Wolves can not take down the Diamond Lynx

The girls game was rough to watch.  The Lady Wolves were down to only 5 starters as Sam Coy was out this week with a collar bone injury.  One JV player was brought up for a 6th player, but lack of a bench to rest the starters really hurt the Wolves.  It seemed throughout the game you would see two different Wolves teams on the court.  One who knew how to play basketball and one that seemed to forget what a basketball was.  A lot of turnovers, and not crashing the boards hurt the Lady Wolves.  It was just a bad night for the Ladies.  It did not help that Diamond’s sophomore guard Tara Thompson lead the Lady Lynx in the win…and I mention Tara for only one reason.  In the summer of 2003, I was living in Seattle.  My nephew, future Chugiak catcher Garrett Balen was playing for the 12 year old Alaska Quakes travel baseball team with other future Mustangs Weston Haynes, Casey Volk, and future Diamond basketball standout and current UAA Seawolf, Travis Thompson.  I went to take pictures of the Quakes (it was the first time I got to see either of my nephews play) and before one of the games the Quakes were doing a little batting practice.  5 or 6 year old Tara was standing there with a little bat and a helmet on, and when it was her turn she looked so cute I ran over next to Coach Charlie Wagner, who was only about 10 feet away tossing under hand balls to hit, to take a photo of the little Thompson.  I had Tara framed up in the view finder when whack, she nailed a line drive right at me.  Think America’s Funniest Home Videos.  I was thankful for two things.  No one was video taping it, and they were using Wiffle balls.   I still hit the deck when the ball made contact with me, but I knew right then, this girl was going to dominate whatever sport she played.

Going into the boys game, it was nothing but fast paced action.  The kind of basketball I love to watch.  Diamond (undefeated in CIC play going into the game) faced the new look Wolves (some of the players have dubbed this team Wolves 2.0, but in reality, it is Wolves 3.0).  The first period was wild.  Diamond would pull ahead of the Wolves, but thanks to threes by Senior Chris Parker and Shaquan Rhoades, and key shots by Kelechi Madubuko, plus great inside play by Kevin Waterman, the Wolves stayed with Diamond toe to toe, and even closed out the 1st quarter with a lead over the Lynx.

Senior Kelechi Madubuko goes for two in the first half against Diamond.

Senior Kelechi Madubuko goes for two in the first half against Diamond.

The second quarter was won by Diamond, but not by much.  The Wolves were really taking it to the boys from Diamond.  Diamond would start to pull away, but the Wolves would claw their way back.  The excitement in the Wolves den was incredible.  Eagle River was facing a giant and matching them blow for blow.  Even though the Wolves were trailing at halftime, they were in the game.  There was no doubt that the second half would be amazing.

Freshman Chaz Jenkins attempts a first half baseline layup against Diamond

Freshman Chaz Jenkins attempts a first half baseline layup against Diamond

Then the third quarter started.  And it was like the Wolves forgot to come out of the locker room.  If they could get the ball past the half court line, they could not buy a bucket.  Heading into the third quarter, the Lynx had a 4 point lead.  After out scoring the Wolves 16 to 5 in the 3rd, it was going to take a miracle 4th quarter for the Wolves to come back.

Junior Shaquan Rhoades lead the Wolves with 11 points against Diamond

Junior Shaquan Rhoades lead the Wolves with 11 points against Diamond

In the 4th, the Wolves started to show some life, but it was too little to late, and they were really forcing shots up.  Beyond NBA 3 point attempts by Parker seemed rushed and a little too late, but you could see in Parker’s eyes, he could feel that he could bring Eagle River back, but he just could not find the zone he was trying so hard to shoot himself into.

Junior Shaquan Rhoades tries to draw a foul.  Rhoades lead the Wolves with 11 points against Diamond

Junior Shaquan Rhoades tries to draw a foul. Rhoades lead the Wolves with 11 points against Diamond

If Eagle River could have kept their 1st half composure and momentum into the second half, it would have been one hell of a game, but instead they ended up dropping the game to Diamond 44 to 69.

Senior Chris Parker tries to float a shot up in the Wolves loss to Diamond

Senior Chris Parker tries to float a shot up in the Wolves loss to Diamond

On another note, tomorrow, February 2nd is Groundhog Day.  It is also my birthday (I will be 24 for the 16th time!).  It is also Senior Chris Parker’s birthday.  Happy Birthday fellow hoop playing groundhog!

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