|Wallace Wildcats hold off Maxwell Wildcats|
By Travis McConnell
The Wallace Wildcats use good defensive pressure to build a big lead Friday night when they traveled to Maxwell, then held on for a 55-46 victory.
Shawn Christensen got the Wildcats started with two free throws after Wallace won the opening tip. Sean May added a two point basket and Lane Swedberg hit a three-pointer to give Wallace a 7-0 lead minutes into the first quarter.
Maxwell got on the board with a basket by Brad Smith, but May answered with a traditional three point play to extend the Wallace lead to 10-2. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the period and at the end of the first quarter the Wallace Wildcats led 14-7.
In the second quarter Wallace used good defensive pressure to force Maxwell into tough shots and good defensive rebounding limited Maxwell to one shot per possession.
While Wallace was playing good team defense, May took over on offense, scoring 13 of his game high 25 points in the second quarter. May hit two three pointers in the quarter and five different Wallace players scored as Wallace outscored Maxwell 21-7 to open up a 35-14 lead at halftime.
Wallace had a chance to put the game away in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but poor free throw shooting allowed Maxwell to stay within striking distance. Wallace missed seven of eight free throw attempts to start the second half.
Despite the poor shooting, Wallace still led 40-17 with 3:00 to play in the third quarter. Christensen then picked up his fourth foul of the game and had to take a seat. Without Christensen’s presence in the middle, Maxwell began finding success on offense by driving baseline then shuffling the ball off to Smith in the middle of the lane. Smith scored nine points in the last 3:00 minutes of the quarter and Maxwell cut the Wallace lead to 42-29 after three quarters.
The momentum continued to build for Maxwell early in the fourth as they used full court pressure to create turnovers and easy baskets. Chris Steinke and Ben Keller each turned stolen passes into baskets and Maxwell cut the Wallace lead to 42-33.
Following a Wallace time out with 5:45 to play in the game Christensen responded with Wallace’s first bucket of the fourth quarter to increase the Wallace lead to 44-33. Maxwell did not let up and Wallace was forced to take another time out with 2:00 to play; only leading 45-40.
Wallace used good free throw shooting in the final two minutes to hold off Maxwell. Lane Swedberg hit two of two free throws, May hit both of his attempts and Landon Swedberg made three of four free throws to seal the win.
“We’ll take any win we can get,” said Coach Terry Fowler, “the good thing is the boys didn’t panic when things weren’t going our way.”
May was the only Wallace player in double figures with 25 points. Lane Swedberg added nine and Christensen eight. Other Wallace scorers included Landon Swedberg with five, Jordan Christner with four and Ryan Sowle and Josh Grauerholz with two each.
Christner led Wallace with seven rebounds.
With the win Wallace improves to 2-1 on the season.
Wallace…...14 21 7 13 55
Maxwell…... 7 7 15 17 46
Wallace will travel to Sutherland Thursday (tonight) to take on the 2-2 Sailors. Tip off is scheduled for approximately 7 p.m. CT.