Sandy boys basketball head coach Chris Meyers says that while 2007-2008 was short on victories, this may have been his most successful season ever.
'I have never been around a team, playing wise or coaching, that worked harder and genuinely cares about each other as this team,' Meyers said. 'This team learned more than our wins and losses show.'
While the Pioneers finished the Mount Hood Conference in fifth at 3-11 (3-21 overall), defensively they improved immensely.
'The kids bought into our new system and I think we were one of the best defensive teams that walked on the court each night,' Meyers said. 'Unfortunately we struggled offensively and were missing that one guy who could take over a game late.'
Tommy D'Aboy led the Pioneers averaging 12.8 points per game, followed closely by Paul Widmer's 10.0.
No other Pioneers averaged more than six points a game.
'We need someone who can take the ball late and give us a good shot to score. We have a couple of guys who could be that, but they need to work on their shooting over the off season.'
Meyers noted that Kevin Trosko and Eric Anderson showed the most improvement. Trosko finished the season shooting 47% from the field and pulled down 78 rebounds in 24 games.
Anderson, the team captain, was the most improved player in the final month of the season. Anderson finished the season averaging 2.8 rebounds a game.
'Eric came a long way this year,' Meyers said. 'Over the last month of the season, he was easily the most improved player on our team and (Trosko) was a close second.'
Sandy struggled early, allowing eight of their first ten opponents to score over 70 points. In their final 16 games, only two opponents scored over 70.
Sandy started the season losing their first 10 games before breaking though with a 53-40 victory over Hood River Valley to open the Mount Hood Conference season.
'The first Hood River game we played so well and I thought that was going to be our break-out game,' Meyers said. 'We played a great game and everything came together.'
After that game, Sandy scored more than 45 points only three times.
'Offensively, we took better shots and ran what we were trying to run better and were more patient,' Meyers said. 'Shots just didn't fall when we needed them to.'
Meyers added that, in spite of wins and losses, the Pioneers had a number of season high points.
'I think the fact that we were competitive every night, even though we were undersized and in most cases playing against better athletes, these kids battled every game.'