Wolverines take States

Wolverines+take+States

Tyler Alexander, Assistant Editor

The stage was set at the Lakeland Center for the underdog Wolverines to take home the Class 8A State title. If Wellington could emerge victorious on February 28th, it would be the first State Championship in basketball in school history.

 

The Wellington Wolverines (29-3) faced off against an evenly matched Hagerty Huskies (24-9) team, and the Championship ended like any basketball fan would wish: Coming down to the last possession, a tied game, and the Wolverine’s ball.

 

The first half was filled with runs made from each team, starting with Wellington jumping out to a 13-3 lead, sparked by Alex Dieudonne’s six points in this span. Hargery responded to this with a run of their own, scoring 7 straight point and closing the Wolverine lead down to five at the end of the quarter.

 

The defensive stalemate would turn into an offensive explosion in the second quarter, with Hargerty going blow for blow with Wellington in the second. The Huskies offensive juggernaut of a quarter was capped off with a Grant Greene’s buzzer beating 3-pointer, which closed out the half for a 33-28 Wellington lead.

 

The third quarter had the Huskies closing in on the Wolverine’s lead, and then grabbing it with 4:31 left in the quarter on a strong layup by the Huskies. Hagerty then hit a three, and closed out the quarter strong, clinging to a 43-42 lead going into the final quarter.

 

Wellington put together a great 11-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, tying the game with 1:05 left and Hagerty in control of the ball. The Wolverines then got a fantastic steal, and held for the final shot. The stage was set for a great finish, and that’s exactly what the fans in Lakeland got.

 

With 5.1 seconds left and a tie game, Wellington made its attack.

 

Coach Colin spoke on the final play, “We wanted to spread the floor out and work Trent with an on ball screen or he could turn it down to make a play”

 

Trent Frazier drove straight to the hoop on the final play, and got fouled with .4 seconds left. He needed to make one free throw to win the State Championship, and Frazier did just that.

 

Frazier stood tall in the face of pressure, knocking the first free throw, and intentionally missing the second.

 

“Coach put the ball in my hands for the last shot,” Frazier commented on the last play. “He wanted it in my hands. He knew I was confident enough to step up to the line and knock them down.”

 

Frazier had a fantastic all around performance, even when disregarding his game winning free throw, scoring 13 points, tallying 8 assists, and bringing down 6 rebounds.

 

“All our hard work paid off,” Alex Dieudonne commented. “We couldn’t wait for it, and we finally got it.”

 

Diudonne finished the game as the Wellington leading scorer, with 18 points and snagging 7 rebounds.

 

With the victory, Wellington brings an end to the best season in Wolverine basketball history, and also takes claim to being the first Palm Beach County team to bring home a basketball state title since Palm Beach Gardens won in 1984.

 

Wellington will look to become back-to-back state champions next year, as they return all 5 starters from this year’s champion team.

 

Congratulations to Wellington Men’s Basketball on becoming Class 8A State Champions!