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Varsity Boys BB vs Wapahani 2/13/14

February 15, 2014
Monroe Central Jr.- Sr. High School

Written by Sam Wilson of the Star Press--PARKER CITY — Wapahani’s boys basketball team has not lost a Mid-Eastern Conference game since Jan. 29, 2011. The streak was not seriously threatened on Thursday night at Monroe Central. In a battle of the conference’s two remaining undefeated teams, the Raiders pulled away to a 59-30 victory against the Golden Bears, taking control of the MEC race.

Wapahani had a dominant defensive performance in the win, holding Monroe Central to 10 points in the second half. As Monroe Central scored just six points in the third quarter, a nine-point Wapahani halftime lead ballooned into an 18-point advantage with one quarter to go.

“We were just to trying to keep them in front of us, and really key on (Chase Bly) and (Jake Combs), they’re excellent shooters,” Wapahani coach Matt Luce said. “So, (Tanner) Davis and (Wes) Royse, and I thought Grant Evans were very good defensively. But overall it was our team. And we maybe didn’t score 60, 70, 80 points, but we played in a championship-type environment and we got the ball where it needed to be.”

The Class 2A No. 4 Raiders are 6-0 in MEC games, while the Golden Bears (receiving votes in Class A, 11-6 overall) are 5-1.

Each team has two MEC games remaining, so Thursday’s win doesn’t clinch a conference title, though it gives the Raiders a chance to control their destiny. Wapahani (15-1 overall) has MEC games against Randolph Southern (2-13, 2-4 MEC) and Daleville (4-12, 3-4 MEC) remaining on its schedule.

Wapahani often starts four seniors, with a fifth coming off the bench as its sixth man. As his team pursues its third consecutive conference title, Luce said he has come to expect big wins like the one his team picked up on Thursday.

“They’ve played a lot of basketball,” Luce said. “They’re very intelligent players, and they’re team players. they weren’t counting their points, they were counting their wins. And they knew that tonight was an opportunity to play for a championship. We’ve still got two more conference games, but it’s the way they handle themselves, and the way that they work together. They’re very unselfish.”

Three of those seniors cracked double figures to lead the Raiders on Thursday. Wright State signee Grant Evans scored 18 points, as did Jacob Foster. Talon Craycraft added 11 points.

Monroe Central got points from just four players. Bracken Barga led the Golden Bears with 11 points, and Combs scored eight. Cody Woolf scored seven points and Bly scored four. Barga hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Wapahani led by three points after the first period. But the Raiders hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter to help bring their lead to nine points by halftime.

Each team plays again Saturday, with Monroe Central hosting Yorktown and Wapahani traveling to face Central.

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