Wallace Wildcats falter in first holiday tourney
By LaDonna Swedberg
The Wallace Wildcats participated in their first Holiday Tournament when they traveled to Grant to be a part of the Perkins County Booster Club Holiday Tournament. The Wildcats competed against the Perkins County Plainsmen in their first game and then they took on the Cambridge Trojans for game two. Though the Wildcats were competitive, they came up short both nights.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start in their opening game against the Plainsmen as they were only able to put up five points in the opening quarter. Landon Swedberg and Josh Grauerholz each made a basket and Shane Anders added a free throw to account for the five points. Perkins County, however, was able to score 12 first quarter points.
Things picked up for Wallace in the second quarter as they increased their score by 15. Anders and Grauerholz added two more points to the books while John Marquardt and Taylor Doell each put up three points and Swedberg contributed five. The Wildcats went to the locker room at half time trailing 20–26.
The game got interesting in the third quarter when Wallace was able to pull within a point midway through the quarter. Doell and Swedberg hit back-to-back treys to help the cause. Before the quarter ended Doell added another trey along with a Marquardt bucket but Elliot Carlson and Quinton Hite each drained a three-pointer at the end of the quarter to help the Plainsmen maintain their six point lead.
The final quarter belonged to Perkins County as Blake Poppe took over in the paint putting up seven points. Wallace’s first points were free throws from Swedberg which was followed by a three-pointer by Doell and a lay up following a steal from Marquardt. Anders added a free throw and a put back and Doell added an additional free throw to complete the Wildcat scoring.
Landon Swedberg led the Wildcat scoring with 14 points followed closely by Taylor Doell with 13. John Marquardt and Shane Anders each had five rebounds and Grauerholz had four. Marquardt had four assist and Doell and Swedberg each had three.
Wallace vs. Cambridge
Saturday afternoon the Wildcats played the Cambridge Trojans in the consolation game. The game was close throughout with the lead changing often; it wasn’t until late in the final quarter that the Trojans took control and defeated the Wildcats 53–41.
Both teams struggled offensively at the beginning of the game. Cambridge turned the ball over on their first four possessions. Wallace started with two turnovers but on their third possession the offense helped Swedberg get two points on the board. Jose Arvizo and Shane Anders added a basket along with a Grauerholz free throw to make up the Wildcats’ seven first quarter points which was two less than Cambridge.
The second quarter saw each team settle into their game and evenly match up. The Wildcats did their scoring from the outside with two three-pointers from Taylor Doell and one from John Marquardt and an inside play by Shane Anders with a great assist by Doell. The Trojans relied on their inside game to score. A couple of offensive rebound put backs and a couple of underneath shots by Zane Peterson kept Cambridge a step ahead of Wallace as they took a 20–18 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats kept the game close in the third quarter with Grauerholz and Swedberg each getting a couple of buckets and Doell adding another trey. The difference in the game came in the final quarter. Cambridge outscored Wallace by 10 points; eight of those points came from free throws down the stretch. Grauerholz got six big points from inside the paint, Swedberg added a basket and two free throws and Anders drained two free throws as well but Cambridge came up with the plays they needed in addition to the free throws.
The Wildcat scoring was led by Josh Grauerholz with 11 points, Swedberg with 10 and Doell with nine. Swedberg pulled down six rebounds and Doell had six big assists.
Wallace will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 5 when they travel to Arthur to take on the Wolves and then again on Saturday when they host the Mullen Broncos.