"It's All About The Game"
Westlake is not wishing for last year
Ron Bailey, Publisher
October 26, 2014 - After making last year's Maryland 3A Championship game and falling to Baltimore's City College, it may be assumed Waldorf's Westlake wouldn't be equipped to make noise in the SMAC or statewide. After DMV Elite Fall League action, that presumption could be erroneous.
The Wolverines, coached by Ed Mouton, will rely on a talented trio of seniors; one a known commodity, the other two being poised to make their names this season.
Omar Alston, on the move.
"We only have two returning starters from last year, so they kind of know what to expect and get the other guys going" said Mouton of a pair of senior leaders, Dominic Espeleta and Omar Alston, after their DMV Elite Fall League semifinal win over Chavez (DC). "And that's what they've been doing all summer".
Espeleta, 5'11", 160 pounds, has already carved out attention for himself, as Navy, Loyola and several D2 schools have shown interest. Mouton labeled him " a hard-nosed point guard" who "plays hard" and is a "pass first point guard. He gets players involved. And just quick as lightening too. He's tough as nails; that's what you need in a point guard".
Alston may not be as well known, but is a player nonetheless.
"He knows the game" said Mouton of the 6'5", 210 pound forward. "He's a returning starter from last year, was more of a role guy last year. This year he will step up and be a leader".
Alston's equipped for it: During the game Alston proved himself a playmaker, one that makes the right decisions regardless of what's demanded, including driving, passing, shooting and rebounding. If you sag off him, he'll bury a shot. Pressing up could get you blown by, where he'll finish at/around the rim or drop off. Alston also doesn't shy away from cleaning the glass, banging opponents to get caroms.
Bryant offered Alston early in the summer. He was scheduled to take an official visit to Delaware State last weekend (The trip was cancelled).
Dom Espeleta will scrap on the floor for loose balls. He's a battler.
Both Alston and Espeleta should continue to get stronger, as that will help the former around the tin - he's not an above the rim guy so positioning is key for him in college - and the latter withstand bumps while driving. Espeleta should also extend his shooting range comfortably behind three point land, while Alston's left hand ball patting can be improved.
Joining the pair as Wolverine team leaders is fourth year guy Trevor English. A 6'4", 210 pound forward, English according to Mouton "Had a great summer", one in which Sheppard and a D3 in the Penn State family of schools showing interest.
On the court, English is a presence around the bucket, where he scores and defends. Improved conditioning will allow him to stay on the court constantly, necessary going forward for a guy that provides energy and effort.
This season's Wolverines may be a different team from last year and don't have as much experience in their current roles, but are part of and demonstrate what is Westlake hoops; team basketball that's driven by players that compete.
"We just preach team" said Mouton after first acknowledging the work done coaches on kids before they get to him, of what he and his crew teaches. "We preach every time you com in the gym, whether for an hour or two hours, we are going to go hard. And if you do that, only good things are going to happen".
They could happen again for Westlake this year. On a large scale.
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