Owen point guard Ryan Raines is realistic.
He doesn’t expect every one of his passes to fellow senior Michael Pomeroy to turn into an assist.
But the chances are pretty good.
Pomeroy is among the leading scorers in Western North Carolina with 21.7 points per game and the Warhorses (7-8, 3-2) are 3-1 in games in which the 6-foot-3 guard nets 25 or more points.
Pomeroy set a single-game school record (43 points) in an 89-81 win over Mitchell on Dec. 20 and had 29 points in Friday’s 87-84 win at defending Western Highlands Conference champion Hendersonville.
The third senior who starts for Owen, Shawn Chapman, is averaging 12.9 points a night.
“They’re the main two I look for,” Raines said.
“I know good things will happen for us if I get them the ball. As a team, I think we’re playing pretty good now. We’re getting more focused at practice. We know we’ve got to play even better if we want to be up there (in the WHC).”
Pomeroy is having the finest season of his varsity career, but it’s no accident that his scoring average is up from 16.5 points a game as a junior.
Pomeroy shot more jumpers than ever before last summer and fall in between work on his ball-handling. And the primary source of offense for the Warhorses is not afraid to fight for a loose ball — Pomeroy ranks second in rebounds (5.3 per game) behind Jager Gardner (5.8).
“It puts a smile on my face to see the way things have come together,” said Pomeroy, who has not yet made a college commitment.
“Everyone likes to shoot more. But I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help my team win. That’s the main focus for me.”
Pomeroy said that free-throw shooting and rebounding have been points of emphasis for his team since Friday’s big win at Hendersonville. Each player is taking 100 foul shots per practice.
Owen is back at home tonight for a nonconference game against Carolina Christian.
A pair of the Warhorses’ losses have come to two of the top teams in Western North Carolina (Asheville Christian Academy and Erwin), and Owen has also gone outside the WHC to play Enka and McDowell.
“Michael has had a phenomenal season for us and been a big part of our team’s success,” Warhorses coach Chuck Robinson said.
“We’re still working toward our goal to be a contender for the (WHC) championship. I feel good about our kids. They’ve played one of the tougher nonconference schedules around and we hope it pays off. There’s a reason we made the schedule we did.”
Center Tyler James rounds out the senior class for Owen, which went 11-17 last season.