The Wahkiakum Mule boys basketball team finished the regular season on a strong note this past week, posting wins against Mossyrock, Toutle, and Adna to secure their position in districts as the third seed from the Central League.
The Mules began the week last Wednesday against a resilient Mossyrock team that matched the Mules bucket-for-bucket for most of the game. Despite being in the midst of their best shooting performance of the entire season, the Vikings hung around to keep things interesting before succumbing to a 74-65 defeat.
While the Mules struggled once again from the free throw line, making just nine of 19 attempts, and failed to convert on a number of two-point tries, they were on fire from beyond the arc, connecting on 11 of 15 attempts. A major factor to the Mules’ success in the game was the selflessness they displayed with the ball, recording an assist on 21 of their 27 field goals made, with Lars Blix, Shane Souvenir and Travis Wegdahl each dishing out five and Peter Weiler four. Leading the scoring was Blix who knocked down six three-pointers en route to a game-high 28 points. Weiler contributed 13, Austin Good 10, Wegdahl and Seth Doumit eight apiece, and Souvenir seven. Souvenir also pulled in a team-high nine rebounds and recorded three blocked shots.
Friday, the Mules’ hot shooting continued early against Toutle Lake as they raced out to a 27-13 lead after one and extended it to a 41-22 halftime advantage. From there, the offense fizzled a bit and the Ducks hit 7 of 15 three-point attempts to narrow the gap, yet it wasn’t enough as the Mules hung on to claim a 65-52 road victory.
In the first half, the Mules were strong all-around from the field, hitting 8 of 12 two-pointers, 6 of 8 threes, and 7 of 7 from the line. While the two-pointers remained makeable for the Mules, the stats for the other two dropped off quite a bit in the second half, going zero for five from beyond the arc and eight of 17 from the line, mostly influenced by a less than stellar seven of 16 in the fourth quarter. Blix (20) led a balanced Mules offense that saw four Mules reach double figures: Eli McElroy (12), Souvenir and Weiler (10 apiece). Good added six, Seth Doumit three, Dallas Peacock two, and one apiece from Wegdahl and Steven Doumit.Saturday night, the Mules faced off against the Adna Pirates on senior night in a showdown to determine third and fourth seeds in districts. What began as a back-and-forth battle in the first half that saw the Mules clinging to a 33-31 halftime lead ended in a near rout as the Mules exploded for a 24-8 third quarter advantage to push the lead to 57-39. The Mules pushed the lead into the twenties in the fourth quarter before Coach Olsen gave the younger guys a chance at some varsity action.
As the third seed from the Central League, the Mules are scheduled to play tonight (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at Rochester High School against the seventh seed from the Central League, Winlock, with the winner advancing to take on Willapa Valley for a shot at a state (regional) berth.
The Mules junior varsity squad ended their season with a win over Mossyrock and losses to Toutle Lake and Adna. The Mules nipped the Vikings 47-44 led by Gunnar Blix with 11 points. Brady LaBerge added 10, Mitchel Dault nine, Joey Moore seven, Brandon Budd six, and Thorben Huber four. Blix also recorded 14 rebounds.
Against Toutle Lake, the Mules took a 40-34 lead into the fourth quarter but failed to score in the period as the Ducks escaped with a 44-40 win on their home floor. Moore led the way with 10 points, followed by Budd with seven, six apiece from Blix and Huber, LaBerge and Dault four each, and three from Zach Calvert.
Against Adna, the fourth-quarter blues continued as the Pirates outscored the Mules 11-4 in the quarter, turning a tight six-point game into a 59-46 defeat. LaBerge led the Mules with 18 points to go with 12 from Budd. Huber added six, Moore and Koby Cothren each with three, and two apiece from Dault and Jenton Zeng.