Wylie High boys’ basketball coach Stephen Pearce is doing everything he can to make sure his young Pirates finish what they started this season.
“We’ve gotten off to a great start (20-5 overall, 3-3 in 6A Region II District 10), but we still have more games to play and the focus of the coaches is on making sure all they guys stay zeroed in and invested in the things we’ve done to get to this point,” Pearce told the Texas Scorecard. “I tell the guys we need that same energy and commitment we opened with.”
With senior stars John Achebe and Cameron Wells, Pearce’s words seemingly has rung as the gospel.
“They’ve been here before and know what it takes,” Pearce said of the high-flying duo that combines to average nearly 35 points per game.
“John just has a nose for the ball and finds a way to put the ball in the basket,” Pearce said of the 6-foot-4 Achebe. “He’s super-tough in transition and probably 90 percent of the shots he takes are somewhere around the rim where he uses his craftiness and savviness as well as anyone you’ll see.”
Pearce describes Wells as a “great athlete” who also plays above the rim.
“So often, it’s like the defense is at his mercy with the great drives he makes and the way he dominates with his midrange game,” he said.
As a team, the Pirates like to pressure the ball and play fast, using their defense to create offense and dictate tempo.
“We’re at our best when we’re creating turnovers and locking down on defense,” Pearce added.
It’s also at those times when Pearce has his greatest revelations.
“When we’re playing our game, I feel like we can beat anyone and the kids have that same confidence,” he said. “For us, it’s about being consistent with the two sophomores we start, but fortunately for us our two seniors do a great job of leading by example.”