ST. LOUIS — The Pattonville Pirates (5-0) varsity basketball team will look to continue its undefeated streak on Friday when facing the Webster Groves Statesmen (5-2).
At this point last season, Pattonville was 3-2 heading into their sixth game. There were few seniors on the roster but a promising junior class that was gaining experience each night they took the court.
This year is a different story. Pattonville head basketball coach Kelly Thames said the family atmosphere the team has created has been key in their development.
“I had a lot of these kids since their freshmen year,” Thames said. “We took lumps playing freshmen and sophomores on varsity, and now those freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors, and they’ve been playing together for like three or four years. So now it’s starting to show. They’re more mature, they play together, they like each other, they hangout around each other on and off the court.”
Pattonville has scored at least 67 points in each of their five games this season, and there’s a big reason behind the success.
The Pirates have four players who are averaging double digits in scoring through the first five games of the season. Another difference from the 2019-20 season.
Junior guard Kellen Thames leads the team with 96 points and 40 rebounds this season, followed by senior guard Alijah Carter who’s tallied 80 points and 26 rebounds.
“We have a lot of interchangeable parts because we have a lot of guys who can play multiple positions and bring the ball up,” Thames said. “So, it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Meanwhile in Webster Groves, the Statesmen have gotten off to a hot start under second-year head coach Justin Mathes.
The Statesmen were 5-2 through the first seven games in the 2019-2020 season, and the success continues this year with the same record.
After graduating seven seniors in the 2020 class, Webster Groves returns to the court with six more seniors in 2021. Experience has also leaned to their advantage, and one player stands out above the rest.
Junior point guard Matt Enright leads the team with 106 points this season, averaging more than 15 points per game.
Webster Groves has scored at least 47 points in each game including their losses.
“Webster Groves, they have a great program,” Thames said. “They have great tradition, and they have great players there. This is just gonna be a test for us. It’s good to see we’re playing a game like this. We know it’s gonna be a dog fight. We know they play hard, and that’s what we want. We want some competition, and definitely want to see how we stack up against them, and I think we’re ready for the challenge.”
The Statesmen will visit Pattonville on Friday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.