Chris Walker’s last second three-point basket put the Wellington High School varsity basketball team out ahead of Olympic Heights High School on Wednesday, Dec. 5, capping a come-from-behind rally that pushed the host Wolverines past the Lions in a 61-60 thriller.
The score sent the home crowd into a frenzy as the team celebrated center court, swarming around Walker as he hollered to the fans. It was perhaps one of the best finishes in program history from such a young team that was hit hard by graduation last year.
Early in the game, Wellington (3-1) traded the lead several times with the visiting Lions, but at the end of the first period, it was Olympic Heights on top 16-13. The Wolverines struggled to find a rhythm on offense and turned the ball over often as the young team grappled with finishing under the boards. The Lions were precision accurate from the outside and led at the half by 10 points, 31-21.
Wellington adjusted at halftime and buckled down on defense. Late in the third period, the Wolverines chipped away at the Olympic Heights lead, eventually taking a one-point lead, 38-37. The Wolverine defense limited the Lions to just six points in the third period and outscored them 17-6.
Olympic Heights recaptured the lead in the final period 44-41, with several Wellington turnovers being the difference, despite winning most of the rebounds. The teams would exchange the lead at midpoint of the fourth.
The second half saw an epidemic of three-point baskets, with both teams combining for 11. Walker recorded five of the 11 with the final three-pointer coming at the buzzer. Down 60-58 with four seconds remaining, Wellington put together a set play to get Walker into the open from the outside.
Walker received the pass with a clear lane and sunk the ball for the game winner. With the win, the Wolverines improved to 3-1 on the season.
Walker had 20 points on the night, and Linton Brown also totaled 20 for the Wolverines. Myles Samuels notched eight points for Wellington with two three-pointers.