Whittell boys clinched their first IV Northern League title since 1991 with wins Friday and Saturday nights.
On Friday, the Warriors fell behind Excel Christian in the first quarter and started the second down 20-10. Coach Phil Bryant blamed the slow start on low energy and decided to make a change in defensive tactics. The remainder of the game had Whittell outscoring their opponents 60-16 and the game ended with a 70-36 win.
Bryce Bronken led the scoring with 19 points followed by Palmer Chaplin with 16, Mark Waite with 14 and freshman Cole Snyder with 10.
“Our goal coming in was to put Whittell on the basketball map,” said Bryant. “We got a good group of guys behind them.”
On Saturday, the first-place Warriors traveled to second-place Virginia City for their final regular season game and came away with a win.
Whittell trailed for most of the first half and went into the break down by five points, but outscored the Muckers 25-7 in the third quarter. The Warriors were up by 16 late in the fourth quarter when Virginia City hit three 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough and Whittell went on to win 62-55.
Colin Buchholz led the scoring with 16 points and Spenser Buccholz and Palmer Chaplin both added 14.
Quinn Kixmiller, Bryce Bronken and Mark Waite were all standout on defense, according to Bryant.
“We knew it would be a tough game and it was huge for us to win on their court,” said Bryant. “Not all teams go into Virginia City and come out with a win, especially a come from behind win.”
Bryant thanks the fans that have attended the games all season.
“We have created a great following of parents and students and our fans are really supportive,” he said.
The win gives Whittell sole possession of first place heading into this weekend’s regional tournament. They will take on the No. 4 seed Eureka on Thursday night at North Valley High School starting at 8 p.m.