Wilsonville ends regular season unbeaten
Wilsonville's boys basketball team had a shaky start to its season, but they have since come out swinging. After going 3-0 to start things off at home, the Wildcats hit a bit of a snag in the latter part of their preseason. Going just 1-6 in its next seven games, Wilsonville found a way to turn things around in a big way, going 14-0 against the rest of the Northwest Oregon Conference.
The season was punctuated in several parts by contributions from junior Jack Roche, senior Caleb Larsen, senior Zac Rossetti, and sophomore Dakota Reber. In Wilsonville's last regular season win on Saturday, Feb. 24 against the Parkrose Broncos, the four players mentioned each had double digit contributions to the 83 point tally on the scoreboard.
The undefeated run through the regular season also marks just the second time a team has gone unbeaten in the league. The first team to do it? Wilsonville last year en route to the state title. Wildcat head coach Chris Roche is immensely proud of his team for its repeat performance in league.
"These guys deserve tremendous credit," Roche said. "I am very proud of them, especially, when you consider the start we had this season and losing as much as we did in the pre-season, albeit to very tough teams."
The inclement weather that many schools experience in the middle of last week caused reshuffling of game schedules, but it did not seem to affect the Wildcats too much. After all, their opponents were going through the same adversities.
"The changes in the schedule due to weather are more or less the same for all teams, so you just dig in and do your best," Roche said. "Nobody wants to have to adapt, but you do or you struggle. It's that simple. You have to be able to handle whatever is thrown your way, and our guys did a nice job of that this past week."
Over the course of the season, Wilsonville has had several younger players step up and into their own. Sophomore Dakota Reber and Keegan Shivers both have become athletes to watch out for when they take to the court. This was apparent in the second St. Helens game, where Reber had 18 points and four blocked shots, and Shivers contributed 15 points to the team's 68-46 win.
But the big threats have continued to be the leading upperclassmen Larsen, Rossetti, and Roche. Against Parkrose on Saturday, Feb. 24 Rossetti went 8 of 8 from the field, scoring 16 points. Larsen scored 23 points on the night, and Jack Roche contributed 17 points with 8 assists.
For the team to continue its streak of success into the post season, the strategy is simple, according to coach Chris Roche: earn it every step of the way.
"We just want to be all in and go for it and have no regrets at the end of the day," Roche said. "You are promised nothing, and you have to go get whatever you want. Things can end abruptly in the playoffs, so you have to be prepared for that. But basically, we want to play and compete as hard as we can, do our best to enjoy the moment, and focus on executing our game plan. If we give it our best in those regards, we will be able to feel very good about things no matter the outcome."
Wilsonville plays against a team to be determined at home on Saturday, Mar. 3.