The usual handful of points in the usual preview column you see before any broadcast are as follows.
1. Obviously, how Dominique Wilson does is the big story. Washington's younger players got off to a great start against Sumner Academy, but faded down the stretch some. Wilson was out of that game when they played at Washington and with Sumner Academy without a true big man, seeing how the Sabres deal with Wilson will be interesting. Some teams have been able to shut him down and Sumner plays aggressive defense. Washington's guards will have to take advantage of the open looks they may receive. Or, Wilson will need to finish strong when he's open. There needs to be a better chemistry between Wilson and the younger players from Washington.
2. Can Savion Gaines and Jaron Harris keep it up for the Washington Wildcats? Both senior guards have been a monumental part of Washington's little winning streak here. Gaines scored 12 points off the bench against Harmon and Harris scored 20 points against Wyandotte. However, this is Sumner Academy. Can Gaines and Harris provide Washington some bonus points? We'll see.
3. Will Washington's confidence carry into this game, and if they run into trouble during the game, will it last? The confidence level with this young group is pretty high right now. Back in December at the Leavenworth Tournament I covered, they were hanging heads and looked dejected. After some nice wins against Harmon, Wyandotte and Schlagle, this group is sky high in emotions. Can they maintain that confidence and play well enough and above their pay-grade to shock Sumner Academy on their home court?
4. Washington should pay attention to Alex Garvin from Sumner Academy. Garvin's three-point shooting is still not getting enough credit based on the fact that he's consistently making three to four a game during league.
5. Can Washington keep their good performance in the second half up? Washington lost second half leads to Sumner Academy and Olathe East in the same week. In recent games, the Wildcats have not only performed well in the second, but generally have put their foot down. They made a great comeback late against Wyandotte. They dusted off Harmon in an upset win with a run in the third quarter and one in the fourth. They also put away Schlagle with a dominant third quarter. Washington has grown up a lot. But will it be enough?
6. I hate to sound repetitive, but Washington needs to keep Sumner Academy off of the offensive glass. Gardner had Sumner Academy on the ropes down in Spring Hill, but it was Marcus Allen and Deon Tripp who did major work on the offensive glass in that game. Again, Allen and Tripp are the best rebounding guards I've seen in KCK since I've covered athletics here. They are outstanding in what they do.
7. Needless to say, Washington needs to cut-off space and prevent Benny Parker from penetrating inside. I heard Washington actually did a decent job in the first half against him, but Parker took over in the second half. The fact they played well against him could help, but it's still Parker's senior night and I imagine he'll want to go out with a bang.
8. Congratulations to Vernon Vaughn on a great basketball career, too. Pardon my language, but senior night tomorrow is going to suck for me knowing that he will not be able to play during it. I've had the pleasure to get somewhat close to the Vaughn Family over the past year or so and it absolutely breaks me up that he won't be playing tonight. I've written tons about his upcoming football career at Kansas State, but he was a hell of a basketball player and no athlete I've ever covered (along with Tra'Vaughn White) has deserved the success he earned more than Vaughn has. He's remained humble and his family is the gold standard in terms of supporting their athletes. I hope both Washington and Sumner Academy fans give Vaughn a great ovation, assuming Sumner Academy honors him. Vaughn has done KCK proud and no athlete I've covered in the past few years could leave a bigger legacy for this city than him. We have a ton of basketball players who could make Division 1. Vernon and Bishop Ward's Michael Golubski could help open the door and break the glass ceiling of getting football KCK players into Division 1. If Vaughn and Golubski succeed at Kansas State and Kansas respectively, KCK could be on the map for big time football in terms of individual talent.