The annual Blue-White Game — an intra-squad scrimmage — kicked off the Western men’s basketball season for the 23rd year in a row. The game was held in the new Wade King Student Recreation Center MAC Gym for the first time, due to the renovation of Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Each side drafted its team from the current Viking basketball players. Assistant coach Greg Meier led the blue squad and assistant coach Atiavo Jude led the white squad.
“For the Blue-White game, I don’t think it’d be right for the head coach to take a team, so the tradition has been that the coach evaluates and lets the assistants coach,” said head coach Tony Dominguez.
Traditionally, the losing squad must serve the winning squad at the team dinner on the Sunday following the game.
The action kicked off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, in front of almost 100 fans. At halftime the game was all tied up at 41 a piece, but junior forward Jeffrey Parker came out firing in the second half and led the blue squad to win 92-87.
Parker had 23 points. He went 7-of-13 and 21 of his points came in the second half.
“The first half, guys were just trying to get in their rhythm, I kind of took a back seat and let those guys do that,” Parker said.
Senior point guard Ricardo Maxwell had 21 points of his own for the blue squad.
“Coach told me to be aggressive, but also get everybody involved,” Maxwell said. “I’m a playmaker so I don’t really have to score unless I need to.”
Senior forward Colby Mitchell also contributed 15 points for the blue squad and senior center Blake Bowen added 16 points.
The white squad was led by redshirt freshman Trey Drechsel who shot 7-for-18 from the field and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Senior center Mac Johnson added 18 points and 11 boards for the games only triple double. Senior guard Kyle Impero also dropped 16 points for the white squad.
Dominguez pointed out a few areas of improvement for the whole team, but he also noted that it’s the beginning of the year and there are always weak points.
“We’ve got to rebound better, be a little bit stronger on defense and then execute not the pattern, but the preciseness of plays,” Dominguez said.
Coaches and players believe this can be another special season for the Vikings and expect to make it back to the NCAA tournament.
Western’s first preseason home game will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25. The first regular-season home game will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3. Both contests will be held at Whatcom Community College.