Varsity boys end season
White Sulphur strikes again
The Hornets of White Sulphur Springs remain the Big Horns’ most confounding nemesis—a team Lone Peak always played close, but could never put away.
In their third match up this year, LPHS faced WSS in the first round of the recent District 11C tournament in Churchill, where the Horns again kept it close before the Hornets ran away with it at the end, winning 70-50.
White Sulphur double-teamed senior big man Jackson Wade, holding him to 10 points before he fouled out of what would be his final game as a Big Horn. The Hornet defense was equally effective on the normally prolific Frankie Starz, who managed to score only 6.
Lone Peak shot a paltry 34 percent for the game, while White Sulphur put in nearly 45 percent of its shots.
Afterwards, Wade’s parents Dan and Denise waited for Jackson to emerge from the locker room one last time.
“It’s just a bummer,” said Denise. “We didn’t play as well as I thought we could have played. The last time we played them, we played really well. Today, we just couldn’t buy a basket.”
Jackson played four years of varsity basketball at Lone Peak, and now he has his sights on Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., where he hopes to major in environmental science. The loss to White Sulphur put Lone Peak into a consolation game for third place on Saturday, Feb. 17, but Jackson had to miss that game because he was scheduled to be on campus at Linfield competing for an academic scholarship.
“There’s big money involved for the top three places,” said Dan Wade, explaining how his son needed to perform well in a round of testing at Linfield in order to secure his scholarship.
When Jackson emerged from the locker room, he sized up the looming academic challenge at Linfield, saying, “It’s a lot of pressure. But I’m looking forward to a fresh start, exploring something else, starting something new.”
Jackson also hopes to play baseball for Linfield, whose coach recruited him while Jackson played for the Bozeman Bucks.
If it works out for Jackson at Linfield, he’ll arrive on campus next fall with a ringing endorsement from Lone Peak Head Coach Austin Barth, who said of Jackson: “You never question that kid’s effort. Works his butt off and he’s fun to have around.”
In the aftermath of the disappointing loss to White Sulphur, Coach Barth reflected on his first season at the helm, saying, “It was fun. It was great. The kids were awesome. It was fun to get back into basketball personally. I love this sport. A lot of highlights this year. We beat Ennis, that was a great highlight for us. Played some great games. Won some tough ones. Lost some tough ones. It was a heck of a ride.”
Lone Peak went on to lose in the consolation game against West Yellowstone 77-60 and finished the season with a total record of 8-11, according to maxpreps.com.