A Look Into The Coulee Conference Dark Horse – West Salem

Panthers Poised For Big Year

Just how do the Panthers describe their high flying offense?

“Controlled chaos,” said senior Bailey Williams.

“Psychotic,” said senior Trent Kastenschmidt.

 “It is like putting the defense to sleep, and then you are at the rim to score,” Nick LaFleur.

By design the West Salem attack looks like it comes out of a Harlem Globetrotters playbook.

But by no means is it fun for opponents.

The strategy of quick and continuous passing between three guards, allows open looks for the Panther’s 1,000 career point man – Bailey Williams. Williams leading the Coulee in scoring this season with over 23 points per contest.

“We can spread the defense, and then once they start to creep out we can start hitting the three,” said Williams. “We have some good jump shooters on the team and guys that can get to the rack so we can exploit either way.”

Head Coach Jake Merill much more focused on the defensive side of the ball in his first season. His team still getting used to playing 24 minutes of “in your face” man to man defense.

“He is a hard worker, and he has had a positive impact on the team. He is a really positive coach, but not too easy,” said LaFleur.

West Salem’s biggest strength this year: experience. And for the seven Panther seniors, it sounds like they all want the same thing: G-E-T. They will get have to wait until the new year to get a crack at the Red Hawks. The first meeting set for January 27th.

“We have been playing together since 5th grade, all the way on up,” said Williams. “We have played on varisty together since we were sophomores We have taken our lumps and we have been beaten pretty bad a few times. We’ve fought through it, and we’ve gotten better each year. This year we are trying to go out with a bang.”