Wildcats finish season
By Jarann Johnson
The Center-Stanton Wildcats hosted Standing Rock in their regular season finale last Friday. The finale didn’t go as hoped for by the Wildcats, but it did prepare them for the regional tournament.
The Wildcats lost 74-39, but the score is deceiving because the Wildcats challenged Standing Rock for most of the first half. After the first period the Wildcats trailed 18-15 and it was clear that they only needed to get back in transition to prevent easy scores
A 3-pointer by Brynn Walking Elk kept the Wildcats in the game when they looked on the cusp of letting Standing Rock build a double-digit half time lead in the second quarter. Walking Elk’s 3-pointer made the score 25-20 in favor of Standing Rock, but two Wildcats mistakes pushed the lead back near double-digits.
The Wildcats struggled to get back on defense during one play and failed to rebound on another, giving Standing Rock a 29-20 lead. The Wildcats were close to keeping Standing Rock’s lead under 10 points near the end of the half but a foul by Rachel Vitek allowed Standing Rock to add two bonus free throws late in the half and extend their lead to 11 points, 39-28.
The Wildcats rebounding and transition struggles hurt more in the second half when the team was also trying to overcome a shooting slump. Standing Rock took full advantage of the Wildcats’ shooting woes, going on a 16-2 run to start the second half and build a 55-30 lead.
From there the Wildcats never recovered and lost 74-39. Ashlynn Sandland led all scorers with 28 points for Standing Rock and the Wildcats had three players tied with eight points each (Tristen Henke, Madeline Henke, and Vitek) to lead their offensive attack.
Wildcats’ Head Coach Drew Erhardt thinks the main difference between his team in the first and second half was confidence.