Alumni teams rule supreme at WMHS Saturday
Basketball fans got their first look at the 2018-19 editions of the Wolverine boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams at Saturday night’s annual Alumni Games.
The Wolverines played with a lot of determination but the stars of yesteryear shined brightest. The alumni won both ballgames.
Taking the court for the Alumni girls team were Grace Webber and Lindsey Gordon from the class of ’18, Alicia Faulkingham ’15, Brianna Goud ’14, and Amanda Auvil ’06, Samantha Deetjen '01 and three members of the class of ’05, Amanda Davis Kellett, Kristin Pierce Shipley and Sarah Whitfield.
Wolverine Coach Tom Philbrick’s starting five were Latisha Wright, Kateleen Trask, Zoe Waltz, Emily Richardson and Alice Yokabakas.
The alumni had an obvious height advantage with Kellett and Pierce. The Wolverines attempted to counter with an aggressive outside shooting game which worked pretty well in opening minutes. Four different Wolverines sank three-point shots. Behind 14-3, Trask netted the first three-pointer from the top of the key in the final minutes of the first period.
Trask then sunk two free throws at the start of the second period and Waltz’s three pointer cut the Alumni’s lead to a basket, 14-12. The Alumni with Whitfield, Shipley, Kellett and Faulkingham on the floor went to work scoring six unanswered points.
Three point baskets by Thayer and Brianna Orr helped but weren't enough. Kellett’s basket with Shipley assisting gave the Alumni a 29-15 advantage when the buzzer sounded signaling the half.
The Alumni outscored the Wolverines 16-7 in the third period. Kellett canned a nifty hook-shot with 4:50 left to put her team up 34-16. Yokabakas who played a good floor game then scored for the Wolverines. Headed into the game’s final eight minutes the Alumni led 49-22 and then cruised to a 71-22 win.
Kellett lead all scorers with 15; Shipley was in double figures as well. Waltz, Trask and Thayer finished with five points each for the Wolverines.
Junior Varsity Coach Bob Applebee recorded the following stats for the Wolverines, Yokabakas five rebounds, three steals and two points; Thayer four rebounds and a pair of steals, Main four steals and an assist, Waltz three rebounds and two steals, and Megan Syrjala with three assists, a rebound and one steal.
James, Ranta lead Alumni
Eleven graduates returned to WMHS for the boys’ game including eight members of the class of 2017. They included Conlon Ranta, Ethan James, Russell Marr, Tiger Colby, Grant Hefler, Brandon Goud, Andrew Chubbuck and Logan Orr. Other members of Alumni team were Bryson Grover ’16, Matt Craig ’15 and Zach Reed ’18.
The starting five for Wolverine Coach Jamie Jones were Josh and Caleb Gabriele, Matt Chapman, Billy Pinkham and Brett Osmond.
Caleb Gabriele netted the game’s first basket, a three pointer that came three minutes into the game. The Wolverines then went on a 9-0 run before Chubbuck hit the first of two free throws to put the Alumni on the scoreboard. The Wolverines took a 9-5 lead into the second period. Pinkham’s three pointer with 3:34 left until halftime opened an eight-point Wolverine lead, 17-9.
In the closing minutes of the period James banked a shot in off the glass to cut the Wolverine lead to five 20-15 which is where the score stood at halftime. Orr’s three-pointer gave the Alumni their first lead in the game at the five-minute mark of the third period. A few minutes later Chapman drove to the basket and tied the score briefly at 25.
Ranta then went to work scoring four points of an 8-0 Alumni run. James’ basket late in the period put the Alumni up 33-25 headed into the final period. They went on to outscore the Wolverines 9-5 in the game’s final eight minutes winning 46-32.
An official scorebook wasn’t kept. Standouts for the Wolverines included Caleb Gabriel, Chapman, Pinkham and Matt Eckhart. James, Ranta, Hefler and Chubbuck powered the Alumni at both ends of the court.
The Wolverines open the Mountain Valley Conference season on Friday evening, Dec. 7 against the Cobras of Carrabec High School; the girls will be away, the boys are at home. Both games start at 5 p.m. with the junior varsity playing first.