Governors Challenge history comes alive in WiHi victory

SALISBURY, Md. – WiHi remained unbeaten on the season with a 71-61 victory over Elkins, from West Virginia, in the 2022 Governors Challenge Tuesday evening.

The real story was the two coaches, and their significance to the Governors Challenge and Bayside Conference basketball.

Tribe head coach Butch Waller and Elkins head coach Amrit Rayfield were called to midcourt to accept plaques commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Governors Challenge. A tournament founded by Waller in 1981 as a way to find competition for his players during the winter break.

The first tournament consisted of four teams, two from the western shore of Maryland, along with WiHi and Crisfield.

The Crabbers were led by Phil Rayfield during the 90s and 00s. Rayfield passed in 2014, remembered as a shore basketball icon.

“His father was a super coach at Crisfield, everything organized,” Waller remembered of his one-time rival. “Team was very disciplined, and Amrit was a good player.”

Phil’s son Amrit, a player for Rayfield with Crisfield, is now with Elkins. The opportunity to have a game coached by a Waller and Rayfield was too good for the Governors Challenge selection committee to pass up.

“Two years ago, before the tournament was cancelled due to COVID, the committee said ‘how would you like to play this team from West Virginia?,'” explained Waller following his 884th career victory. “When they told me Amrit was coaching I said absolutely. That’s a good local story.”

WiHi was led in scoring by Antwan Wilson with 29 points to go along with 8 rebounds.

The Tribe will play Dover in their second game of the 2022 Governors Challenge Thursday.

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