Mill Creek boys team wins state basketball title

Fourth grade squad is first Jackson High feeder team to claim a championship
By Edward McPherson | Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: Jackson Wolfpack The Jackson Wolfpack fourth grade boys basketball team won the Washington Middle School Basketball Championship Tournament last month in Spokane.

History has been made.

The Jackson Wolfpack fourth grade boys basketball won all four of their games in the 16-team Gold Bracket to win the fifth annual Washington Middle School Basketball Championship Tournament.

This is the first season the Jackson High School basketball feeder program has had a fourth grade boys basketball team. There had previously only been fifth through eighth grade teams.

The 12-player team was selected last October and earned its spot to play in state tournament by finishing first in three different qualifying tournaments.  The team headed into the state tournament in Spokane March 16-18 with a 36-1 record.

In the opening round, Jackson beat Clackamas Cavs Red 42-32. The quarterfinals saw a 36-23 victory against the Moses Lake Magic. Jackson advanced to the title game by beating the Anacortes Seahawks 37-24 in the semifinals. The team then defeated the Sumner Spartans 52-35 in the championship game.

The state championship game was the only time in 39 games the Wolfpack had been behind at halftime. They were down by five points – 16-11. In the second half, the Wolfpack relied on its fast-paced play, smothering defense, and season long hard work to overcome the deficit.

The Wolfpack team concluded its first season as part of the Jackson feeder program with a 40-1 record and is the first Jackson feeder team to win a state title.

The team’s only loss this season came during bracket play at an AAU Washington Tournament Association (WTA) tournament in February.  Jackson was the only feeder team invited to participate and this loss humbled the players and reenergized them to work even harder. Jackson eventually went on to win the WTA AAU tournament by defeating the same team they lost to earlier.

Between November and February, Jackson was a first place Gold Division winner in four other tournaments (Woodinville Falcon Classic, JBA Thanksgiving Classic, Redmond Holiday Invitational and FOH King Holiday Hoopfest). The team also went undefeated (16-0) in its regular season games as part of the Mercer Island-based PEAK League and claimed that league’s title in March.

The team was coached by Tony Williams and David Linn.

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