Big second half by Creek Valley dooms Wallace Wildcats
By Travis McConnell
It was a tale of two halves in Wallace Friday night, when the Wallace Wildcats hosted the Creek Valley Storm.
Hot shooting allowed the Wildcats to control the action in the first half leading to a nine point halftime lead. But, a 26-12 scoring advantage in the third quarter by Creek Valley gave the Storm all the momentum they needed to escape with a 75-64 victory.
The Wildcats hit four three-pointers in the first period to jump out to an early 20-17 lead after one quarter.
Lane Swedberg got the Wildcats started with two three-pointers in the Wildcats first four possessions. Jordan Christner and Shawn Christensen also got buckets in the paint to give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead midway through the first quarter.
Creek Valley then went on a 10-4 run to take a 17-14 lead late in the first quarter.
After Christner picked up his second foul, sophomore Taylor Doell entered the game and knocked home back-to-back three-pointers to give the Wildcats a three point lead after one quarter.
The Wildcats used a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and take a 29-17 lead. Christner hit one of two free throws, followed by a Lane Swedberg three-pointer to start the run.
Landon Swedberg then forced a turnover that led to a Lane Swedberg layup. Landon Swedberg finished the run with a three-pointer of his own.
Following a time out, Creek Valley hit two three-pointers and three free throws, all part of their own 9-4 run to make the score 33-26 late in the second quarter.
Sean May then got in on the act scoring the final six Wildcat points of the half on three driving layups.
At halftime the Wildcats led 39-30.
Justin Huff keyed a huge second half for the Storm, scoring 23 of his game high 31 points in the second half. The Storm shot lights out in the third quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 26-12 to take a 56-51 lead they would never relinquish.
The Wildcats continued to battle in the fourth quarter, but great free throw shooting by the Storm never allowed the Wildcats to get any closer than four points in the final period.
The Storm hit 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth period including eight of eight shooting by Huff.
Free throw shooting was the key to victory for the Storm in this game, as both teams scored 38 points from two-point range and 18 points from three-point range.
The difference was that Creek Valley hit 19 of 26 free throw attempts compared to eight of 22 attempts for the Wildcats.
Lane Swedberg led the Wildcats with 17 points. Joining him in double figures were Sean May and Landon Swedberg with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Other Wildcat scorers included Christensen with eight, Christner and Doell with six each and Ethan Scott with two.
With the loss the Wildcats fall to 9-11 on the season.
The Wildcats began sub-district action on Monday, Feb. 21, at Imperial when they faced the Hitchcock County Falcons.
Full sub-district coverage will be in next week’s Grant Tribune-Sentinel.