WHS basketball team sweeps Jamboree

Published 3:28 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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Most people don’t think of June as a month for high school basketball. School is out, the beach beckons and fireworks are just around the corner. Summer travel teams don’t start until July, so June turns out to be the perfect month to get a jump on the coming season.

Washington High School was one of 22 teams that did just that Tuesday and Wednesday at the High School Jamboree in Rocky Mount.

The Pack played six games in two days and won them all, which bodes well for the 2023-24 season.

“You might not think of June as being a big month for high school basketball, but it was for us,” Pam Pack coach David Allewalt said. “We had five scrimmages in addition to the Jamboree and I think we got a lot better as a team. The way last season ended left a taste in our mouths and the kids have played with an edge during June.”

WHS finished 14-14 and lost a difficult second-round 2A playoff game to Heide Trask, 74-71 in overtime in Rocky Point to end their season.

Allewalt had all 13 varsity players on hand for the two-day Jamboree and produced wins over 4A New Bern (57-55), 3A Northern Nash (61-58), 4A Wakefield (62-52) Tuesday, then came back Wednesday for victories over 4A East Wake (71-61), 2A Martin Co. (56-41) and 4A Rolesville (69-50)

No individual statistics were kept and Allewalt said that was by design.

“We wanted to build our team concept and the only numbers we were worried about were the ones on the scoreboard,” he said. “The other teams knew about Javon Williams and Chaise Smith and those two still played well, but Gary Payne and Jeremiah Wiggins did well inside and Jacob Daniels shot the ball very well from the three-point line.”

The Pack has played in the ECI tournament in Jacksonville the past two summers, but Allewalt accepted the invitation to play in Rocky Mount for a change of scenery and different competition.

“The travel is a lot easier and it’s fun to play bigger schools that you don’t know anything about,” Allewalt said. “My assistants, Scott McNally and Jabari Ashe did a great job with the kids during June and I thought everyone improved a lot. They were tired the second day and the mental part of basketball clicked in for them. We were down 10 at halftime to Northern Nash and came back to win. Those are the kinds of situations that will help us when our season starts. June was very productive and I think all of us are looking forward to our season.”