Morton-White Pass remembered how it felt last season.
Coming into the District 4 2B boys championship game as the heavy favorite, only to watch someone else — Adna, in this case — cut down the nets at the end of the night after a 52-51 upset win.
The memory of that defeat lingered going into Saturday's district title game, again as the favorite, this time with rival Mossyrock on the other side of the court.
And there was little doubt, from the opening tipoff, that the Timberwolves weren't going to be upset again.
Morton-White Pass blasted out of the gates and controlled the contest throughout on Saturday for a 68-39 win over the Vikings for the District 4 championship.
"We were thinking we've had the taste of the loss the whole year," MWP sophomore Kaleb Poquette said. "And that when we got to this point, we were going to come out and get it done — so we came out and got it done."
And without wasting much time. The Timberwolves got off and running early, leading 9-2 after 3 1/2 minutes, 17-6 after a quarter, and 33-12 after the first half — with Kalen Dunlap putting the finishing touches on an impressive first half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the second frame.
"Obviously, I talked a little bit about last year. It's a little disappointing, and we didn't want to experience that again," Morton-White Pass coach Tony Gillispie said. "But maybe sometimes you learn from that, and it makes you a little more hungry the following year."
The Timberwolves, naturally, were still hungry in the third quarter, when an 8-0 run — back-to-back buckets from Dunlap, a jumper from Poquette and a Rylon Kolb layup — pushed the lead to 43-16 with 12 minutes of game left.
"It was huge," Dunlap said, of last season's memory. "We came out with tons of intensity, as you can see, and busted out a good lead, and then held on."
Dunlap's 18 points led the Timberwolves (23-0), with Zach Walton adding 17 and Poquette finishing with 12 points.
Sophomore forward Jaron Kirkley led Mossyrock with 13 points and added seven rebounds, while Shaun Stephens scored 9 with 13 rebounds. The Vikings, though, were just 17 of 49 from the field — and 5 of 20 in the first half, with 10 turnovers.
Both teams advance to the regional round of the State 2B tournament, with game times, locations and opponents to be determined.
"It's not our ultimate goal. With regionals, these district championships are a bit short-lived," Gillispie said. "So, we'll move on next week, but I'm excited for these kids. They've earned it. I haven't had a lot of groups like this, so to get this is extra special."
Loggers Power Past Valley
Both teams were playing their third game in four days, but Onalaska was able to dig deep and hold off Willapa Valley, 50-39, Saturday afternoon in Centralia in the third/fourth-place game of the District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament.
Travis McMillion carried the bulk of the offense for the Loggers, scoring 27 points, while Trenton Neilson added 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from behind the arc.
"It was a very important game for us. There's a huge difference between third and fourth," Logger coach Dennis Bower said. "We went in thinking we really needed this game for a better matchup going up north for regionals, so it was big."
Jonathon Smalley and Trevor Lawrence managed to hold Valley's leading scorer, Matt Konigsberger, to just 8 points. Stephen Camenzind led the Vikings with 18 points.
Gabe Hall, Bower added, pulled down a few crucial rebounds in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.
The Loggers (19-6) will take on Auburn Adventist in the regional round of the State 2B tournament on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Kent-Meridian High School in Kent.