Updated: December 27, 2012 7:37PM
It’s an all new cast at Warren this season. Longtime coach Chuck Ramsey is gone, as is the ballyhooed class of basketball players that made up his final senior class. The new guys are largely unknown, but that might not be the case for long.
The Blue Devils’ 53-51 win over Oak Park-River Forest on Thursday in the first round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament was the kind of game that can help set the tone for a successful season.
Junior guard Adrian Deere was a revelation, with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. He shot 9-for-11 from the field and always seemed to do the exact right thing with the ball.
It was senior Aaris Austin that lifted Warren (7-5) to the win though. The 6-3 senior scored the Blue Devils final nine points, finishing with 14.
“I’m the leader,” Austin said. “Everyone looks for me to do that. Derek Mason made a great spin move to get me the ball in the corner for that three.”
Oak Park-River Forest junior Erick Locke had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but missed a heavily guarded three.
Warren’s new coach, Ryan Webber, is earning high praise from both of his young stars.
“I really like the way things are going,” Austin said. “[Webber] is young-minded and guard-oriented, so that’s great.”
“(Webber) is real cool, he’s a fun guy,” Deere said. “But he gets serious when it’s time to get serious.”
Deere had the breakout performance of the tournament’s first day, but he says he is still feeling his way around the varsity game.
“My first shot I took this year on varsity I air balled it I was so nervous,” Deere said. “Things are slowing down for me now, but I think I can still get a lot better.”
Locke scored a game-high 23 and guard Jakari Cammon added nine points for the Huskies (8-4).