WASHINGTON — Expectations of victory have been high for the Washington Warriors this season.
And for the most part, the senior-led team has met that expectation. On Saturday, that included what coach Larry Johnston called the team's biggest regular-season win during his tenure.
The Class 3A Warriors defeated Class 6A Westmoore 41-38 in the finals of the Newcastle Tournament to cap an impressive run of five wins in nine days, with senior guard Jesse Nixon leading the way.
“He's a big key for us,” Johnston said. “When he plays good, we play good, and he's been playing really good.”
Nixon, a 6-foot guard, had a pair of 22-point games last week to earn The Oklahoman's Boys Basketball Player of the Week honor, but his strong play goes back to late December at the Tournament of Champions.
Nixon scored 30-plus points in back-to-back games, and since that time has been averaging better than 22 points a night.
Not only that, he has opened up the offense for the rest of the Warriors. Cal Andrews, a 6-foot-6 swingman and Division I mid-major prospect, scored 28 in the win over Westmoore.
Other starters Max Atteberry, Kaden Kirtley and Jace Woodrow have each led the team in scoring at some point as well.
More importantly, the confidence gained from Saturday's win over a top-20 Class 6A opponent should benefit the Warriors down the stretch.
“A win like that is huge for our guys,” Johnston said. “We beat a team we weren't supposed to beat, and we hadn't been able to do that in a while.”