GLENDALE – Not only was UA commit Dylan Anderson playing his first competitive game on Friday since suffering a concussion late last season, but his Gilbert Perry teammates were also adjusting to the loss of standout guard Christian Tucker -- and incorporating talented forward Koa Peat just after he finished eighth grade this spring.
Perry was also forced to face powerful Seattle Prep in its first Section 7 game.
“We’ve just got to get together and learn how to flow together,” Anderson said after Seattle Prep beat Perry 51-42. “We're a brand new team with lot of new guys. We don't know how to flow yet. It just takes time.”
Perry coach Sam Duane said his team has only been practicing together for two weeks in its current form, so playing Seattle Prep right away was a tough but good experience to go through.
“I guess they had had some film on us, and they took some things away from us,” Duane said. “The biggest thing is we couldn't sustain a high level. We're not in great enough shape yet to sustain the level that they're at. We started having a lapse offensively and defensively -- we matched them early and then we couldn't sustain it.”
For Anderson personally, it’s also taking some time. Named the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year earlier this month, Anderson said not everything is up to speed yet after his concussion.
“Condition-wise, no,” Anderson said. “But other things, yeah.”
With three older brothers who have excelled in sports – including Saints lineman Andrus Peat – Koa Peat isn’t exactly your everyday incoming freshman.
At age 14, he’s already 6-7.
Peat said playing basketball with his brothers has helped his game and toughness, though the jump from eighth grade to Perry was still significant.
“It's hard but if I keep working. I'm gonna fit right in with this team,” Peat said. “I trust coach Duane.”
While UA sophomore Bennedict Mathurin is in camp with the Canadian senior team, former Wildcats Nico Mannion (Italy) and Josh Green (Australia) are also working with their respective senior teams before the Olympics.