Mules headed into regional battle
February 23, 2023
The Wahkiakum Mules boys basketball team took fourth place in the District 4 2B tournament and advanced to regional play after losing two games and winning one last week.
The Mules fell to Adna 58-54 in a closely matched district semifinal last Wednesday.
"It was a highly anticipated game, they are a similar team to us," Coach Todd Souvenir said. "We were definitely confident going in, but we knew they would make some adjustments and defend the three point line. We got the ball inside and got some good looks. It was a heated and very competitive game from start to finish and we just couldn't quite get over the hump offensively. We made some big buckets and they would answer."
Kyler Sause scored 16 points for the Mules. Brodie Avalon had 13 points. Jacob Johnson had 11 points. Titan Niemela had 10. Zakk Carlson had four points.
Mules 13 12 14 15 -54
Adna 13 14 14 17 -58
The loss sent the Mules to the loser's bracket, where they beat Raymond 64-50 on Friday. The win guaranteed one more game at district, and extended the Mule's season for another week, securing a spot at regionals.
"It was a solid Raymond team that upset a couple teams," Souvenir said. "It was a little stressful knowing what they could do. I thought the guys did a great job from start to finish in that game. Raymond did not make it easy on us. Eventually three minutes into the fourth quarter we got a little bit of a lead. I thought we did a really good job of using the shot clock for the last four minutes to secure our spot in regionals."
Avalon had 24 points and seven rebounds. Carlson added 23 points and five rebounds. Sause had 10 points and five rebounds. Niemela had four points and 10 rebounds. Johnson had three points and four assists.
Mules 16 11 19 18 -64
Raymond 12 9 19 10 -50
On Saturday, the Mules faced an old nemesis, Napavine in the battle for third and fourth place in the district tournament and lost 68-53.
"It was about getting better and playing one of the top teams in the league," Souvenir said. "Napavine has been playing really well. They have one of the best shooters in the league, James Grose, who had 20 of his 29 points in the first half. When they are hot from the perimeter, they are a tough team, they play really well on both ends of the floor. We dug ourselves a hole and couldn't quite get out of it. We battled back in the fourth quarter, only trailing by eight at one point, but couldn't get the stops and the buckets we needed. Overall I thought we did a good job of battling and staying in the game and making it competitive from start to finish, even with them getting off to that hot start."
Avalon had 15 points and seven rebounds. Carlson had 15 points and five rebounds. Sause had 14 points, six rebounds, and four steals, Niemela added five points, three assists, and two blocks. Tanner Collupy had two and five rebounds. Grant Wilson and Maddox Moore finished the game with one point apiece.
Napavine 17 21 16 14 -68
Mules 13 13 11 16 -53
The Mules spent this week getting ready for their next opponent, the Cle Elum/Roslyn Warriors. The teams meet on Friday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at W.F. West High School in Chehalis. It is a loser out game, with the winner headed to the State 2B tournament in Spokane on March 1.