Buzzer-beaters, unpredictable upsets and one ultimate champion: March Madness is finally here. Starting the second week of March and running until the first week of April, the NCAA Basketball Tournament does not fail to entertain. This year’s bracket was announced in early February by the Division 1 men’s basketball committee. Since then, millions of fans have been sent into a frenzy of excitement; this is exactly the chaos that gives the tournament its name: March Madness.
The boys` basketball season came to a close with the final record being 17-12. The boys worked hard to finish out the season strong and ended their journey in the second round of state.
When asked what the most exciting game of the season was, Junior Christian Mclean said, “I think the most exciting game this year for us was the second time we played Holy Innocents` because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year, so it meant a lot to go out there and beat them by 20, and also sent a statement to a lot of other teams as well.” The boys played Holy Innocents` two times, the first time they lost barely 63-67 and the second time they won by twenty points.
Damm said, “My favorite game of the season so far was our game against Green Forest. We played at home and were huge underdogs, but the crowd in Yancey was amazing and our team went out and played hard and left it all on the court. We didn’t win, but we gave a winning effort against a very talented Green Forest team. It is a game I’ll always remember.”
Built into the basketball schedule are games that are out of region. These games are shown to be more difficult. Senior Cullen Davis said, “Playing tough games is very helpful when it comes to preparing for the playoffs, because there are no give me games in the playoffs. Every team is capable of winning any given game and being in tough situations early in the year is great preparation for that.”
The Boys recently lost to Lakeview on Feb. 23, which brought their season to a close.
The girls basketball team continues to work hard and stay focused, so they can achieve their goal in winning the state championship.
There are eight seniors on the team, so it would be memorable to end their high school careers with a state championship.
The Lady Wolves finished their regular season 24-4, and like the boys team, they will be in the state playoffs as well.
When asked how the team will prepare for the upcoming tournament senior Natalie Armstrong said, “We are preparing by focusing on certain defenses and offenses that will be efficient for the teams that we could potentially play down the road in the state tournament.” Keep Reading
The Wesleyan Winter Wolves are currently nearing the end of their respective seasons. With swimming, basketball and wrestling nearing a close, athletes share their hopes for the remainder of their seasons.
Freshman swimmer, Hannah Wasmuth, has set specific goals to achieve in before the state meet at Georgia Tech. “Before going to Georgia Tech, I want to improve on my technique, so I can be at my best for the state meet,” Wasmuth said. Many other swimmers attended challenging practices over the Christmas break. “No days off!” swimmers said.
Out of the water, the varsity girls’ basketball team has also been preparing for their state tournament. “Our team is feeling really good about our accomplishments this season,” sophomore Caroline Burke said. “That being said, we have some tough competition ahead of us, so we have to keep working hard,” said Burke. Keep Reading
The intense rivalry between Wesleyan and Holy Innocents’ brought the season to a close in epic fashion with an overtime finish in the 2A girls Basketball State Championship. These teams entered their fourth matchup this season for the state title, and Holy Innocents’ led the Wolves 2-1 in the previous three games. The Golden Bears took home the trophy this time with a final score of 66-64 in an unusual ending. Head Coach Tony Watkins ended his career at HIES with a championship.
The Wolves struggled early on, and Holy Innocents’ maintained a lead for the majority of the game. The Lady Wolves relied on sophomore Amaya Register who facilitated the ball well. Juniors Natalie Armstrong and Mikayla Coombs also played important roles putting up significant points and leading the charge on defense. Wesleyan managed to defend the Holy Innocents’ offense well, dominating the Golden Bears in the turnover battle, but could not score enough to take home the win.
Holy Innocents’ got ahead early and stayed there until late in the fourth when Wesleyan put together a run to tie the game. Sophomore Sutton West sealed the run with a clutch three to tie it up. In the waning seconds, an unnecessary foul led to three free throws for Holy Innocents’ Junior Shaiauna Blanding. Blanding went 0-3 to push the game into overtime with the score at 59-59.
Wesleyan got off to an early lead in overtime, bringing to score to 63-59. Register continued to lead the offensive effort in OT. With both teams in the bonus, foul shooting was paramount. The Golden Bears but together four quick points before Wesleyan Head Coach Jan Azar called timeout with a minute left in overtime. Keep Reading