“One down, two to go.” A direct post-game quote from Wildcat standout Kase Wynott. Wynott finished the night with 42 impressive points, shooting 17/24 from the field.
The Lapwai Wildcat basketball team dominated the Liberty Charter Patriots Thursday night at Vallivue High School in Caldwell Idaho in a first-round tilt in the Boys State Basketball Championships. At the 4th quarter’s final buzzer, it was Lapwai 81, Liberty 51.
The very large and loyal Lapwai fanbase showed no signs of nerves when Liberty came out swinging with some impressive outside shooting in the 1st quarter. Liberty point guard Luke Thomas proved he could run with the big dogs as he dropped in some impressive 3 pointers Liberty was actually ahead for most of the 1st period. But the very large crowd, that always shows up for Lapwai, knew that this lead would not last long and they were right. The fanbase from Lapwai is more than a fanbase. The Wildcat fans are more like a collective family whose hearts beat for basketball and a culture of winning. They make basketball games fun. In Caldwell, Lapwai always has a home-court advantage as the crowd gives their boys a huge emotional boost. Just ask any player who ever played.
Last night’s win against Liberty marked the Wildcats’ 61st consecutive win. This new generation of Wildcat competitors has their eyes locked and loaded on the prior record of 81. This wildcat fan, me, would not doubt one bit that this group of cagers will set the new standard for winning in the future. Winning seems to just be a habit in Lapwai and there is no end to that in sight. Believe it’s important to mention the obvious: Lapwai athletes don’t just want to win they prepare to win. I wish I could tell you the number of hours spent preparing to win at Lapwai. I believe that number would be mind-blowing. I would go on record to say the amount of time preparing to win in Lapwai is way more than in any other program in the State. It’s why they win and win and win.
A little scare last night when Ahlius Yearout went down with a leg injury but later on bounced back to get some productive minutes. Yearout seems just fine and ready to go tonight in round 2 of the Idaho State Boys Basketball championships against Castleford tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.
Can’t write this article without giving some big props to Lapwai’s Joseph Payne who went off last night with some impressive 3-point shooting. Coming off the bench he hit 4 of 7 from the arc, notching 14 points for the Wildcats.
The three chord strand of Wynott, Ellenwood, and Yearout is simply a joy to watch and definitely worth the price of a ticket. Those three could start on any roster in any of the bigger classifications. Terrell Ellenwood Jr. delighted the crowd when he hit a 75-footer at the end of the second quarter. The crowd might have been surprised by that shot but trust me on this, Terrell was not surprised. Not one bit. The supporting cast of Wildcat players continues to impress with their consistency of solid play. No weak spots on this Lapwai team. This supporting cast is the backbone of this team and they do not disappoint. Defending, rebounding, getting every loose ball, and out-hustling the competition time and time again. The Lapwai Wildcats are a great basketball team and they are well-coached to win.
To quote outstanding Lapwai player Kase Wynott, “ONE DOWN TWO TO GO”