Toledo High School Point Guard Brent Wood drives the ball during a recent game against Napavine.
He is perhaps the face of the current Toledo High School boys basketball team. It was his face that was splayed all over local newspapers and pasteboards after he hit a buzzer-beating winning shot against Kalama, which propelled the Indians to a state championship in 2013.
Now as a senior, THS point guard Brent Wood is facing all kinds of gimmick defenses and finding himself relying more and more on his teammates.
Locally, he is known as a sharpshooter from beyond the three-point line, but as the Indians start facing teams that are unfamiliar with him in the district and state playoffs, he might be licking his chops.
"I feel like it is going the right direction as districts are rolling around," said Wood before his team's second meeting with Adna on Friday night. "I think we are still improving so that is good."
Wood is well-known in local circles, along with teammate Grant McEwen, as one of the best ball players in Southwest Washington.
Wood and McEwen were selected by Coach Bill Backamus from Mark Morris to try out. "Both me and Grant did pretty well at the try outs and were selected onto the team and went over to Indiana and played against some top 100 kids in the nation," explained Wood. "It was some good competition, definitely. I was not physically as mature as some of the other kids but shooting-wise I was probably just as good. "
Hence the defenses he is facing from the better teams in the Central League. On Friday night, he was held to 10 points by Adna, but in other games, he has exploded for upwards of 25 points and a blur of assists.
With all of the attention he has received from opposing coaches, he has his eye on his next piece of education. Sporting a 3.985 (yes, he was recently awarded an A- in a biology class), Wood says he has been in touch with coaches at Eastern Washington University, but says that he still has his options wide open.
Of course, basketball has been much of his life's fuel. While he has dabbled in soccer, he says basketball has remained a big part of his life through the years.
"I have played basketball since third grade," said Wood. "My dad started coaching in third grade".
Randy Wood has been a major part of a much larger Toledo basketball program that extends strongly into the elementary grades.
"It was fine, He was always good support," said Brent Wood of having his dad as a significant part of his basketball career, where there can be some pitfalls. "He was just like any other coach that I have ever had. It was completely fine. "
"I have played with all these kids since third grade," he added.
This Toledo basketball team graduates six seniors whom have all had significant contributions to a state championship two years ago and a sixth-place finish last year.
Like all of the Toledo players, Wood says that there is something special about the Indian fan base.
"It is all the Toledo fans that are the Toledo rooting section," he said. "I consider them all family."