Aaron Thompson / Special to the Home News
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 | 4 p.m.
From an outsider's perspective, the Henderson International School's boys basketball appears to be a one-man show.
Junior Danny Moerman has repeatedly led the Wolverines in scoring to help them to a 6-1 record in the 1A Southern League conference.
But, if you ask Moerman, it is a true team effort that has helped the Wolverines. While he averages 16 points per game, including a 30-point effort against Round Mountain on Jan. 10, Moerman said no one player can take the credit for the Wolverines' surge into playoff contention.
"We win because of how we all work together," Moerman said. "We play as a team and win as a team. Our chemistry comes through when we're in the court. We trust each other and that's what's helped us."
Wolverines coach Greg Stephens, in his first year with the team, wasn't sure of what to expect from the team during its first practice because he was working with a roster with only one returner, senior guard Vinh Thai.
With such a young team he would have been happy with a finish somewhere in the middle of the conference for his first year with the program.
After his team's performance at the Lake Mead Christian Academy's December tournament he knew he had something more than a rebuilding year on his hands. The Wolverines went 2-2 at the tournament, with the setbacks coming to 4A Basic — once by 30 points, then 58-56 later in the event.
"I knew we had a lot of freshman and not a lot of experience so while we were always going to strive for the league title, I thought maybe the middle of the league was more realistic," Stephens said.
In addition to Moerman, Stephens has received double digit points from Thai, junior point guard Clay Tormey and freshman forward Jay Sutorius. Sutorius and freshman forward Keenan Gladd-Brown are tied for the team lead in rebounds with eight per game.
"We have more people and more depth this year," Thai said. "We have more people who can step up and come through. It means there's less pressure on the starters but it really just makes us want to work even harder"
Gladd-Brown said his first year with the Wolverines has been eye-opening. Unsure of where he would fit into the team in his freshman year, Stephens said Gladd-Brown has been a key figure on defense.
"I think it's a blessing to be on this team with the kids I'm playing with," Gladd-Brown said. "The older kids have been great. They help me during practice to try and get me to the next level."
With only a handful of games left on the schedule, the Wolverines already have an eye on the postseason.
"I think we'll be fine no matter who we face because we work hard everyday at practice no matter what's coming next," Moerman said. "We stay focused and never skip the little things."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].