With six games left in the regular season, the Wolverine varsity boys basketball team is pushing ahead and hoping to secure a spot in the postseason. Currently standing at four wins, eight losses overall (one win, two losses in the league) the team is looking at all of these last six games as vitally important.
“We have six league games remaining and really for us in our current position, they are all equally important,” Head Coach Rod Turnbull said. “For that reason, we don’t want to look too far ahead. Our biggest game right now is the next one we play in.”
Most recently, on Jan 24, the team played an away game against Mount Vernon Christian Academy with an exciting finish to the Wolverine Boys Varsity game! A true “nail biter” of a game.
The Wolverines lead the game until the 4th quarter and with five minutes left, the Hurricanes took the lead.
With 26 seconds left on the clock, Dylan Roberson brought the ball up the court. Seeing an opening he drove to the basket and put up a two-point shot, the score now is 49 to 49 in his drive he is fouled. Going to the line Dylan shoots one shot putting Friday Harbor ahead at 50 The Hurricanes bring the ball up the court but are unable to score and call a time out with 1 second. The Hurricanes attempt to get the ball in, however, the Wolverines got possession and the game is over! Wolverines 50-Hurricanes 49.
Earlier this month the team took on Mossyrock for a 69-38 win on Jan. 1. On the second of January, the team lost to Toutle Lake, 67–43. On Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, the team fell to Orcas, 55-47, and LaConner, 54-36.
During December, the team was able to pull off three wins. The first was on Saturday, Dec. 7 at home against Lopez with a score of 65–23. The next week the Wolverines beat Coupeville at home, 43-38, on Jan. 11 and were also able to conquer Mount Vernon Christian Academy at home 59-47 on Friday, Dec. 20.
“Our first game versus Mount Vernon Christian was a show of the fight this team can have at times,” Turnbull said. “We ended up playing most of the game with only seven players but were able to win the game. I also thought our effort versus South Whidbey (Dec. 28) was extremely focused and team-oriented. We had some matchup problems but were able to keep the game competitive for the most part.”
In the upcoming month, the team will face some of their league opponents for the second time. Turnbull has the Wolverine boys working on learning from their first encounters with these teams and making necessary adjustments to hopefully be more successful this second go-round.
“We are trying to become more efficient within our team defense and offense. We struggle at times in both areas,” said Turnbull. “This has led us back to some fundamental work.”
Getting better at preparing for games, starting games ready to play hard and were competitive throughout, even in tough situations is something Turnbull is working to instill in his players.
“Sometimes things don’t go your way and you have to find a way to battle through that,” Turnbull said.
Strong leadership is something else Turnbull is working on with the team. With seven seniors on the team — Remy August, Ty Anderson, Jaden Jones, Ethan Germain, Kenny Hallock, Gavin Mason and Teagan August — Turnbull feels that this group could collectively step into positions of leadership for the entire team and is working to foster that.
“Being a leader is not easy. You have to put yourself out there for others to criticize even more sometimes, but if you don’t have those willing to do that you often don’t reach that final level of performance. This is one of the areas we are trying to improve in,” Turnbull said. “However, our leadership can come in many different ways, it doesn’t always have to an upperclassman to be the one in that position.”
Over the remainder of January and into February the team will compete against Darrington, Concrete, LaConner and Orcas Island, all equally important league games.
“At this point, we are still in control of our own situation, so each game is a one-game playoff for us. … I feel our team’s strengths right now is our willingness to keep pushing forward. We have a great group of guys who really want to do well,” Turnbull said. “Sometimes that hasn’t all come together, but they are willing to keep working at it.”
The Wolverine Boys had another “hair raising, nail-biting and exciting” contest against the Darrington Loggers at home on Jan. 27. The Wolverine Boys lead for most of the game which leads up to a 10 point spread. However, in the fourth quarter with five minutes remaining the Loggers pulled ahead by two points. Again the final game was not decided until the last 26 seconds. The Wolverines were able to come within one point of tying the score at 40-41. In the final 15 seconds, a Wolverine player Remy August was fouled twice and went to the foul line and made all four shots giving the Wolverines a 44-41 lead. However, again the Loggers called a time out with one second on the clock. The Loggers put the ball in play but could not convert a score. The Wolverines take the well-fought win with a score of 44-41.
The next game is at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28 against Concrete at home, followed by a home game against Orcas at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31.