The upset bug picked up on the Morton-White Pass boys basketball team’s scent Thursday at the T-Wolves’ first game in Menlo at the Jack Q. Pearson Holiday Classic. Friday, it was ready and waiting for them, and struck in a 59-58 loss for the 2B No. 2 Timberwolves to Ilwaco.
It’s MWP’s first regular season loss to a fellow 2B side in 11 months, and just its third of the 2022 calendar year. Coming off a game against Willapa Valley that started shaky before they started clicking en route to a win, the T-Wolves got to speed multiple times but couldn’t keep it going, and the Fishermen were happy to take advantage.
“I would say we did deserve it,” MWP coach Chad Cramer said. “We stopped executing the way we’re supposed to execute, offensively and defensively. And I think our team got a little cocky. When you do that, a good team will come up and bite you. We flirted with that yesterday, and today it happened.”
Josh Salguero led all scorers with 27 points in the paint, and Jake Cournyer added 13 from the perimeter.
On the other end, the Ilwaco guards feasted. Thursday, Alex West and Kyle Morris both scored 15 points in the Fishermen’s loss to Adna, and caught Cramer’s eye as the weapons that needed to be contained in the Ilwaco offense.
Friday, West dropped 20, and Morris was right behind him with 19; as a group, Ilwaco hit nine 3-pointers.
“Obviously we didn’t get a chance to prep for them in practice, but we discussed the things they like to do, and we just didn’t go out and execute,” Cramer said. “Nothing they did was a big surprise, we just failed to execute on both ends of the court today.”
For the second straight day, MWP started slow, and Ilwaco jumped out to a 21-12 lead after a quarter of play. The T-Wolves found their offense in the second quarter, trailing 36-29 at halftime, before figuring out their defense in the third, when they held their opponents to just seven to take a slim lead.
That continued into the fourth — MWP led by six at one point — but the good patches faded late, and the Timberwolves let the Fishermen come back, get back ahead, and get out with the upset win.
“We needed to be humbled, and hopefully that did it,” Cramer said.
Morton-White Pass will get six days to stew on the loss before jumping back into Central 2B League Play next Thursday in Morton against Wahkiakum. So far, the T-Wolves’ four league wins have come against teams with losing records in C2BL play. Coming out in 2023, three of their first four games will come against similarly-undefeated squads: Wahkiakum, Adna, and Napavine.
“We’ve got a good ball club, and I have plenty of confidence in them,” Cramer said. “But we’ve got to get back to doing the things we know how to do.”