Wahluke Eagles

This blog describes the joys of coaching an AAU basketball team from Mattawa, WA. Our team and town is roughly 90% Mexican. The blog celebrates and describes life in a central Washington town through the eyes of the players and their coaches.

Location: Mattawa, Washington, United States

I work as a School Psychologist in the Wahluke School District. When I am not coaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and riding my bike.

13 May, 2007


A time-out from thefirst quarter. The players look tense.
The Wahluke Eagles overcame their friends and rivals the Sunnyside Grizzlies 42-20 on 12 May 2007 to claim first place in their pool. The Eagles played and beat Granger White last week by a score of 42-7 to qualify for the title game.

Winning the tip, set up a Sunnyside bucket. The Grizzlies are adept at using a screen to give one of two shooters an open look at the hoop. When Wahluke failed to pop out and challenge them, they scored and at the end of the first quarter, it was 11-4, Sunnyside on top.

During the break, the coaches tried to calm the boys worries and also remind them to play Eagles' ball. When Wahluke allows the other team to set the tempo, things fall apart. Already nervous players begin to fall apart and team chemistry disappears in the face of accusations.

When the second quarter began so did the Eagles' game. The boys showed patience on offense mixing their outside shots with passes and penetration. After scoring, the Eagles began exerting half-court pressure as well. The press forced the Grizzlies out of their set piece offense and the tide began to turn. At the half it was 18-15, Wahluke lead.

The third quarter opened and the Eagles flew ahead. Shooting, defense, and pressure lead to the Eagles storming ahead while holding the Eagles to just two points in the third. Tough Little Cookie parlayed his playing time into two points off a lay-in. Tony had a low scoring game (7 points) because he used his possession to find the open man. Benefiting from Antonio's team orientated play, Librado had a bucket as well.

As the game clock wound down, the Eagles substituted all the players except Oscar. Fittingly, Christopher, a founding member of team, took the last shot of the game from the top of the key. The buzzer sounded and the Eagles finished Spring undefeated.

Juan's prognostications came through. Last August he predicted that the team had to learn how to function as a unit instead of collection of individuals. He also mentioned the lack of intensity that plagued our play. He warned of an impending downturn and a a good Spring. He was right.

At the end of the game, co-captain Gabino looked at the score sheet and commented that he didn't score. Bethany reminded him that despite not making a hoop, his passing, defense, and hustle contributed greatly to our win. As Anthony is wont to say, It's better be a great team player than a great player on a team.