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Vashon looks to bounce back against Webster Groves after first loss of season

“We got back into practice the next day and just got back to work, and we just gotta take it in stride”

ST. LOUIS — On Friday, the Vashon Wolverines (8-1) will close out the regular season by hosting Webster Groves (15-4) before opening Class 4 District 4 play on March 2 against Metro.

The Wolverines will look for the opportunity to bounce back after suffering their first loss in 20 games on Tuesday. Vashon’s 19-game win streak, dating back to last season, came to an end after suffering a loss to the De Smet Spartans on Tuesday. 

Vashon head basketball coach Tony Irons said it’s helpful to work through adversity ahead of district playoffs, which begin Tuesday.

“Our guys didn’t dwell on the loss from the other night,” Irons said. “We got back into practice the next day and just got back to work, and we just gotta take it in stride.”

Vashon graduated six seniors from the 2019-20 team and added a handful of underclassmen players to the roster this season with seven sophomores and one freshman on the varsity team.

Wolverines senior forward and Virginia Commonwealth signee Nick Kern has continued to thrive in 2021 after scoring 328 points as a junior last season.

His point total only trailed former Vashon star forward Cam’Ron Fletcher, who now plays for the University of Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the Webster Groves Statesmen are riding a six-game win streak into Friday night’s matchup.

The Statesmen finished with a 20-8 record last season with a loss to Chaminade in the playoffs. They’ve returned with a handful of experienced upperclassmen players.

Webster junior guards Matt Enright and Ethan Chartrand lead the team with a combined 449 points through 19 games this season.

Webster senior guards R.J. Henderson and Anthony Phiffer, and senior forward Luke Maupin have each also scored triple digits this season. 

The team has rallied under varsity head coach Justin Mathes who took over the program in 2019.

Mathes said it will be Webster Groves biggest challenge yet.

“There’s few challenges as great in Missouri high school basketball as trying to go into Vashon and beat Vashon at their place,” Mathes said. “But you’re sure as heck not gonna do it if you don’t compete at the level they do and with their intensity and toughness for 32 minutes. So I think the thing we’re watching tonight is, you know, are we competing as hard as we can for 32? And if you do that, you take chances, then you’ll be better prepared for Tuesday.” 

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at Vashon High School.