By LaDonna Swedberg
Wallace began their 2013 season on the right track when they traveled to Arthur on Friday then hosted Mullen on Saturday and came away with a victory in both games. The victories were big for the Wildcats as they begin an action packed, tough schedule.
The Arthur game on Friday was a great game to get back into the swing of things. The Wolves are a young team with little experience and they don’t have a lot of size so the Wildcats had the advantage going into the game. The Wildcats ,however, knew that Arthur would make them work for the victory so they put together a great team effort to get the job done.
The first seven points of the game were scored by four different Wildcats. Landon Swedberg got things started with a jump shot, Josh Grauerholz added a free throw, Lane Scott got a bucket due to a great assist from Taylor Doell and John Marquardt added his basket.
Before the quarter came to an end, Swedberg tipped in a rebound and added a free throw, Jose Arvizo got a free throw and Grauerholz got a couple of free throws and a put back to give Wallace a 15–5 lead at the buzzer.
The Wildcats really turned it on in the second quarter; both the offense and the defense did their job in an impressive manner. Eight different players got in the score book and most of them put numbers up more than once. The defense came up with turnovers which resulted in points as did the offensive rebounds. The Cats were getting good looks at the basket with great assist from a strong offense.
Everything was clicking for Wallace and they went into the halftime break with a 44–12 lead.
Things were much quieter in the second half. Wallace slowed the pace of the game significantly and after scoring 29 points in the second quarter, they only put up 16 points in the entire second half. Scott, Grauerholz, Marquardt and Shane Anders were the scorers in the third quarter and putting points on the board in the fourth quarter were Collin Swedberg, Mark Jameson and another two buckets by Anders.
Wallace defeated the young Wolves team 60–26. The leading scorers for the Wildcats were Josh Grauerholz with 14 and Landon Swedberg with 10. Grouerholz, Swedberg and Lane Scott each pulled down six total rebounds and John Marquardt had four assists.
The Wildcats were grateful that they were able to have a quiet second half on Friday night because they needed everything they could muster up for Saturday’s game against a big Mullen Broncos team.
Wallace vs Mullen
Wallace started the game on fire with every starter finding a way to get points on the board. Taylor Doell started things off by draining one from downtown and shortly after that, Lane Scott put back a rebound for two. Landon Swedberg drove the lane for his first bucket then Josh Grauerholz put in a bunny shot. Swedberg added a put back and a three-pointer, Grauerholz got a bucket and one and John Marquardt finished the first quarter scoring with his basket. The Wildcats were out to a 19–11 lead at the end of one.
Wallace continued to mix their shot selection to keep the Broncos guessing, the Cats were finding ways to get the inside shot against the bigger Broncos and they were getting good looks from the outside as well. Scott was able to get a basket off the glass from close range as well as an offensive rebound put back. Doell dropped in another three-pointer and Marquardt got a short jumper and a couple of free throws to round off the second quarter scoring. The half time score had the Wildcats up 30–19.
The 11 point lead ended up being huge for Wallace as Mullen came out in the second half and continually chipped away at that lead. The Broncos outscored the Wildcats by three in the third. All that Wallace could come up with in the third was a breakaway basket by Grauerholz which was made possible by Marquardt and then a basket and two free throws by Marquardt and another three-pointer by Doell.
The final quarter ended up being action packed with both teams desperately wanting the win. The Wildcat defense had basically shut down Riley Rice, Mullen’s dominant player. Up to the fourth quarter he had been held to just two free throws and he was ready to take over. He started the quarter by draining two threes from the top of the key. Not to be outdone, Doell dropped in his fourth three-pointer of the game which was followed by short jumpers from Grauerholz, Marquardt and Scott.
The Broncos were doing a better job getting position on the Wildcats so they were able to get some offensive rebounds and either get points from a put back or from free throws. They also stepped up the defense and even though they were fouling, the Wildcats could not make their free throws so the lead continued to dwindle.
Swedberg came up with a timely basket with an added free throw and Scott got another big basket to help Wallace maintain their lead. The Broncos however had cut the lead to two points.
Mullen was not giving the Wildcats many opportunities to run their offense, they were content to foul as quickly as they could and hope that Wallace would continue to struggle at the charity stripe. When push came to shove, however, the Wildcats made just enough free throws to keep their lead and defeat the Broncos by a score of 57– 53.
Wallace once again had a great team effort with each player contributing in a big way. The scoring was led by John Marquardt and Taylor Doell with 13 points each followed by Landon Swedberg with 12, Lane Scott with 10 and Josh Grauerholz with nine. Grauerholz led the way in rebounding by pulling down eight, Scott and Swedberg each had six. Marquardt contributed six assist and Doell three while Swedberg grabbed three steals and Doell and Anders each had two.
The Wildcats will have another week with back-to-back games when they travel to Big Springs on Thursday to take on the South Platte Blue Knights and then they will host Paxton on Friday night. Both games are scheduled to begin at 4 CT.