WINSTED – If you look around the area in the game of boys’ basketball, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player who works harder. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a player with more talent, and the ability to come through in the clutch when his team needs him.
What Mayer Lutheran High School senior Kobey Woolhouse did all season long for the Crusaders on their way to leaving a legacy in the program, makes him the 2017-18 Herald Journal Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“Kobey is the leader of this team,” Mayer Lutheran coach Pat Buchanan. “His ability to play both ends of the floor was key to our success. Kobey became a go-to guy when we needed to make a play at the end of the game.”
Whether it was big games, clutch shots, or firing up his teammates, Woolhouse simply did it all for the Crusaders.
He showed off his ability to come through in the clutch against SW Christian back in January. With the game tied at 70 and no time left on the clock, Woolhouse knocked down one of two free throws, giving Mayer Lutheran a nice road win. In that game, Woolhouse scored 22 of his season-high 30 points in the second half, willing his team to victory doing whatever he could.
On the season, Woolhouse averaged an impressive stat line (13.8 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per fame, 2-4 assists per game, and 2-5 steals per game). He also shot 34.6 percent from 3-point range.
This season was filled with memories for Woolhouse and the Crusaders. He not only scored his 1,000th career point on his home floor, but also led the Crusaders to a conference title, section title, and the program’s first state tournament appearance since 2000.
It was a heck of a ride for Woolhouse in his final season at Mayer Lutheran. Not only did he leave his name in the record books throughout his career, his team left a legacy, as well.
It was just one season Woolhouse had under new head coach Pat Buchanan. In just one season together, the two developed a relationship that will go beyond their basketball careers.
“When I first met coach, I kind of knew this was going to be a great year,” an emotional Woolhouse said in an earlier interview. “In four months, it kind of flashed right before my eyes. I try not to take any moment for granted. He came in and changed our culture. We were a very offensive-minded team, and he turned us around with our defense. That’s what got us to this point. He made us want to make that hustle play. The diving play.”
“I know that I don’t want the season to end. All good things come to an end at some point. I’ll definitely keep in touch with him. I’m just really glad that God placed him here when he did. He always preaches the family thing. I know I can come to these guys with anything. I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I know I can go to coach with anything. After high school and college, I know he’s got my back and I got his back. I’m just very happy with what he came in and did with our team.”
Woolhouse will continue his basketball career at the collegiate level next year. He will be trading in the red and black for purple and gold at Northwestern University in St. Paul.