Coming off a bit of an upset loss, the 2B No. 3 Morton-White Pass boys basketball team played three ugly quarters at home against No. 9 Wahkiakum. But looking up at the scoreboard after 24 minutes, the T-Wolves were tied, and turned things on late for a 52-44 win over the Mules in Central 2B League play.
“It was a rock-throwing contest, but we’ll take it,” MWP coach Chad Cramer said. “I’ll never feel bad about a win.”
Wahkiakum led 11-10 after a slow first quarter, and 20-16 after a slower second. The defensive effort was there for the T-Wolves, but with no offense to speak of and few whistles to be heard, things devolved into a slugfest.
“Very physical game,” Cramer said. “They let us play, and when it’s like that, when it’s that physical, it’s hard to generate offense. There was a lot of bumping, clutching, and grabbing, and anything around the rim wasn’t getting called, so it’s hard to finish.”
MWP needed something out of the break, and it turned to senior Jake Cournyer — who’d had a tough offensive game in the loss to Ilwaco, and a quiet first half — to find his stroke quickly.
“We had a really quick halftime, just to get him out on the court to give him as much time as possible at halftime, and just get him as many shots as we could to get him in rhythm,” Cramer said. “And boy, did that work.”
Cournyer poured in 19 points in the second half, and the T-Wolves, who tied things up at 29-29 at the end of the third quarter, went off for 23 in the fourth to pull away.
Hunter Hazen scored 14 points, and Josh Salguero added 11.
Meanwhile, the MWP defense kept the Mules — who had yet to lose themselves in league play — contained with what Cramer said was their best performance yet this season.
“It was really a sustained effort,” he said. “We call it competitive stamina, just making sure it’s all-out effort, every single possession. Both games we were at Willapa Valley, we just took too many possessions off, offensively and defensively, just not going as hard as we can. We really lacked competitive stamina, and I thought today, from the opening tip, we were competing.”
The T-Wolves will get another tough league test — this time on the road — when they head to Adna next Tuesday.