Wolverines Take on Whiteface Tournament


Melissa Alvarez

Wolverines in their game against Hart.

Annabelle Anchondo, Editor

The Springlake-Earth boys varsity team travelled to the Whiteface Tournament this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to take on challenging competition and teams that would help better their performance. Competing at Whiteface High School in both the old and new gyms, the Wolverines played a total of four teams, including Plains, Hale Center, Silverton, and Hart.  

They unfortunately lost against Plains and Silverton, eliminating their shot at the tournament championship, but managed to take home two wins against Hale Center and Hart. 

“I thought we did pretty good considering we’re a young team. We have a lot of young players which means they’re going to grow and develop,” senior Alex Alvarez said. “It was good to see these varsity teams and prepare for what’s yet to come.” 

The tournament also allowed for growth in the overall team’s chemistry and offensive and defensive execution. 

“It showed us what we are made of and see if we have what it takes to play Nazareth and Happy,” Jaramillo said. “It taught us a lot when playing against different defenses and offenses and bigger schools that just make us better.” 

In their first game against Plains on Thursday morning, the Wolverines lost by 20 points, making the final score 46-66. 

“We made lazy passes,” junior Alejandro Gonzales said. “I think we did good the second half. That’s when we started waking up.” 

However, the Wolverines made sure that the Cowboys wouldn’t easily ride home with the win. Alvarez and Jaramillo led the way, contributing 18 points each for the Wolverines. Next up was freshman Froylan Agundiz with six points altogether. Senior Micah Sanchez and junior Gavin Gonzales came in with a combined total of four points. 

“We knew we were better than Plains,” A. Gonzales said. “Losing helped us see that we could have played better, and prepared us to beat Hale Center.” 

Despite the previous loss, the Wolverines prepared to take on Hale Center later Thursday afternoon. After warming up, the varsity starters took their positions on the court, and with the progression of the game, the intensity in the stands increased as the score grew closer and closer between the two teams. 

“We hustled on both sides of the ball, and we executed plays we haven’t had practice in,” Agundiz said.  

In the end, SE claimed the win over the Owls with a five-point lead and ending score of 69-64.  

“I think they played really well as a team that game. Everything was coming together,” parent Melissa Alvarez said. “For someone who hasn’t played, Roel Fuentes played really well, and he’s a hustler. When he’s in the game, it impacts our defense.” 

In addition to Fuentes’ defensive game, helping to gain the win against Hale Center was Jaramillo who had an astonishing 24 points total. Not far behind, Alvarez came in to add another 19 points for the Wolverines and aid in several rebounds and assists. Hitting several outside shots, Agundiz made 12 points for the team while Sanchez added a few baskets and a total of eight points to the score. Together, Castillo and A. Gonzales made many rebounds and assists while scoring a sum of six points. Despite these impressive contributions, they are reflecting on what they need to work on. 

Wolverines in their game against Hart. (Melissa Alvarez)

“We need to be disciplined on defense. We need to know where we are and how we are going to execute the defense,” Agundiz said. “Our offense wasn’t very communitive, and they weren’t better than us. We just haven’t had a lot of practice on our plays, so we haven’t been able to execute them. It’s very early in the season, and we have played big teams in the tournament. So come district, we are going to have a good advantage to beat good teams.” 

Encountering another parliament of owls, the Wolverines arrived in Whiteface on Friday in hopes of earning another win. Silverton, however, ended up gaining the upper hand during the game and winning with 36-45 illuminating as the final score.  

“I think we lost because we didn’t start off the game with the intensity that we needed to,” freshman Kaleb Castillo said. “We didn’t come out with our top game. I think if we boxed out more and played with our top game from the start, we would have taken that game.” 

Against Silverton, Jaramillo had six rebounds with a total of 11 points. Junior Isaiah Tovar finished the game with 11 points also, contributing two rebounds and one assist. Alvarez also made a few baskets. He contributed 4 points, two rebounds, and one assist. Together, Sanchez, Agundiz, and Fuentes made a total of eight rebounds and four assists, finishing with a combined 12 points. Castillo picked up two steals, one rebound, and four assists while A. Gonzales drove the ball to basket to add a bucket to the score and earn the Wolverines an additional two points.  

“We are going to be facing a lot bigger sized teams, so we are going to have to start boxing out more,” Castillo said. “If we do that, we will take it.” 

Returning on Saturday morning, the Wolverines competed in their last game of the tournament against Hart. SE drove the ball to the basket to steal the lead early on and maintained that lead for the remainder of the game. The game ended with a score of 71-46. 

“We did very good at holding teams to least points,” senior Micah Sanchez said, “and it helped us do better offensively.” 

Ensuring that the win would be secured, the Wolverines repeatedly added buckets to the scoreboard, with almost every player scoring. Jaramillo made several outside and inside shots, tallying up to a total of 18 points. Alvarez followed, adding another 13 points for the Wolverines. I. Tovar came in close behind with a few outside shots totaling up to 12 points, and Fuentes earned the team nine points. Sanchez and Castillo also helped out the win, tying with six points each while both A. Gonzales and G. Gonzales came in with two points apiece. Finishing up for the Wolverines was sophomore Timothy Tovar who had three points.  

“We played as a team and stayed connected,” Sanchez said. 

Although the boys finished with only two wins, they gathered the experience they needed to improve their game on the court and prepare for the upcoming district season.  

“It showed us that every game is a new challenge, and not everything is going to be handed to us like it was last year,” Alvarez said. “It showed us situations we need to prepare for and gave us a look at what our district could be capable of.” 

Even without the overall win, coaches and the entire Wolverine Nation are very proud of the way the Wolverines represented Springlake-Earth and played in the tournament. Many are wishing them the best of luck as they continue towards their district season and compete in their game against Meadow tonight. 

“We have a lot to prove,” Jaramillo said, “and I’m looking forward to our district because it’s going to be tough.”