A Vashon cross-state rival cries foul over '04 championship game.

Basketball by the Book, Part 4

Bonner, who replaced longtime Wolverines coach Floyd Irons last summer, says the year did not lack tumult or surprises.

"There's still a barrier," Bonner says. "There's still outside influences and preconceived notions that have been implanted in these kids about me."

To combat the negativity, Bonner says, he tries "to be very transparent and vulnerable to them, so they can see I care more than about just wins and losses." He continues, "We've had some personal outings together, from going to eat to going to church to just wasting time."

Vashon coach Anthony Bonner consoles a player after last Wednesday's loss.
Eric Fogleman
Vashon coach Anthony Bonner consoles a player after last Wednesday's loss.

Bonner's Wolverines finished the regular season as PHL champs and Class 5, District 3 title holders. Going into last Wednesday's sectional playoff against Parkway South, Vashon boasted a record of 19-6 overall. But for the first time in many years, fans of "the V" won't be in the stands when the state championship game gets under way in Columbia Saturday night. Parkway edged out Vashon by a single point in overtime: 59-58.

At tournament time, neither Bonner nor Northway was concerned that opponents would file complaints about their players' residency with the MSHSAA. They and district officials maintain that the roster was vetted and that every student was eligible.

Kearney's Webster expressed surprise that his was the only school to date to have asked the MSHSAA to take a closer look at Vashon's past rosters. "You mean nobody in St. Louis has filed anything?"

Click the links below to read the previous three parts of Kristen Hinman's "Basketball by the Book" series.

Basketball by the Book, Part 1
Basketball by the Book, Part 2
Basketball by the Book, Part 3

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