ADNA — There haven’t been many teams over the years that have gone toe-to-toe with the Adna boys basketball team on the road, and pulled out a win. Tuesday night in Central 2B league play, the 2B No. 3 Morton-White Pass boys basketball team became the first Timberwolves team to accomplish that feat since December of 2015 in a 70-63 win.
It keeps the T-Wolves in the driver’s seat of the C2BL as one of just two unbeatens in league play, and after a disappointing loss to Ilwaco a few weeks back in Menlo, MWP has won back-to-back contests against league stalwarts.
“We’re a veteran team,” MWP coach Chad Cramer said. “We’re too old to be bothered by a loud crowd, we’re too old to be bothered by the people yelling stuff at you. To have a letdown like that, the kids were as disappointed as I was. We watched film and it was obvious what we weren't doing. We had a little come to Jesus moment and all agreed we had to come out and play harder.”
The T-Wolves were in a dogfight through three quarters, taking a slim five-point lead into the halftime break before a Pirate barrage in the third quarter made it a tie ballgame headed to the fourth.
But paced by renewed energy defensively, and a steady diet of Josh Salguero, the Timberwolves blitzed the Pirates early and pulled away to remain unbeaten in league.
Salguero finished the night with 24 points and dominated the glass all night long for putbacks and offensive rebounds. Carter Dantinne came off the bench for the T-Wolves, scoring eight points to help them build a lead in the first half before finishing the game in double figures with 11.
Dantinne also secured some game-defining steals in the fourth to help MWP score in transition and put the game away. The two-year-starter-turned-sixth-man has moved into a bench role and blossomed as a jack-of-all-trades role piece on a contender, making
“Carter does everything and will guard everyone,” Cramer said. “He’s by far our highest IQ player, he sees things three or four steps ahead of everyone else. He’s constantly making those plays for us. He can shoot and he can score, it’s not what we ask him to do but he can do it. That’s one of the better games I’ve ever seen him play.”
Hunter Hazen and Jake Cournyer also chipped in 12 points a piece to pace a well-rounded offensive night for the T-Wolves.
For the Pirates, it’s another game that they hope they can learn from quick after a loss last week to Napavine on the road. It’s the first time Adna’s lost back-to-back games this season, to two potential state trophy contenders.
“We have to grow in some areas if we want to beat these teams,” Adna coach Luke Salme said. “We’re really close, we’re not far away. I think it’s fixable, and that’s what’s exciting. There’s a couple of things we have to grow but we still have weeks to work on that. I hate losing more than anyone, but I’m very excited about going to practice tomorrow, and our kids are too.”
Junior guard Braeden Salme led the way all night for the Pirates, dishing out passes to cutters for easy baskets and making more than his fair share of contested shots, finishing the night with a game-high 27 points.
Eli Smith added 13 points, including 11 in the first half, and Asher Guerrero hit two big 3-pointers off the bench to help the Pirates tie the game heading to the fourth.
“I’m really proud of him,” Luke Salme said of his son and guard, Braeden. “He’s a very heady athlete and just kind of goes. You don’t see much emotion, but I saw some dawg in him today that you need guys to have. I’m hoping that was a big step for him and for us.”
The Pirates take on Kalama on Thursday on the road in what they hope is a bounceback game, while the Timberwolves look to keep it rolling against upstart Rainier in Morton.