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Wellington edges Hagerty in final seconds to capture first ever Basketball State Championship

Mar 01, 2015 -- 2:18am

 

By: Wells Dusenbury
ESPN 106.3 Reporter
Twitter: @DuseReport1063

 

LAKELAND -- With five seconds remaining and the game tied at 56 in the Class 8A State Championship, Wellington put the ball in the hands of sophomore point guard Trent Frazier. 

 

He delivered.

 

Off an in-bounds pass, Frazier drove toward the hoop and drew a foul call with .4 seconds remaining, sending him to the free throw line for two shots. After Hagerty used a timeout to try and ice him, Frazier stepped to the line and calmly buried the first shot to propel Wellington to its first ever basketball State Championship. 

 

"Coach put the ball in my hand for the last shot because he knew if I got fouled, I'd knock them down," said Frazier. "I was really nervous, but that's why I shoot 100 free throws a day. I get really confident at it, so I box all the sound out, take my time and knock them down."

 

Frazier intentionally missed the second free throw, but Hagerty was unable to get a shot off as time expired. Frazier finished the game with 13 points and 8 assists. 

 

"I had the ultimate confidence in him," said Wellington head coach Matt Colin of Frazier. "Big time players make big time plays and that's what Trent is."

 

While Frazier sank the game-winning bucket, the Wolverines received major contributions from their other four starters, all of whom are juniors. Alex Dieudonne led Wellington with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Lester Gates added 10 points, while Ethan Bureau and Aaron Kwiatek each scored 8 points. 

 

"It's exciting," said Dieudonne. "I feel like all our hard work has paid off. We're going to be remembered for a long time at Wellington, we get the first State banner and I can't wait to show everybody."

 

The victory capped off what's been an incredible run by the Wolverines. While the team opened the year just 2-2, with both losses coming by double digits, Wellington caught fire afterward. In its next 28 games, the Wolverines went 27-1, en route to the State Championship.

 

"This is the greatest feeling ever," said Colin. "It's just so much fun. I'm so proud of the kids, I'm so proud of the effort, just how hard they worked all year long."

 

VIDEO: Cardinal Newman drops OT heartbreaker in 4A State Championship

Feb 27, 2015 -- 10:57am

Alumni Notebook -- Matt Elam gets called out

Feb 26, 2015 -- 2:09pm

Ravens safety Matt Elam (Dwyer) got called out by his GM. 

Raiders LB Khalil Mack (Fort Pierce Westwood) is a blue chip pick. 

Clive Walford (Glades Central) was disappointed in his 40 yard dash. 

Patriots DL Vince Wilfork (Santaluces) is involved in a photoshop from Tom Brady. 

Larry Sanders (Port Saint Lucie) is continuing to find his way. 

Alex Cobb (Vero Beach) sets the tone for the Rays. 

#FilmRoom1063: Palm Beach Gardens DB Devin Studstill

Feb 26, 2015 -- 10:12am

ESPN West Palm's "coach", Chris Kokell, gives a comprehesive film breakdown of high school football prospects across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

Devin Studstill
 
Position:DB/WR
School: Palm Beach Gardens (Class of 2016)
Height: 6'1
Weight: 185
Top Offers: Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami, FAU , Wisconsin 
 
 
Where He Excels:
I'm told from the editorial staff that typing EVERYWHERE was not sufficient no matter how accurate it is. Devin Studstill is a game changer from the safety position. He has great natural instincts that make it appear the ball is trying to find him.  Goes and get the ball at its highest point to keep it away from the receiver. Gets out of his break very fast and drives on the ball.  Big hitter. When not making a play on the ball, Studstill will play the man effectively and brings force to separate the ball from the receiver. Very effective against the run. Like most great strong safeties, Studstill has a knack for blitzing off the edge and making plays in the backfield.  
 
What To Work On:
Studstill is very solid in all phases of the game. In the off, season he should an emphasis on speed training to really show out in the forty to appease all the combine guys. I would love to see him in straight man coverage on his film because he will have to play some cover zero at the next level from either safety spot. As with all high school athletes, Devin needs to stay committed to working on technique and getting stronger to excel at the collegiate level.
 
Kokell Film Analysis:
I showed a friend in the coaching world this film and received an expletive filled response about how good Devin Studstill is and can be. When you throw on a film and a coach gets that jacked up, that's the true measure of a stud player. Devin is a top ten player in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast and should only get better as he continues to grow and mature. He has 14 offers already, by the end of his senior year, Studstill may have his choice of any school in the country.
___________________________________________
 
Other #FilmRoom1063 entries:
Chris Kokell covers high school football for ESPN 106.3 and is the color analyst for "Football Night in South Florida". He has served as head coach at both Pope John Paul II and Forest Hill. To recommend an athlete for Kokell to feature in a future "Film Room", please send player info and a film link to him on Twitter at @REALCOACHK, or e-mail ckokell@espnwestpalm.com.
 

Alumni Notebook -- Nick O'Leary at combine, time to replace Vince Wilfork?

Feb 23, 2015 -- 2:23pm

Nick O’Leary (Dwyer) impressed at the Combine.

One Boston paper says the Patriots need a replacement for Vince Wilfork (Santaluces).

The Rams aren’t sure if Tre Mason (Park Vista) is a feature back

Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Royal Palm HS) is set to shine. 

A tip from dad led to Michael Brantley’s (Fort Pierce Central) breakout with the Indians. 

Former teammates wish the best for free agent NBAer Larry Sanders (Port Saint Lucie). 

Young, cohesive Wellington on the brink of regional hoops title

Feb 21, 2015 -- 8:59am

Wellington beat Jupiter in Tuesday's regional semifinals.
 
By: Ken LaVicka
ESPN 106.3 Staff Writer
Twitter: @KLV1063
 
This wasn't necessarily the season Wellington was supposed to make that leap into becoming one of the area's elite basketball teams.
 
Despite entering the 2014-2015 campaign without a single senior in the starting line-up, the Wolverines have rolled a 26-3 record, a district championship, and now have their sights set on another unexpected achievement: the first regional championship in school history.
 
Wellington makes its first appearance in a regional final since 1997 when it travels to Stoneman Douglas for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off on Saturday night. The winner will head to the 8A state semifinals, and perhaps the state championship game, next week.
 
For a team that had all signs pointing to special things coming together NEXT year, the chance to exceed expectations and make school history has the Wolverines wanting the glory now.
 
“We never take anything for granted,” said head coach Matt Colin during practice on Wednesday. “This year is this year. We want to take advantage of this opportunity and get it done now.”
 
Colin has overseen a group led by sophomore point guard Trent Frazier, who has been nothing short of a revelation this year. The team's leading scorer in the regular season (13.4 PPG), Frazier averaged seven assists per game, making his the top assist man in all of 8A.
 
I was actually really nervous at the beginning of the season,” admitted Frazier. “My teammates trust me with the basketball in my hands. I just make plays. I don't really care about scoring. I just get my players involved.”
 
That he does. Wellington had four players average double-digit scoring during the year, thanks in large part to Frazier's helpers, as the Wolverines cruised to a perfect 8-0 in District 9-8A. Frazier, along with top returners in juniors Alex Dieudonne (12.6 PPG) and Aaron Kwiatek (11.2 PPG), quickly meshed with junior transfers Lester Gates (Palm Beach Lakes) and Ethan Bureau (Lake Worth) to put together a dream season.
 
As it stands, Wellington has won 13 straight and was able to avenge last year's season-ending defeat to Spanish River by upending the Sharks in a gritty 40-38 regional quarterfinal battle to open the playoffs, a game that Colin says was the wake-up call that these playoffs games are “one-and-done”.
 
“We've been unselfish. Every night it's somebody different, Somebody else has been stepping up,” said Colin. “We talk about that. We make it a conscious thing that not every night is going to be your night. It could be someone else's night because of how the other team is playing you.”
 
It turned out to be guard Bureau's night on Tuesday. He broke out of shooting slump and drilled six three-pointers as the Wolverines disposed of in-district foe Jupiter 65-51 in the regional semifinal. It was just another example of a team with rapidly maturing players that understand their roles and embrace them.
 
“My mindset is to get the rebounds and get the garbage points,” explained soft-spoken big man Kwiatek, who is honest when discussing what he thought the team would be in the preseason.
 
“I knew we'd be good. I didn't know we'd be this good.”
 
Wellington will be battling a Stoneman Douglas team filled with resolve. The Eagles showed that when they beat Deerfield Beach earlier this week with a game-tying, buzzer-beating triple at the end of regulation before finishing Deerfield off in the overtime.
 
With a trip to the state tournament in Lakeland staring Wellington right in the face, Gates is feeling the butterflies a little bit...but only a little bit.
 
“I might be a little nervous,” said a smiling Gates, “But we're always ready to play.”
 
“We're a young team, but we've been playing like a good, older team. We play as a team, that's why we can stick with everyone.”
 
For the group of Wellington youngsters who have already far surpassed preseason prognostications, Saturday presents a chance to cement themselves as the greatest squad in school history. And guess what...they're all back next year, too. 
 
Even as they approach the situation at hand, including a possible journey to Lakeland, you can't blame Frazier and his band of Wolverines for being excited about what's to come in the not-so-immediate future.
 
“That's what's great about this team,” said Frazier. “Now that we're comfortable with each other, we should make a deep run next year, too.”
 
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