By Travis McConnell
The Wallace Wildcat boys extended their win streak to four games on Thursday night with a convincing 56-40 victory over the Stapleton-McPherson County Cyclones.
Great shooting in the first quarter allowed the Wildcats to jump out to a 21-8 lead after one quarter. The Wildcats hit seven of their first 10 shots, including two three-pointers by Lane Swedberg and one by Landon Swedberg.
The Wildcats continued their hot shooting in the second quarter, except instead of bombing away from three-point range, the Wildcats worked the ball inside to Shawn Christensen who had 10 points in the quarter. Lane Swedberg added six points in the second quarter and finished the first half with 14 of his game high 21 points.
At halftime the Wildcats led 41-22.
“I was really concerned about tonight’s game,” said Wildcats coach Terry Fowler, “we’ve had some sickness and kids missing practice all week because of other school activities.”
The reasons for Fowler’s fears were realized in the second half when the Wildcats looked lethargic and fatigued. They continued to play good defense, but obviously didn’t have their legs at the offensive end.
Despite only scoring two field goals in the third quarter, the Wildcats were able to maintain a 46-33 lead heading into the final period.
Even though it didn’t seem possible, the field goal shooting got worse in the fourth quarter, as the Wildcats only managed one field goal in the quarter, a rebound and put back by Christensen.
The Cyclones did close to within eight at 46-38 midway through the fourth quarter, but 8-12 free throw shooting by the Wildcats down the stretch allowed them to seal their ninth win of the season.
Lane Swedberg led the Wildcats with 21 points. Christensen and Sean May added 15 and 10 points respectively. Other Wildcat scorers included Landon Swedberg with eight points and Jordan Christner with two points.
Wallace vs Hitchcock Co.
On Friday night the Wildcats hosted the Hitchcock County Falcons, looking for their 10th win of the season.
This game was a tight contest throughout and could not be decided in regulation, as the Falcon’s Gabe Ware hit two free throws in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.
The Wildcats used good scoring balance in the first quarter, as all five starters scored three or more points to lift the Wildcats to an 18-15 lead after one quarter.
What looked like a high scoring shoot out turned into a defensive battle in the second quarter, when the Wildcats only managed two field goals by Shawn Christensen and a free throw by Jordan Christner. Luckily good defense allowed the Wallace to hold the Falcons to seven second quarter points.
At half time Wallace led 23-21.
Both teams picked up the pace in the third quarter and the Falcons found success pounding the ball inside to their posts, Austin Bloom and Tanner Bauer. The two combined for 14 of the Falcons 22 third quarter points.
Sean May countered with nine of his team high 17 points in the quarter to keep the Wildcats close, trailing 43-39 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was back and forth the entire eight minutes. Just when it looked like one team had control the other would make a run to even things up.
Leading by two late in the game, the Wildcats had an opportunity to put things away, but missed free throws and two-footers, set up Ware’s two free throws with eight seconds left that tied the game at 53-53.
The Wildcats had the last shot with 2.3 seconds left in regulation, but a long three by May missed its mark.
In overtime, the Falcons hit 6-8 free throws down the stretch to get the win.
May led the Wildcats with 17 points. Christensen and Landon Swedberg joined him in double figures with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
The Wildcats will finish their regular season Friday at home, when they host the Creek Valley Storm. Tip off for the JV game will be at 6 p.m. CST.