Wildcats defeat Arthur Wolves in tune-up for RPAC
By Travis McConnell
The Wallace Wildcats improved to 5-6 on the season with a 64-57 win over the Arthur Wolves on Thursday night.
These teams met 11 days earlier in Arthur and the Wolves won handily 73-59, when Arthur’s Derek Powers scored 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Wolves.
This meeting in Wallace looked like it might be a replay of the earlier game as Powers scored seven first quarter points and the Wolves raced to an 18-8 lead after one quarter.
Powers continued to lead his team in the second quarter, scoring eight of his team’s 10 second quarter points.
But the Wildcats awakened on the offensive end in the second quarter leading to their best three point shooting game of the season. The Wildcats hit seven three pointers on 7-17 shooting (41 percent).
Sean May started the quarter for the Wildcats with a three pointer and back to back buckets in the paint by Shawn Christensen made the score 22-15 early in the second quarter.
Lane Swedberg then hit a long three-pointer and Ethan Scott followed with a big three to cut the lead to 26-21 with less than two minutes to play in the first half.
After a Powers bucket for Arthur, Swedberg hit another three-pointer and a lay up as time expired to pull the Wildcats within two, 28-26 at halftime.
Wallace Coach Terry Fowler then made a key defensive adjustment at halftime to limit, Powers who had 15 of his teams 28 points at halftime.
In the second half the Wildcats used a zone defense where May kept a close eye on Powers. The defense worked as Powers was limited to five second half points.
In the third quarter the Wildcats continued their good shooting and opened up an eight point lead after three quarters.
Landon Swedberg opened the scoring with a three-pointer and a basket by Josh Grauerholtz gave the Wildcats their first lead at 31-30. A three-pointer from May and a basket from Lane Swedberg increased the lead to 36-32 midway through the third quarter. Christensen then scored the next three points for the Wildcats with a free throw and a rebound and put back.
After a Grauerholtz bucket, Lane Swedberg stuck a dagger in the Wolves with a 23-foot three-pointer to close out the scoring in the quarter and give the Wildcats a 44-36 lead.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, as the Wildcats continued to confuse the Wolves on defense and hit shots on offense.
Christensen, Grauerholtz and Lane Swedberg each hit shots in the lane and free throws by May allowed the Wildcats to take a commanding 16 point lead at 57-41 midway through the fourth quarter.
Arthur did hit four three-pointers in the final half of the quarter, but 7-10 free throw shooting down the stretch by the Wildcats led to the seven point win.
Lane Swedberg led the Wildcats with 18 points. Grauerholtz added 14. May and Christensen added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
On Tuesday night the Wildcats traveled to Benkelman to take on the Dundy County-Stratton Tigers.
The Tigers outscored the Wildcats in every quarter and cruised to a 66-40 victory.
Poor shooting was a key to the game as the Wildcats only managed 23 percent from the field for the game.
Shawn Christensen was the only Wildcat in double figures with 16 points.
The Wildcats have begun play in the RPAC tournament this week. Full coverage will be in next week’s issue of the Grant Tribune-Sentinel.