teams help as an experience of playing tougher opponents, but it also helps them be ranked higher, due to a harder strength of schedule. MaxPreps has the Wizards’ strength of schedule ranked at 7.2, one of the highest in the state.

With a mixture of experience, youth, talent and coaching, the team has cemented itself as one of the best in the state. After falling just short of a title last year, the team is determined to get back in that spot and go further this year. Based on their current rankings, it is likely that the Wizards will get multiple home playoff games, set to take place some time around the third week of February. The team looks to continue to defend home court in the playoffs as they have done so well and aims to make a run with the ultimate goal of a championship in mind.

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Caleb Morrow
Caleb Morrow, Reporter
Caleb Morrow is a senior at Windsor High School. Since he was a young kid he has loved discussing and reporting on sports. He would like to continue that passion by pursuing a career in sports broadcasting and/or sports journalism.
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