Wellpinit boys basketball team traveled treacherous road to Spokane
Washington 2B and 1B boys and girls basketball teams take all sorts of different routes to state.
None was probably quite as tedious as the pothole-filled path by the Wellpinit boys.
Things were going swimmingly for the Redskins through a 10-2 start before a key injury occurred. It happened in the first 2 minutes of Wellpinit’s league opener when Brodie Ford, the team’s leading scorer, suffered a hyperextended knee.
The result was five straight losses before Ford returned.
Ford came back for a nonleague game against Northport, and Wellpinit ended the losing skein. But another league setback followed against Valley Christian.
All of a sudden Wellpinit’s margin for error was gone, and the Redskins needed help.
In the final league game at Wilbur-Creston, Wellpinit prevailed 57-51. But that win had to be coupled with a loss by Almira/Coulee-Hartline.
Wellpinit fans gathered around an iPad and watched the final minutes of ACH’s game against Odessa-Harrington (ACH live streams all of its games on the school’s website).
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” first-year Wellpinit coach Jake Green said. “It sucks having your fate in the hands of someone else.”
O-H did Wellpinit the big favor, topping ACH 42-39.
The next night, Wellpinit defeated ACH 47-41.
Still, Wellpinit had to win a pigtail game to get into the district tournament.
Sure enough, Wellpinit eliminated Inchelium 84-64.
“It seemed like we were playing one loser-out game after another,” said Green, a 2007 Wellpinit graduate.
Wellpinit surged through the district tournament, topping O-H 55-46 in the championship game.
Last Friday, Wellpinit earned a berth to today’s State 1B tournament by beating Entiat 64-48.
That game was played at Mt. Spokane – a place of horrors for Green. Three times in his prep career Wellpinit’s season ended one game short of state in losses at Mt. Spokane.
Wellpinit opens the state tourney against one of the favorites, Pomeroy.
“We’ve heard that they’re big,” Green said. “I never made it to state as a player, so it’s nice to be a first-year coach and make it to state.”