OT win puts Mules in state tournament
Update: Mules lose in opening Round of 12 in Spokane to end season
March 2, 2023
The Wahkiakum Mules boys basketball team headed to Spokane this week for the State 2B tournament after beating Cle Elum/Roslyn in an overtime regional game on Friday, 59-57.
"There never was more than a five point lead, and there were quite a few lead changes," Coach Todd Souvenir said of the game.
In the midst of the constant back and forth, there were some standout moments from the entire Mule team that kept them in the game and set up what would become a heroic play by senior Brodie Avalon that will likely stay with him and his teammates for all their days. Avalon drove to the basket and, physically rebuffed by a tall Warrior player, he fell to the floor as he released the ball, which arced gracefully up through the air and into the basket with less than a second left on the clock.
The shot won the tied up game and brought the entire Mule team and coaches onto the floor in joyful celebration.
Thanks to modern technology and one Johnny on the Spot reporter, I've been able to watch the moment on repeat. It's something. If you haven't seen it, go to Twitter and search Wahkiakum.
It was an amazing moment, but to be fair, the win was entirely a team effort. As Coach Todd Souvenir put it, "There were some big shots throughout the game by quite a few different guys and some big defensive stops too."
Like Zakk Carlson, whose own heroics kept the Mules in the game, especially in those last minutes. He hit a long shot from three point range to send the game into overtime, and landed two points in overtime to tie up the game again and set Avalon and the Mules up for that big finale.
Or Titan Niemela on defense, with six blocks. Six. Have you ever blocked a shot and felt the blood rush through your veins? Titan knows and so does Kyler Sause, who only had one block that night, but he made it count.
Souvenir said coaches did quite a bit of scouting before the game and watched a lot of film on Cle Elum/Roslyn.
"They start at 6'7, 6'5, and 6'3, and are all pretty athletic," he said. "Going into it we were positive it looked like a good match up as long as we could protect the paint and rebound. We got hurt on the glass and they knocked down some shots we weren't anticipating in the first half."
"I thought overall the guys did a good job of sticking to the game plan," Souvenir continued. "Zakk made some huge shots in clutch situations to keep us in the game, in regulation and in overtime. And Brodie had the unreal, game ending shot at the buzzer, which for him was really cool to have something like that happen. He's worked so hard for so long and has wanted it so bad, and it was really cool to see him have that moment."
"As a team we've been talking about lifelong memories and memories that high school sports create," Souvenir said. "You never know when they are going to come or what they are going to be. To have that happen after that conversation, it was really cool. I was excited for the kids and proud of them."
Avalon scored 17 points, and had eight rebounds and five assists. Zakk Carlson added 17 points. Titan Niemela had 11 points and six blocks. Jacob Johnson added six points and five assists. Kyler Sause had four points. Tanner Collupy had two points and five assists. Declan Hendricks had two points.
Cle Elum/Rosyln 16 14 13 12 2 -57
Mules 15 16 16 8 4 -59
The Mules started the state tournament with a 9 a.m. Wednesday morning in loser out game against Lake Roosevelt. Lake Roosevelt claimed a 58-53 victory and put an end to the Mules' season.