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Whittell advances to state tournament

Colin Buchholz had 10 points in Whittell's win against Eureka in the first game of the north zone tournament on Feb. 22.

Colin Buchholz had 10 points in Whittell's win against Eureka in the first game of the north zone tournament on Feb. 22.

Whittell boys basketball won two of their three zone playoff games last weekend finishing second in the North Zone and qualifying for the state tournament.

The first game was against Eureka. The Warriors came out fast and led 38-14 at halftime. According to coach Phil Bryant, they controlled the tempo of the game and cruised to a 71-27 win.

“We were able to get all our players into a zone level game,” Bryant stated in an email.

Four players scored in double digits led by Palmer Chaplin with 20 points, Mark Waite with 17, Bryce Bronken with 12 and Colin Buccholz had 10.

Next was Wells, who, Bryant says, was a much tougher opponent, but the Warriors were able to hang on for the 53-41 win.

Chaplin again led the scoring with 24 points followed by Cole Snyder with eight.

“We struggled in this game as we were not able to get any offensive consistency with only one player in double figures,” stated Bryant. “The difference is the game was the freethrow line as we hit 13 freethrows in the fourth quarter.”

The third and final game was against Virginia City, a league opponent who finished second in the regular season standings just behind Whittell.

The Muckers jumped out to a quick lead and the first quarter ended 20-8.

The struggles continued for the Warriors and they went into halftime down by 18 and the game ended with a 64-47 loss.

“While they were hot, we were ice cold.  We missed six shots within five feet of the basket and looked passive at times against their defense,” stated Bryant. “You would have to credit their defense for a great effort.” 

Spenser Buchholz was Whittell’s leading scorer with 20 points.

“These Virginia City games have quickly turned into an intense rivalry,” stated Bryant. “We have tremendous respect for what they do and how they do it but we hope to win on Friday and get another opportunity against them.”

Whittell starts the state tournament against Spring Mountain, the winner of the zone south tournament, on Friday at Wooster High School in Reno, Nev.