TACOMA — The Winston and Weisner Show ended its run Saturday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome with one last superlative performance.
Gary Winston scored a game-high 24 points, Michael Weisner added 18 and hit the clinching 3-pointer with 1:14 to play as Walla Walla claimed the fourth-place trophy at the 4A state basketball tournament with a 48-38 victory over Decatur.
“We knew it was going to come to an end, and what a way to end it, with a win Saturday in Tacoma,” said Wa-Hi coach John Golden, whose team earned its first trophy since 2004 and its best state finish since winning the 1999 title.
“It’s all about survival here the fourth day, and that’s what the kids did. I can’t say enough how proud I am of them. It’s been a heck of a ride.”
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Wa-Hi (25-6) led 27-20 at halftime, but Decatur (19-11) rallied to tie the game at 34 after three quarters.
Neither team scored for the final quarter until Winston hit a 3 with 3:44 left. Junior Seth Alden followed a Gators basket with a 3 to push the lead to 40-36.
Alden then had a steal that led to Weisner’s dagger, and another Alden steal with 54 seconds left iced the victory.
“This feels good, but it’s also sad at the same time,” Winston said. “In a couple of months, I’ll be leaving here. This was a great win for all our fans, the community, my team.”
Winston, who’ll play at Idaho next year, and Weisner (at Montana) are two of nine seniors on the Wa-Hi roster. Alden and seldom-used reserves Matt Watson and Alex Ceron are the only returners next year.