Wildcats approach end of season with two back-to-back victories
By LaDonna Swedberg
Wallace had back-to-back home games last week and their home court served them well as they came out to handle two challenging teams. The Wildcats hosted the Stapleton/McPherson Co. (SMC) Cyclones on Thursday and then turned around to take on the Hitchcock County Falcons on Friday.
Two victories late in the season was an important accomplishment for the Cats as they prepare for their final regular season game and district play.
Wallace 50, SMC 28
The key to Thursday’s win over SMC was a very stingy defense by the Wildcats. The Cyclones turned the ball over on their first four possessions and then they were only able to score two baskets and a free throw the rest of the quarter.
Wallace, however, was able to double the Cyclones’ score in the opening quarter. Landon Swedberg put up eight points, John Marquardt added a basket with a put back and Taylor Doell and Josh Grauerholz each had a free throw. The Wildcats had a 12–6 lead at the end of one quarter of play.
The second quarter was very similar to the first, the defense held SMC to just five points while the offense was able to put up another 14 points. Shane Anders scored on a put back, Grauerholz got a couple of jumpers, Swedberg turned a steal into two points then Marquardt scored off of a Doell assist. Marquardt and Jose Arvizo each made two free throws to account for the 26 to 11 half time lead for Wallace.
The half time break did not change the pace of the game, SMC struggled to get points on the board and the Wildcats continued to dominate.
The quarter started with Doell draining a trey from the corner. Grauerholz then got a three-point play the old fashioned way which led to Anders going to the corner for a trey of his own.
The Cats were just getting started, the next basket came from Grauerholz on an in bound play which was followed by Anders kissing one off the glass. Later, Swedberg was fouled when he was putting back a rebound so he too got an old fashioned three-point play. The quarter ended with a Doell free throw and a basket from Marquardt and Collin Swedberg.
To say that the final quarter was a quiet quarter would be an understatement. A total of 10 points was all that was scored in the final eight minutes of play. The Cyclones were able to come up with seven points, and a Swedberg basket with an added free throw was all that Wallace could come up with. In spite of the slow quarter, Wallace defeated SMC 50–28.
Statistic leaders for the Wildcats were Landon Swedberg with 16 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and two assists. Josh Grauerholz had 10 points and three steals and John Marquardt had eight points, four rebounds and six steals.
Wallace 52, HC 34
Friday night the Wildcats once again encountered Hitchcock County. Wallace had faced the Falcons in the second round of the conference tournament and came out on the short end of the battle but this encounter had a very different look. The intensity the Cats displayed in the SMC game had increased for Hitchcock County.
The Wildcats came out in the first quarter to make a statement as they scored often and in a variety of ways. Taylor Doell made it known that he would be a problem for the Falcon defense as he dropped in nine points in the first eight minutes and he was just getting started.
John Marquardt and Landon Swedberg each came up with two baskets and Josh Grauerholz added two free throws. The Wildcats had a 19–6 lead at the end of the first period of play.
The second quarter was much less eventful but Wallace managed to maintain their 13 point lead. Swedberg drained a three and later added two free throws. Marquardt then made a basket and earned a free throw which he made. The eight points gave Wallace a 27–14 half time lead.
Doell owned the second half by hitting four three-pointers and a jumper to add 14 more points to the books. Other Wildcats who contributed to the offense were Lane Scott and John Marquardt with two free throws, Swedberg with one and a big finish from Shane Anders who put up six points at the end of the game. Wallace not only controlled the offensive side of the game but the defense only allowed 10 points in each quarter of the second half.
Wallace defeated Hitchcock County 52–34.
Taylor Doell was the leading scorer of the game with 23 points. Swedberg added 10 points and Marquardt had nine. Anders was the leading rebounder with five and Swedberg had four. Marquardt led the assists with four and Swedberg led steals with five.
The Wildcats will complete their regular season when they host Creek Valley on Feb.15. The JV game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip off.