The Corridor Classic is a fairly meaningless high school basketball tournament in June, but it's an important early step for new coach Adam Sanchez as he tries to rebuild the Washington Warriors following a winless campaign last winter.
Washington defeated Des Moines Roosevelt and Kennedy and finished third in its pool with a 2-1 record Saturday. It doesn't erase the 0-and-21 mark from the 2011-12 season, but it could be a small step in the right direction.
"It's nice to know we can play with somebody," Sanchez said after the Warriors trimmed Kennedy in a pool game at Kennedy.
Sanchez thinks summer tournaments, camps and weekly instruction are vital in laying the groundwork for success.
"It's really, really important," he said. "One, for our guys to get a chance to play together, plus to learn a little bit about me and my personality and how I coach them.
"And the second thing we kind of talked about is just building some of their confidence, obviously after what happened last season. I think we're slowly doing it.
"Learning how to win is the first thing," he said. "It's a difficult thing to learn, and it's nice to learn it in the summer rather than trying to learn it in November and December."
Sanchez replaced Brad Metzger as Washington's head coach after Metzger resigned following the winless season. Sanchez was an assistant coach at Grand View University in Des Moines this past year and is now a head coach for the first time in his young career.
Sanchez and his family will not move to the Cedar Rapids area for several weeks, so he's been commuting from Des Moines to work with the Warriors. He conducted a camp at Washington during the first week of June and has been working with the high school players on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays to install his system.
He wants to spend as much time as he can with his new team. "As much as humanly possible," he remarked.
Washington will compete in another tournament this summer and Sanchez plans to arrange several scrimmages against teams in Des Moines and possibly other states. He likes what he's seen so far.
"The attitudes have been really, really good," he said. "The effort has been great. We haven't had any problems with that, as far as getting guys to buy in and getting them in the gym."
Des Moines Hoover, Southeast Polk and Iowa City West won their pools Saturday and will vie for the overall championship Sunday in the playoffs.
The 24-team tournament will resume Sunday at 9 a.m. at Kennedy and Jefferson, with the final rounds scheduled for 2 p.m. at both schools.
Linn-Mar finished second in its pool with a 2-1 record, Kennedy finished fourth in its pool with a 1-2 mark, Jefferson placed fifth in its pool with a 2-1 record, Prairie finished fifth in its pool with a 2-1 record and Xavier finished sixth in its pool with a 1-2 record.
Ankeny def. Benton Community
North Scott def. Xavier
Des Moines Hoover def. Jefferson
Iowa City High def. Williamsburg
Ankeny def. North Scott
Des Moines Hoover def. Iowa City High
Xavier def. Benton Community
Jefferson def. Williamsburg
1st - Des Moines Hoover def. Ankeny
3rd - North Scott def. Iowa City High
5th - Jefferson def. Xavier
7th - Williamsburg def. Benton Community
Linn-Mar def. Ottumwa
Washington def. Des Moines Roosevelt
Southeast Polk def. Vinton-Shellsburg
Kennedy def. Muscatine
Linn-Mar def. Washington
Southeast Polk def. Kennedy
Des Moines Roosevelt def. Ottumwa
Vinton-Shellsburg def. Muscatine
1st - Southeast Polk def. Linn-Mar
3rd - Washington def. Kennedy
5th - Des Moines Roosevelt def. Vinton-Shellsburg
7th - Ottumwa def. Muscatine
Iowa City West def. Burlington
Urbandale def. Solon
Bettendorf def. Prairie
Johnston def. Dubuque Hempstead
Iowa City West def. Urbandale
Bettendorf def. Johnston
Solon def. Burlington
Prairie def. Dubuque Hempstead
1st - Iowa City West def. Bettendorf
3rd - Urbandale def. Johnston
5th - Prairie def. Solon
7th - Dubuque Hempstead def. Burlington
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