Wellington High School’s boys varsity basketball team has had an outstanding season to date. After the team’s first 20 games, the Wolverines are sporting an impressive 17-3 record, which includes four straight victories. Meanwhile, their three losses are by a combined eight points.
The biggest game of the season thus far for Wellington will take place on Friday, Jan. 27, when the Wolverines host Class 7A, District 8 rival Lake Worth High School. The tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
This game between the Wolverines and the Trojans (16-1), who enter the game on a 16-game winning streak, will be the biggest high school boys basketball matchup in Palm Beach County on Friday, and one of the top games in the state, as the host Wolverines are ranked eighth and the Trojans are fourth in the Class 7A rankings.
Part of the success for the Wolverines this season can be traced to their participation in a pair of tournaments during the recent holiday season. They participated in two tournaments — the Rising Stars Classic and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Holiday Classic.
This meant playing six games over 10 days. In those six games, the Wolverines went 5-1. A key win was the 68-66 victory against the Jackson-Reed Tigers from Washington, D.C., on Dec. 30 in the championship game of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Holiday Classic, which Wellington won for the first time in school history.
According to Matt Colin, Wellington’s head varsity boys basketball coach, that win against Jackson-Reed was a big indicator of his team’s potential this season.
“We can compete with anyone, and we still have some growing to do,” Colin said. “We lost the last game of the Rising Stars Classic, 71-70 to the South Dade Buccaneers, after being up eight points with two minutes to go in the game because we got careless with the basketball. We won the championship of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Holiday Classic because we competed at an elite level, took care of the ball and made some big shots.”
Wellington’s regular season concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 1. After that, there’s the Class 7A, District 8 post-season district tournament, where both Wellington and Lake Worth could meet in the final.
Regardless of who wins on Friday, and which team potentially wins the district tournament, chances are strong that both squads will earn a bid to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 7A state tournament. That means the Wolverines and the Trojans could face one another for a third time in the Class 7A, Region 4 quarterfinals (Feb. 16), semifinals (Feb. 21) or finals (Feb. 24). Both teams are pursuing a spot in the state final four, which is scheduled for early March at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
A big win over Lake Worth on Friday, Jan. 27 will go a long way toward indicating whether the Wolverines’ season will continue to be labeled as outstanding.