Getting off to fast starts in district or state play are absolute musts if one hopes to have a shot at the title. With that in mind – and coming off a stinging loss in the last game of the year at Lincoln with the league title at stake – the Wilson Rams knew the task at hand on Feb. 16 when they faced the Mountain View Thunder from the Greater St. Helens League.
But the Thunder backcourt had other ideas, as Rico Bolivar poured in 22 points, including five three-pointers, and Zach Torson chipped in 18 as Mountain View edged Wilson by a score of 64 to 58 to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 3A West Central District against Decatur on Feb. 18. The Rams will play either Camas or Kennedy Catholic on the morning of Feb. 19 at Mount Tahoma, and will need three wins to get the fifth and final seed to state.
“We didn’t come out with much energy tonight and, as has been the case all year, we failed to establish our case early,” Wilson head coach Dave Alwert said.
Another factor for Mountain View was the play of Ryan Johnson in the post as he continually got inside the Ram post defense to score, chipping in 18 points on the night.
The Rams managed to stay close during the game, even without leading scorer Deondre Martin scoring a single field goal and ending up with a single point.
Deion Judie came up big for Wilson, slicing inside for pins and reverse lay-ups in scoring 16 points. Kevin Johnson ended up with 12 and Phoenix Waters chipped in with a hard-earned 11 points.
“Give Bolivar a lot of credit, he knocked down some tough jumpers, and Mountain View played well as a team,” Alwert said.
His team now has its back against the wall as they attempt to save their season on Feb. 19 at Mount Tahoma. “The whole key was that our first-teamers didn’t come out and establish themselves early with a couple of exceptions,” Alwert said. “Hopefully they will do just that at Mount Tahoma on Saturday morning.”
The Wilson Rams’ 17-3 season hangs in the balance.