In the end, it was all about Webb

If there were ever any doubts — any at all — Derrick Webb erased them Thursday night.

Not that he really needed to, but if there were any lingering questions about the 6-2 senior and his ability to play strong, lead and carry a team on his back if need be, they were decisively answered during the first two rounds of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The little guy with the silky smooth shot has done everything we can to get the Wolves back to the semifinal round for the second consecutive year.

But it’s the way he’s done it that sets him apart.

“Derrick never ceases to amaze me,” South coach John Callaghan said. “He’s confident. He’s confident and he’s earned every bit of that. I keep going back to the off-season  – he was out hardest worker. And now it’s paying off, and I love it. I love seeing that.”

Webb is one of the biggest reasons the Wolves find themselves where they do. In two state playoff games this year, Webb has scored 51 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

But more importantly, he lifted South over North Kitsap, 48-41, in the quarterfinal round almost single-handedly.

“We can’t quit this game. We can’t lose to our rivals,” Webb said. “We were struggling and I knew if I could get an open shot or something, I could knock it down. Coach told me it was my time, so I came out and did what I had to do.”

“I don’t like to talk about myself too much,” Webb said. “I did pretty well tonight. I stepped it up in the second half. I knew I had to find a way to get open.”

With 4:45 remaining and his team trailing North Kitsap by eight points and with his co-captain and best friend and the team’s best defender, Jamil Moore, sitting on the bench forced to watch from the sidelines after picking up his fifth foul and his team shooting well below its season average, from the field and the line, and his sophomore point guard playing, well, like a sophomore point guard, Webb was left with little choice.

So he won the game.

Webb scored 15 points in the final 4:10 including a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers that gave South the lead for good.

“It’s just his time,” Callaghan said. “His buddy was done, so he took it upon himself. Once he cut it to two, they were already in that ‘trying-to-protect-a-lead’ mode and I think we were still attacking, and it worked out for us.”

Webb, who hit 10 of 15 shots, scored eight straight points in the closing minutes to help put the game away.

“He was huge. He was huge,” North coach Aaron Nations said. “Derrick, I’ve been impressed with him all season long. He has gotten better each time I’ve seen him. He’s a tremendous player and I think he’s going to be a tremendous college player. I think someone is going to get a steal if they get Derrick Webb on their squad.”

College coaches have been lining up to talk to Webb after each game but he’s still focused on one goal — winning state.

“There’s no quit in us, at all,” Webb said. “I know that in every single one of these guys, there’s no quit in their hearts. We want to get back to that championship.

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