T-Wolves top Chinooks for final district tournament spot


MORTON — Morton-White Pass entered Friday’s game against Kalama on a six-game skid. 

While the Timberwolves were competitive in each of their last three losses, including a close loss against Rainier and slim losses to Onalaska and Toledo, they hadn’t been able to come out on top since Jan. 3.

Morton-White Pass picked a great night to snap its skid, however, as the Timberwolves dominated Kalama, taking the win-and-in regular season finale 64-31.

“This was the best they played as a complete team,” Morton-White Pass coach Tim Robertss said. “They can come together as a team. They can step up. When we play as a team, we can play with anybody.”

With the win, Morton-White Pass earned the No. 7 seed from the C2BL in the district tournament and eliminated Kalama. Had the result been the other way around, it would have been the Timberwolves (8-10, 4-9 C2BL) going home.

Knowing that coming in, they set the tone early. Natalia Armstrong opened the game with a 3-pointer, and McKenzee Mays drilled another moments later to kickstart a 9-0 run.

The game’s outcome was decided in the second quarter. The Timberwolves outclassed the Chinooks in that frame, outscoring them 26-7 to extend their lead to 28.

“We were able to convert a little bit earlier,” Roberts said. “I think that kept the intensity up and they fed on that.”

Morton-White Pass was impenetrable on defense in the first half, forcing 16 turnovers while allowing just 12 points.

It wasn’t as dominant of a performance in the second half, but the cushion they built in the first half was more than enough.

Malia Armstrong led the Timberwolves with 15 points, while Mays finished with 12 and Natalia Armstrong scored 11. Ana Gonzalez logged nine and Kiera Miller tallied eight.

A balanced attack is nothing new for the Timberwolves, who have had six different leading scorers and five different 20-point scores over the course of the season.

“When someone goes down, someone else steps up,” Roberts said. “As a team, we’re strong. We don’t need hero ball. Be a hero as a team.”

The T-Wolves won’t have much time to celebrate their postseason berth, as they’ll have less than 24 hours before returning to the court against Rainier for the first round of the district tournament.

While the Mountaineers present a daunting challenge, it isn’t a loser-out game, and Roberts says the key is continuing to play “focused, intense” basketball for a full 32 minutes. He also noted that a league schedule against the C2BL has prepared them for postseason play.

“Nobody gives you anything (in this league),” Roberts said. “Can we play together as a team, win or lose? If we can do that, then I think they have an opportunity to go pretty deep in district.”

The Timberwolves and Mountaineers will tip off Saturday at Rochester at 2:30 p.m.