The Wahkiakum Mule boys basketball team took a small step in the right direction this past week following back-to-back home upsets the week prior as the team buckled down to pick up a pair of league victories on the road.
Last Wednesday, the Mules travelled to Napavine to face a struggling Tigers team, but it was the Mules who did a lot of the struggling early. After one quarter of play, the Mules were still stuck with a goose egg on the scoreboard, trailing 13-0 to the Tigers.
Over the next three quarters, though, the Mules finally got into a groove as they outscored Napavine 53-31 over that period to escape with a 53-44 win.
Lars Blix and Shane Souvenir paced the Mules with 15 points apiece while Austin Good stepped up to add 13 points. Seth Doumit and Peter Weiler rounded out the Mules offense with five points each. Blix also pulled in a team-high 11 rebounds while Souvenir grabbed seven boards and blocked four shots. The Mules were without starting senior post Eli McElroy (flu) for the second straight game.
Friday night, the Mules trekked to Pe Ell to take on the last-place Trojans, and despite a valiant effort from the Trojans, the Mules outlasted the Trojans 66-50 on the backs of a 34-22 second half advantage.
While it’s always great to come out of Pe Ell with a win, the narrow margin throughout much of the game against a team sitting at 1-10 in league play is a sign the Mules are still struggling to shake the funk that has hit this team the past few weeks.
Blix led the Mules offensively with his second straight double-double, notching 17 points and 12 rebounds. Weiler connected for 16 points to go along with six rebounds while Travis Wegdahl added 12 points and also grabbed six boards. Souvenir picked up 11 points and three blocks, McElroy returned to the lineup with four points, and Good and Steven Doumit each netted a three-pointer.
Saturday night, the Mules returned home to face off against current league leader Morton-White Pass, who proceeded to throttle the Mules from start to finish to the tune of a 71-34 thrashing.
The Timberwolves jumped on the Mules early as they connected on 11 of 15 attempts from the field to take a 27-10 lead after one quarter. MWP didn’t let up as they continued to dominate the Mules on both ends of the court in the first half, leading 49-14 going into the break.
For the game, the Mules made 5 of 20 (25 percent) tries from beyond the arc while the Twolves nailed 7 of 14 (50 percent) attempts, with all seven coming in the first half.
If there’s something positive for the Mules to take out of this game, it’s that the second half was a much better showing than the first as the Mules (20) and Twolves (22) were nearly even in the half.
Blix led the Mules with 13 points with Weiler and Dallas Peacock each contributing five, McElroy and Souvenir four apiece, and Seth Doumit three.
The Mules now sit at 8-4 in league and 11-5 overall, good enough for third place behind MWP (11-0, 15-1) and Onalaska (9-3, 13-3). The Mules travelled to Onalaska yesterday (Wednesday) to battle for second place.
The junior varsity squad went 1-2 over the past week, falling to Napavine and Morton-White Pass and beating Pe Ell.
The Mules lost a close one to Napavine, 49-46, after getting outscored 20-12 in the third quarter. Brandon Budd, Mitchel Dault, and Gunnar Blix each scored 10 points, with Joey Moore adding eight, Zach Calvert three, Brady LaBerge and Jenton Zeng two apiece, and Thorben Huber one.