By LaDonna Swedberg
Wallace did not have a bored basketball player last week, they were too busy playing in basketball games. Tuesday they traveled to Benkelman to take on Dundy County/Stratton (DCS), Thursday they hosted Arthur County and Saturday they went to Wauneta to play Hayes Center in the first round of RPAC conference play.
The crazy week didn’t quite start out the way the Wildcats would have liked it to but it improved as the week progressed.
Wallace vs. DCS
First up for the Wildcats were the DCS Tigers. The first quarter was rather slow; it is hard to say if it was tough defense or just a slow start for both teams but at the end of the opening quarter the Tigers led the low scoring game 14–7.
The pace picked up a bit in the second quarter but the only Wildcat that was finding much success scoring was John Marquardt. Wallace had 24 points at half time and Marquardt had put up 12 of those points. Dundy County/Stratton is a big, physical team and Wallace was missing their big middle man. Josh Grauerholz was ill and the Wildcats hadn’t adjusted to his absence in the first half.
The second half was a whole new ball game for Wallace, they came out after the break looking like a different team. The Wildcats put up 23 third quarter points while holding the Tigers to 14 points. The scoring surge was due in part to Landon Swedberg getting a hot hand. He dropped in 14 points, Marquardt continued his scoring ways by putting up another seven and Collin Swedberg put in a lay up at the buzzer to make the game all knotted up at 47 at the end of the third.
Dundy County/Stratton wasted no time breaking the tied score, they started the final quarter with a quick bucket and an added free throw. They offensively took control under the basket making good use of their height advantage. Wallace struggled offensively; they got an early basket from Marquardt but the next seven points came from free throws.
Late in the quarter the Tigers had a nine point lead and all of the momentum but the Wildcats refused to go away quietly. Taylor Doell broke the dry spell by getting a basket and in the last minute Swedberg drained a couple more three-pointers but it was too little too late. Wallace came up five points short loosing to DCS by a score of 70–65.
The offensive leaders for Wallace were Landon Swedberg with 30 points and four assists followed by John Marquardt with 21 points and two assists. Swedberg led the way with rebounds and steals as well. He came up with six rebounds and three steals. Lane Scott and Shane Anders each had five rebounds and Scott and Marquardt had two steals.
Wallace vs Arthur
Wallace went right back to work on Thursday night when Arthur came to town. As the game got underway however, it appeared the Wildcats were still recovering from the tough game and late night on Tuesday. It took the Blue and White most of the first quarter to really get things rolling, they didn’t get the lead until late in the opening quarter.
The Wildcats were only able to come up with 13 first quarter points but they unleashed in the second quarter outscoring the Wolves by 15 points. Landon Swedberg started things off by adding a basket to his six first quarter points.
A healthy Josh Grauerholz, made his presence known in the lane by putting in a couple baskets and Taylor Doell added a second three-pointer to the books. John Marquardt drove the lane for a basket and one and then he dropped in two more free throws.
Tanner Clough came off the bench and wasted no time putting up five points. Wallace had a 32–14 lead at half time.
Wallace continued to roll in the second half with a dominating offense and a very stingy defense.
A number of players contributed to the Wildcat victory. Those that built up the first half lead continued to roll and they were helped out by Jose Arvizo who came in to score six points, Shane Anders added an additional five, Mark Jameson put in three and Lane Scott and Collin Swedberg each added two. Wallace won the game 66–27.
The scoring attack was quite balanced for the Wildcats. Landon Swedberg had 12 points, Taylor Doell and Josh Grauerholz each had 10 and John Martquardt had nine. Other statistic leaders were Swedberg with eight assists and five steals and Doell and Grauerholz with five rebounds apiece.
Wallace vs Hayes Center
The Wildcats had one final game before the week came to an end and that was their opening game of the RPAC conference tournament. Wallace had to face Hayes Center in their first game.
The Cats took command of the game right away. The offense was firing on all cylinders, hitting jump shots, driving the lane, draining threes and making free throws.
The defense was quite aggressive as well, making it difficult for the Cardinals to find a way to score. Every Wildcat starter was everywhere on defense as well as hitting their shots so Hayes Center had their hand full. By the half time buzzer, Wallace had a commanding 34–18 lead.
Wallace did not get off to a very good start in second half. Seth Gohl was finding ways to get open beyond the arc and he was not missing.
The Wildcat offense, on the other hand, was not having as much success. Josh Grauerholz was getting his jumper at the corner of the free throw line to fall and Landon Swedberg was able to come up with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws but that was all the Cats could get on the board in the third quarter.
The Cardinals outscored the Wildcats by eight points cutting into the Wallace lead.
The Wildcats slump only lasted for one quarter of play because they came out in the final quarter and made a statement putting up 25 points while holding Hayes Center to just eight. The final score was 72–47.
Statistic leaders in the game were Landon Swedberg with 21 points, two assists and seven steals. Josh Grauerholz had 20 points, one assist and two steals. John Marquardt was the leading rebounder with nine, Lane Scott had seven and Grauerholz had six.