BY GENE NARDI
The Wellington High School boys varsity basketball team played in the District 9-8A championship game on Friday, Feb. 6 against Jupiter High School and defeated the Warriors 66-42. The game was played at Palm Beach Central High School.
The No. 4 (top-seeded) Wolverines sputtered early in the first quarter as Jupiter held onto a one-point lead. The second-seeded Warriors carried their lead nearly to the second quarter, but Wellington had other plans. The Wolverines managed to tie it up 8-8 with three minutes left in the period. By the end of the quarter, Wellington sat on a seven-point lead, which was never again in jeopardy.
Wellington (24-3) brought a balanced attack on offense combined with a stingy defensive play to keep Jupiter from finding a rhythm most of the night.
“I think we had a lot to learn, chemistry-wise. We kept stressing about being unselfish,” Wellington coach Matt Colin said of his team’s progression throughout the season.
The proof was in the performance, as five players put up nine points or more on the night. The win also marks the second consecutive district title for the Wolverines under Colin.
Wellington held a 10-point lead at the intermission, 35-25. The Wolverines capitalized with great success under the boards, with Aaron Kwiatek securing 10 rebounds. That success also fueled 23 fourth-period points that put the game out of reach for the Warriors and gave the Wolverines the 66-42 victory for the district title.
“I thought we could do a better job boxing out, and I thought we did that and created a bit of separation,” Colin said. “We were more physical boxing out and got the rebounds.”
Alex Dieudonne had 15 points for Wellington. Ethan Bureau put up 12, and Trent Frazier added 11 points for the Wolverines. Frazier also collected four steals and had eight assists. The win also gave Wellington home court advantage as they hosted Spanish River High School on Thursday night in the regional quarterfinals. Results were not available at press time.
ABOVE: The Wellington High School basketball team and its cheerleaders celebrate the victory over Jupiter, which gave the team its second-consecutive District 9-8A championship.