In the days leading up to Christmas, most people were busy with holiday shopping, gift wrapping and making plans to visit relatives for the holidays, but the Wellington High School boys basketball team was doing what it does best — excelling on the court.
On Dec. 20-22, the Wolverines played in the annual Holiday Hoopla high school basketball tournament hosted by Vero Beach High School. The Wolverines had a daunting schedule, playing three games in three days on a neutral court in Indian River County with very little time to prepare for the next opponent.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines were still attending daily classes at Wellington High School.
“We were one of the few counties that had school until Wednesday, Dec. 22,” Wolverine head basketball coach Matt Colin said, who added that his squad focused on playing one game at a time.
On Monday, Dec. 20, the Wolverines played Centennial High School from Port Saint Lucie. Going into the game, Centennial was undefeated on the season with a 9-0 record. The Wolverines won every quarter and prevailed 80-61.
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, Wellington played the Kowboys from Kissimmee’s Osceola High School, a school that Wellington has faced in past state tournament games in Lakeland. The Wolverines played like state champions, defeating the Kowboys 70-33.
That win propelled Wellington into the championship game of the Holiday Hoopla tournament against the home team, the Vero Beach Indians. After having won two games in two days on the same court, the Wolverines felt somewhat at “home” against the Indians.
After four quarters of play, the Wolverines prevailed, 54-45, thanks in large part to strong play from Reggie Reinhardt, Shawn Cineus and Zayin Humber. Reinhardt was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while Cineus and Humber were selected for the all-tournament team.
According to Colin, Reinhardt averaged 17.3 points and four rebounds per game for the three-day tourney. Cineus averaged 12.0 points per game and grabbed seven rebounds per game in that three-game stretch. Humber was also a key part of the offense, but his biggest contribution was on defense.
“Zayin held the opposing teams’ best players to 27 percent shooting in all three games,” Colin said.
Humber also averaged 6.3 points, 4.8 assists and seven rebounds per game in the trio of contests in Vero Beach.
Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Wolverines (9-2) played in the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Holiday Basketball Classic of the Palm Beaches presented by Baptist Health, but results were not available at presstime.