Somehow the Wilson High Rams, the 3A Narrows League runners-up, always find a way to make the regional round in boys basketball.
For the third consecutive season, Wilson will play in the round of 16 by way of a 62-54 victory over Kennedy Catholic on Friday night in a West Central District quarterfinal game at Clover Park High School.
After a slow start, David Jenkins Jr. scored a game-high 27 points for the Rams. Emmitt Matthews Jr. chipped in with 11.
But it was the Rams’ zone defense that stifled Kennedy Catholic, which shot 8 of 27 from the floor in the first half and committed 10 turnovers.
“With our athletes, it is doing the job for us,” Wilson coach Dave Alwert said.
Then Jenkins caught fire at the end of the third quarter. He scored 11 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes, including three 3-pointers. The final one, with four seconds to go, came after he landed on his keister deep in the left corner and gave the Rams (18-4) a 49-33 advantage.
“Hey, scorers score, man,” Jenkins said with a smile.
The Lancers (15-7), who had their nine-game winning streak snapped, cut it to 53-46 on James Jolly’s bucket with 2:33 remaining, but Jenkins made four quick free throws — and Wilson hit just enough of them (11 of 14) in the final three minutes to stall the comeback.
“(Earning a third regional berth) is a great accomplishment for these guys,” Alwert said. “I tip my hat to these kids. They have gone through hard coaching. And David and Montre (Brown-Lofton) have stepped up in the leadership role.”