Wildcats season ends
By Jarann Johnson
In western movies there is usually a final battle in the middle of town to eternally settle a disagreement. It was only fitting that the first game of February and the last would be against the same opponent for the Center-Stanton Wildcats and offer them their own Western shootout chance.
The Wildcats lost to Underwood February 2, 59-44, and Saturday’s loser-out meeting in the District 10 tournament against Underwood seemed like the perfect spot to settle their dispute over which team was better.
The first half was typical of a game with two teams trying to prove something. Neither team could gain a commanding lead and the halftime score was only separated by two points, 29-27.
At halftime the leading scorer for Underwood was Zach Cottingham with 13 points. Wildcats’ head coach Cordell Bender said that his halftime adjustments for Cottingham focused on making it harder for him to get the ball and penetrate.
“He was attacking and probably had seven or eight of those off free throws, so we were just trying to keep him out of the middle – basically just deny him the ball full court as much as we can because he runs the offense. So, keep him out of the middle and off the free-throw line,” Bender said.
Early in the third quarter it didn’t look like Bender’s adjustment was working for his team. Underwood started the half on a 9-2 run and held a 38-29 lead halfway through the third.
The Wildcats were busted out of their slow start when starting point guard Karson Backer made a 3-pointer, making the score 38-32. After an Underwood basket the Wildcats got another 3-point play, this time from starting forward Weston Meckle, making the score 40-35.
The third period kept being the 3-point play quarter for the Wildcats. After Underwood pushed their lead up to 43-38 the Wildcats got another 3-point play, this time from starting center Matt Huber, making the score 43-41.