ROCHESTER — Luke Brown and Brody Carlson combined for 30 points but the scoring tandem wasn’t enough to stay in the winner’s bracket.
Wahkiakum fell to Willapa Valley 48-33 on Thursday in the Southwest 2B District Tournament. They will play on Wednesday in a loser-out match.
“Everything is still there,” Mules coach Todd Souvenir said. “All of our goals for the end of the year are still right in front of us, and we have a chance to play in a winner-to-regionals. If we can figure out how to get to that game, it’s a great step in the right direction for all of these guys, and a great experience. The way that we handle that is continue to do what we’ve been doing all year. Focus on improving on defense, improving on our rebounding, and limiting teams’ second-chance points.”
The Mules were down 26-12 at halftime and looked out of rhythm after a two-point second quarter. Wahkiakum came out firing in the third quarter, though, led by Brown’s nine points and Carlson’s four points. Brown finished the game with 19 points, and Carlson with 11.
“We just knew we had to pick it up and stay with it,” Carlson said. “Luke and I were battling down there, trying to get open shots and play defense. Quentin (Nelson) was a good tempo-setter.”
The Mules clawed back to within five points, key rebounds and spot-up shooting turning the tide. Carlson finished the night with eight rebounds and three blocks; Brown added seven boards and two blocks. Nelson dished four assists.
“They definitely set the tempo on their side, but we tried to bounce back from it,” Carlson said. “As a team, knowing that we can get back when we’re down, we showed that. I applaud our defense tonight. We gave up 48 points, but eight of the points were at the end.”
Wahkiakum now sits in loser-out territory for two games, but Carlson said that the team has accomplished its goals already, and now it’s all fun.
“We still want to win, though,” he added.
Souvenir added: “I got guys that can knock it down. If we can figure out how to get things to happen in one game, we can make our dreams come true.”