Home / 'They did it for Chalk'-Wildcats headed to state with win over Drew
'They did it for Chalk'-Wildcats headed to state with win over Drew
After the sudden death of assistant head coach Noah Chalkley the Whitewater boys basketball team rode an emotional rollercoaster ride all the way to the state playoffs.
That ride culminated Monday night in the regional playoffs as the Wildcats defeated the defending state runner up Charles Drew High School 73-48 in Ola gymnasium.
After the win, Whitewater head coach Jason Barnes walked off the gym floor and embraced the fans that traveled to Ola to support the school.
“It has been an amazingly emotional journey and we have had to persevere unlike any team after the death of coach [Chalkley],” said Barnes after the win. “I just really wish he was here to share this moment with us and that’s really what’s on my heart right now, if this was made into a Hollywood movie I’m fine with it ending right here.”
The Wildcats were led by senior guard Junaid Olusesi who had a team high 17 points and Phil Cofer, who finished the night with 15 points. The Titans leading scores were David White who scored 10 points and Malik Taylor with 15.
Whitewater’s Robbie Harlfinger, who generally comes off the bench as the sixth man, played big minutes for the Wildcats setting the tone defensively and scoring four baskets in transition.
“They play for his honor and they play for his memory and at the end of the year these guys have grown mentally and spiritually and today they grew up on the basketball court,” said Barnes.
The Titans struggled offensively trying to counteract Whitewater’s zone press defense. After the first quarter Charles Drew trailed 11-17. With 3:49 left in the second quarter drew would take its only lead of the game 20-19. The Wildcats then proceeded to go on a 20-6 run that extended all the way through the third quarter. The Titans couldn’t battle back from the deficit giving Whitewater just their second state playoff appearance in 10 years.
Whitewater will face the Vikings of Northgate High School in the region semifinals Thursday at 5:30 pm in Ola gymnasium.