Sports

Siblings lead Wolfpack playoff push

The process started oh, so simply: a little basketball hoop set a couple of feet above the living room floor.

For these two, there weren't cries of "No basketball in the house!" Quite the opposite, actually.

"I just remember playing inside on this wood floor," Ary Webb says, relaxing at home after helping the Wolves squeak past Eatonville the night before. For a moment, he relives not the five three-pointers he sank a few hours earlier but sinking shots as young as age 2, age 3.

"Dad would put things underneath the hoop to raise it as we got older, got taller," Ary remembers.

"Yeah, that's how I remember it," Ary's brother Corbin says, kicking back a few feet away.

For this Sequim hoops duo, the bar - or basket, in their case - is being raised much more this week as they lead Sequim High School's Wolves in their quest for a bit of prep basketball glory: the state tournament.

For a team on a rollercoaster ride this season, much of the fate of these Wolves rests in the hands of Ary Webb, a senior three-point marksman, and Corbin, a freshman point guard playing one of the toughest positions in the game.

With one more win, Sequim can get back to that class 2A state tourney, their second state berth in three years.

Ary is the one holdover from Sequim's 2007 state tournament team. That season, Ary played the role of silent killer on the perimeter to Ian Austin, the dynamic scoring point guard who paced the Wolves' offense. The duo, along with Jordan Garrett, Nic Thacker and Dan Lauritzen, propelled Sequim into their first state tourney in six years.

But last season, the Wolves struggled to a 6-14 mark as they searched for consistency despite a strong season from Ary, who made good on 48 percent of his three-pointers and increased his scoring to more than 13 points per contest.

Before the 2008-2009 season started, a pair of starters - senior Nic Thacker and his sophomore brother Dalton, Sequim's starting point guard - transferred, leaving much of the Wolves' future in Ary's hands.

But the Wolves got a boost when they put Corbin into the starting lineup. The frosh with a shooting style similar to his brother's and mental acuity for the game defers often to his brother when the Wolves need a score (Corbin averages about four points per game), but takes shots when he needs to.

"He's just got a lot more confident (as the season has progressed)," Ary says. "He's stronger mentally now but he's been playing solid all year."

Corbin says he simply has a natural affinity for the sport.

"When I'm not playing I'm thinking about basketball," he says. "It never gets old."

As for Ary, his game has evolved each year, from averaging 10.5 points per game as a sophomore to 13.3 a contest last year (and all-league honorable mention status) to nearly 17 points per game this season.

Beyond that, Ary has stepped into a leadership role that has teammates looking to him for not only the next big shot but also some direction.

"Guys are going to naturally look to Ary," Sequim coach Greg Glasser says.

For a critical three-game stretch this season, the Wolves couldn't look to Ary as he suffered from a bout with mononucleosis. With Corbin at the helm, the Wolves managed one win in those three games. But the win was a big one, a 17-point comeback against Kingston that secured a playoff spot for Sequim.

"(Ary) is definitely the leader on the court and off the court," Corbin says. "I thought we did all right, but we really missed him."

Ary managed to get back two games before doctors predicted and helped the Wolves to a huge nine-point win at Klahowya Feb. 21 to lock down the Olympic League No. 2 playoff seed. While Klahowya went on to lose badly at Steilacoom Saturday night, Sequim got a home game against Eatonville. Ary drilled five of seven shots from three-point land while Corbin scored 14 points - 10 in the second quarter alone - in the Wolves' 51-50 win.

And while the Wolves have plenty of solid pieces that give them a good shot at finding their way back to the state tourney - John Textor's athleticism, Jeremie Oliver's toughness, Taylor Thorson's rebounding, Clancy Catelli's all-around skills and Reed Omdal's senior guidance - it's the Webb brothers who make the Wolves go.

It shouldn't be much of a surprise for those who follow Sequim hoops. Ary and Corbin's older brother Ben, now a student at Central Washington University, was Sequim's top scorer in the 2005-2006 season. And while Ben racked up 12.9 points per game and earned all-league honorable mention status that season, the Wolves slogged through a 5-15 schedule.

Ben had more to give the Wolves even after graduation, however, hitting the homemade half-court with his younger brothers, pushing Ary and Corbin to their basketball limits in games of one-on-one and 21.

It's a tradition they carry on each time Ben comes home.

"We don't let up at all," Corbin says.

Hoping to make a push for the playoffs in 2009, Ary and Corbin connected with Tom Hughes, a personal trainer who put the brothers through off-season, pre-season and in-season programs building stamina, strength, speed and endurance. Since last spring, the two have put in time jogging, stretching and running sprints around the track each day, doing arm workouts three days a week and leg workouts two days per week.

Now it looks like the hard work is paying off.

"Everything's falling into place right now," Ary says, thinking back to the Wolves' run to the state tourney in 2007. "(State was) probably the best time of my life. I just want to share it with the rest of the guys."



Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.



We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates