Senior Blake Pelster takes the ball to the hoop as Maxwell comes in from behind in an attempt to block.
Hager boys claim 48 of 81 points for first RPAC win
It is a busy time of year for basketball players as regular season games lead into conference tournaments. That is just what Wallace was set to do last week, two regular-season games leading into the RPAC tournament.
Wallace started the action-packed week by traveling to Benkelman to compete against the Dundy County Tigers. Like their previous game, the Wildcats had a rough start, a very competitive second and third quarter and a slow final period.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead but Wallace responded with three straight baskets to get within a point. The rest of the quarter, however, was all DCS.
They went on to put up 12 more points to take a 20-7 lead going into the second quarter.
Had the Wildcats not had the slow start, the game would have been close going into halftime. They were able to stay with the Tigers in the second period by putting up 13 points and holding the DCS to 14.
Trailing 20-34, Wallace came out of halftime to play their best quarter. Five different players put points on the board and the defense was getting some stops as well.
The Tigers, however, hit a couple of big 3-pointers that kept the Wildcats from making as much progress as it seemed they were.
DCS had an 11-point lead going into the final period and they went on to dominate the last eight minutes, winning the game with a 71-48 score.
Statistically, things were pretty even for the Cats. Kolton Hager had 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal, Blake Pelster and Tanner Finley each scored 10 points. Pelster had six rebounds and one steal and Finley had three rebounds and two steals.
Micah Swedberg had seven points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks. Ethan Bowlin, Camden McConnell and Alec Messersmith each scored three points.
Wallace was scheduled to play a home game against Stapleton on Thursday, Jan. 17 but the Broncos had to forfeit the game due to illness.
The RPAC tournament got underway on Saturday with the first round taking place in Wauneta. Wallace got the No. 5 seed and had to face No. 4 Maxwell in the opening round.
The blue and white Wildcats made it clear early on that they were ready to play ball. Everyone was putting points on the board and the 3-ball was falling. Maxwell was shooting well also so Wallace had to play tough on defense to keep their lead. At halftime, they were clinging to a 40-33 lead.
The second half belonged to the Hager boys. Kolton and Kaden had played well in the first half but they went off in the second half knocking down most everything they shot. They helped Wallace expand their lead and go on to win with an 81-63 score.
The Hager boys led the stats for Wallace. Kolton put up 25 points and had seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Kaden also had impressive numbers with 23 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal. Finley had nine points, three rebounds, and two assists and Swedberg had eight points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Pelster and McConnell both scored six points and Bowlin added four points.
Dundy County hosted the second round of the tournament on Tuesday where Wallace faced No. 1 seeded Paxton.
Round three will take place in Paxton. The girls will play on Thursday and the boys on Friday.
Consolation and finals games will take place Saturday in McCook. The top teams from the west half of the conference will meet up with the winners from the east. The consolation game for the boys is scheduled to be played at 2:30 p.m. CT at McCook Community College. Finals are set for 6 p.m.