Wildcats fall in RPAC rounds
By LaDonna Swedberg
Round two of the west side of RPAC tournament took place in Hayes Center. The boys teams took to the court on Tuesday. The opening game had Hayes Center defeating Maywood. Wallace had to face a tough Hitchcock County team in game two.
The Wildcats were a little slow getting out of the gate as the game got underway. Josh Grauerholz got an early bucket but then there was a lull. John Marquardt and Landon Swedberg eventually came up with a free throw and then Swedberg added a pair of baskets with an additional free throw before the quarter came to an end. The Cats were down by three at the end of one period of play.
The game stayed pretty even in the second quarter. Grauerholz again started the scoring for Wallace and then Taylor Doell drained two three-pointers to give his team a little spark.
Swedberg ended the second quarter like he did the first by coming up with a couple of buckets, but Hitchcock County still had a 25-24 half time lead.
Wallace stepped up the scoring in the third quarter with Grauerholz taking control by putting in 10 points. Shane Anders and Marquardt each contributed a basket and Lane Scott a free throw to account for the Wildcats’ 15 third quarter points.
In spite of the Cats efforts, the Falcons also stepped it up to extend their lead. Austin Blume ended the quarter with two long threes to take the wind out of the Wildcats’ sails.
Wallace needed a strong final quarter to make a big come back but they could not get the long shots to drop. As the game was coming to an end Hitchcock County worked the clock forcing the Cats to foul.
The Falcons were very successful shooting their free throws and that did not help the Wildcats’ cause.
Doell and Grauerholz were both able to get a basket and a couple of free throws and Marquardt got a basket off a steal and a three-pointer but that was all that the Big Blue could come up with. The Falcons defeated Wallace 63–49 to put them in the West RPAC final game against Paxton. The loss caused the Wildcats to have to face Dundy County-Stratton (DCS) once again.
Wallace vs DCS
The third round of the tournament was held in Wallace with the boys meeting on Friday night. Hayes Center defeated Wauneta/Palisade in the first game so the stage was set for the Wallace–DCS match up for game two.
The first half of the game was pretty evenly matched with the score staying close throughout. Swedberg started things off by driving the lane, making the basket and adding a free throw; not once, but twice.
Grauerholz dropped in a bucket when he hit a baseline jumper and then he found Shane Anders all alone under the basket. Anders only needed to kiss the ball off the glass for an easy two. Add a three-pointer from Swedberg and Doell and the Wildcats have a 16–15 lead at the end of one.
Wallace stayed consistent in the second quarter playing tough defense and scoring in a variety of ways. Lane Scott had a jumper from the side and one underneath, Marquardt and Swedberg each got a bucket and two free throws, Grauerhollz a free throw and Doell added another three to the books. Things looked promising for the Wildcats going into half time as they led 32 - 29.
Wallace came out in the second half and looked like they were still in control of the game when Grauerholz and Doell put up the first four points to extend their lead but things went south from there.
The Wildcats struggled getting rebounds and DCS took advantage getting a bunch of points off of put backs. The Tigers also stiffened up on defense and forced some turnovers which resulted in points as well. They outscored Wallace by eight points in the third quarter to take a 51–45 lead going into the final quarter.
The Wildcats went cold in the fourth only getting a jumper from Marquardt and Collin Swedberg and a three-pointer late in the game from Jose Arvizo. Anders, Scott and Grauerholz each added a free throw but 10 points were all the Cats could muster up in the end.
The Tigers matched Wallace offensively with two jump shots and one three-pointer but late in the quarter they did not miss a free throw which allowed them to score nine points off a free throw down the stretch. DCS defeated Wallace 67–55.
The leading scorers for Wallace in the Hitchcock County game were Josh Grauerholz with 18, Landon Swedberg with 11 and Taylor Doell with 10.
During the DCS game, Swedberg led the way with 15 followed by Doell with 10 and Scott with seven.
Wallace hits the road for their next two games. They traveled to Brady on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and then to Hayes Center on Friday, Feb. 1.