With the dawning of the new week, the District 10 Tournament began its three-day run at the Underwood High School gym. The top two seeds -- Underwood and Wilton-Wing – both watched the first round from the bleachers with byes for the first day while the other four teams kicked off the action on Monday night. The opening match of the tournament was between the fifth seeded Washburn Cardinals and the fourth seeded Center-Stanton Wildcats. From the start it was apparent that the Wildcats came ready to put their best foot forward in the post-season. While the Cardinals also started off with some drive, it had completely evaporated by the end of the match after the team had trouble settling into a rhythm. Both teams started off with some high intensity play, which kept the scores even until late in the first set when the Wildcats stepped up their game to pull ahead 25-20. After breaking that barrier, Center-Stanton was in complete control of the tempo for the remainder of the match. Aces by Siam Simpenderfer rocketed the Wildcats to a quick 8-1 lead in the second and it was easy sailing from there to 25-15.
The Center-Stanton Wildcats started their week with a 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 15-25, 19-25) over Glen Ullin. After dropping the first set the Wildcats took the next three sets, led by a great hitting performance from Tristen Henke. Henke went 23-of-36 for a .638 hitting percentage during the game. In the first set the Wildcats jumped out to a 4-1 lead but saw Glen Ullin battle back and take a lead after trailing 6-7. Kari Gerving recorded three aces and Michaela Gerving added a kill on a 4-point run that secured a 10-7 lead. Wildcats coach Janet Erhardt called timeout to regain her team’s focus. The timeout resulted in an immediate side out, giving the Wildcats the ball back, but her team failed to capitalize. Glen Ullin went on a 9-2 run and grabbed a 19-10 lead heading into the late parts of the set. The Wildcats got a late push in the set – scoring six points in a row after trailing 13-22 – that made the score 23-19. The scoring streak ended on a lift call, but Henke won her team the ball back with a kill making the score 20-24. But even Henke’s play couldn’t save the Wildcats in the first set and they lost 25-20.
The Center-Stanton Wildcats only needed one win to get in the playoffs despite the team’s small numbers. But it just wasn’t meant to be. Early in the game Logan Staigle, starting senior quarterback, left the game with an injury to his elbow. The Wildcats and Staigle failed to recover losing 50-20 and ending their season at 4-4. After the injury to Staigle the Beach Buccaneers wasted no time in getting the lead. Beach went up 6-0 after a Tyler Steffan 3-yard run, then they added a two-point conversion when Marshall Nunberg, quarterback, ran the ball in. The Wildcats couldn’t get anything going. Staigle tried to play on defense but he couldn’t wrap up so the senior was sidelined for the rest of the game. Beach didn’t let themselves feel sorry for the team and scored another touchdown. The Buccaneers drove the ball down to the 12-yard line and faced a fourth-and-1. The Buccaneers got the conversion and scored on a Nunberg 11-yard run putting them up 14-0. The two-pointer after was no good.