State 2013 State B tournament kicked off Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Attendance was not overwhelming, but it was brisk.>>
State 2013 State B tournament kicked off Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Attendance was not overwhelming, but it was brisk. The excitement level was high. And teams came ready to play.>>
Maybe it was the 9 a.m. tipoff. Perhaps it was state tournament jitters.
Whatever it was that put Wahkiakum in an early hole quickly dissipated and the Mules ran away with a first round 62-49 win over Winlock in the boys 2B State Tournament opener.
"I saw a little concern on some of my player's faces, that gave me a little concern," Wahkiakum head coach Bill Olsen said. "There was one stretch where we missed six straight and we got a foul. Those were all makeable shots.
"I was hoping it wasn't us that came out with the jitters, and it was. We settled in, we made some plays tonight on the break that we haven't made all year. I was proud of that."
Winlock jumped out to a 16-6 lead as senior Enrique Hernandez started the game 4-for-4 with 11 points. But the tides turned as Wahkiakum's full-court press began to cause trouble for the Cardinals and the Mules closed to within 22-20 at the half.
A 13-2 run following intermission gave the Mules their first lead of the game, one they wouldn't relinquish.
Winlock made one final run to close within 47-34 with 4:15 left in the contest, but Shane Souvenir hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner to put the game away.
"Shane Souvenir knocking down those clutch threes to hold them off, "We did get a double-digit lead, but with the 3-point shot, their quickness, they can get back in it very fast. Shane kind of took that away."
Peter Wiler led Wahkiakum with 21 points, while Souvenir chipped in 13 and eight rebounds. Eli McElroy scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Hernandez led Winlock with 21 points.
Wahkiakum plays at 12:15 tomorrow, while Winlock has a 9:00 a.m. contest in the loser's bracket.