Whittell boys b-ball downs Loyalton 73-45, wins 13th straight
ZEPHYR COVE — A slow start Saturday, Jan. 30, couldn’t keep the Whittell boys basketball team from extending its winning streak. The Warriors routed Loyalton (Calif.) 73-45 at home, stretching their streak to 13 in row with a decisive result.
“They slept in and played in the late afternoon instead of in the evening — and their body clocks were off,” Warriors coach Phil Bryant said. “They had to kick start themselves by warming up hard, and they didn’t warm up hard.”
Whittell (15-2) had an 11-9 advantage after a sluggish opening quarter. Loyalton (7-6) scored first and matched the Warriors in the first eight minutes while the hosts struggled to find a rhythm.
“We were just going through the motions in the beginning,” Bryant said.
In the second quarter, Whittell woke up. The Warriors scored the first 10 points of the frame on field goals from four different players, and went ahead 21-9 when senior Palmer Chaplin hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 left in the half.
“We talked at halftime about how this is still a game and we have to be ready to play,” Bryant said. “We can’t just waltz in and walk out because we’re Whittell — everybody wants to beat us.”
The Warriors led by 12 at halftime, and stretched that advantage after the break. Whittell closed the third quarter on a 19-6 run, and had a 26-point lead headed into the fourth quarter — from there, the hosts rolled to a 13th straight victory.
“We had a little more intensity, better shot selection and better ball movement against their zone,” Bryant said. “That was more indicative of the way we should play for 32 minutes.”
Chaplin led Whittell with 21 points and eight assists on 9-of-18 shooting, and was one of three Warriors in double figures. Senior Colin Buchholz scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds while senior Quinn Kixmiller finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds — senior Andy Delgado added nine points on three 3-pointers.
“When we’re impatient, we’re really impatient,” Bryant said. “In the second half, when we got 3-point attempts after five or six passes we hit them — but we don’t when we just come down and fire it.”
For Loyalton, Tyler Lake led the way with 14 points. The CIF Northern Section Div. 6 Grizzlies are currently atop the Pioneer Mountain League.
While Whittell notched a win Saturday, it also suffered a loss on the schedule. The Warriors’ game against North Valleys (Reno, Nev.) scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1, was canceled after it was unable to be rescheduled for a second time.
“It’s hugely disappointing, but the priority has to be for league,” Bryant said. “We’re toward the end of the year, and as much as we want to play that game it’s more important that we win our league — it was a no brainer.”
Instead of hosting the Panthers on Monday, Whittell traveled to Mineral County for a league contest that was moved from Friday, Jan. 29, due to weather issues — and won 66-48. The Warriors played at Coleville on Tuesday, Feb. 2, as part of a stretch of five games in eight days.