Wolves Destroy Eagles

First of all, let me say, 11 hours at Eagle River High Schools gym makes for one long day.  I showed up at around 11am to set up my lights before the 5 basketball games in front of me.  And I came with extra gear.  After setting up my lights, I set up my computer int he corner of the gym.  With 5 games, I knew I would have to download my cards after each game, and probably charge camera batteries.  It was also nice to have a place to put my gear, eat lunch, leave my iced tea throughout the day.  But let me tell you, after the first three games, I was toast.  When the Girls and the Boys varsity games were ready to start, all I was thinking about was my bed, or why I did not bring a hammock to hang from the volleyball uprights.  It was a long, long day.

And what a day it was.  Especially for the Varsity boys.  Coming off a 1 point loss to Chugiak a few days before, the Wolves needed a win, and as history tells us, a win against West is not that easy a thing to do.  I know, the days of the Chuck White Eagles are gone, but still, West is a tough squad and after a loss to Chugiak, you did not know what team would show up Saturday night, one deflated after the Mustang loss or one that was angry, needing to go out there and win.

Nicolas Montgomery throws up a shot against West

Nicolas Montgomery throws up a shot against West

From the start of the game, it was clear these Wolves came to play.  And play they did.  It seemed like that normal West Press was not as dominating as it once was.  Sure, they got a few turnovers, but for the most part, Eagle River broke it and as the game went on, West gave up on the press.  And while this is not a Chuck White Eagles team, it was apparent that the press is still their number one play.  Taking the press out of the game of the Eagles, they were forced into a half court offense and in all honesty, their half court offense showed that they do not run it well.  West boiled down to a lot of one on one ball, and when you are playing a team that is coming off a loss that should never of happened, a team playing not just as a team, but as a team on a mission, there is little you can do to stop the onslaught.

Junior Shaquan Rhoades shoots over the West Defense

Junior Shaquan Rhoades shoots over the West Defense

In the first quarter Eagle River and West were going back and forth, but the Wolves would start to distance themselves from West early on.  Senior Kevin Waterman was on fire.  I know Waterman had at least one dunk, early on, coming down the right side of the lane, was fed the ball and threw down a one handed jam, but I am pretty sure he had a second half dunk too.

Two West players are dunked on by Senior Kevin Waterman

Two West players are dunked on by Senior Kevin Waterman

Waterman lead the Wolves in scoring with 29 points, Junior Shaquan Rhoades added in 18 points, Seniors Chris Parker scored 14, Kelechi Madubuko tossed in 11.   Nicolas Montgomery also tossed in 10.

Senior Kelechi Madubuko scores 2 of his 11 points against West

Senior Kelechi Madubuko scores 2 of his 11 points against West

Senior Chris Parker shoots over the West defense

Senior Chris Parker shoots over the West defense

And it was loud in the Wolves Den.  While the gym was not packed, it sure did sound like it was standing room only.


It was a huge win for the Wolves and hopefully they can carry the momentum from Saturday’s game into Wednesdays final home game against Bartlett.  I honestly feel when these boys play as a team, do not force improbable shots, and keep their heads in it, there is not a CIC team they can not beat.  It will not be easy for the last two games of the season for them though.  After facing Bartlett, who is coming off a loss to undefeated Diamond Saturday, the Wolves head to those undefeated Lynx for their final regular season game against Diamond, who put the hurt on Eagle River earlier in the season.  But, if the Wolves play their game, they could close out this season with a 8-6 record, which would put them in good position for the CIC Tournament, and a potential trip to the Sullivan Arena for the State Playoffs.

 

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