By LaDonna Swedberg
At this point in the basketball season, it would appear that the area teams are so evenly matched, that the competition is fierce. Whichever team can come closest to putting together four complete quarters and finish strong, is the likely team to win the game, even if that team is the team that trailed most of the game.
Wallace vs. Dundy Co./Stratton
Wallace encountered this scenario last week when they hosted Dundy County/Stratton. The Wildcats came out in the first half very much in control of the game. John Marquardt got things started when he drove the lane for the first basket of the game and then he had a great assist to Andrew Gardner who got a quick two.
Wallace had many weapons and found many different ways to score. Shane Anders drove the lane and later went long for a three-pointer; Landon Swedberg got three from beyond the arc and, shortly after, he got three the old-fashioned way followed by a short jumper. Tanner Clough added a lay-up and Gardner added another bucket to complete the first quarter scoring for Wallace and give them a 22-14 lead.
The Wildcats continued to roll in the second quarter with Shane Anders once again having the hot hand with two three-pointers and two free throws. Landon Swedberg contributed as well with a jumper, one off the glass and two free throws as well; add a buzzer beater by Dillon Koop and Wallace went to the locker room at halftime with a 38-26 lead.
Dundy County/Stratton apparently made some adjustments at halftime that changed the flow of the game and they began to chip away at the Wildcat lead.
The Tigers outscored Wallace by eight points in the third period. Landon Swedberg was able to drive the lane for a couple of baskets and get a three-pointer and Andrew Gardner put in a basket early in the quarter.
Collin Swedberg and Shane Anders each made a free throw and then Anders drained a three-point buzzer-beater to make the score 52-48.
The Wildcats continued to struggle in the final period while the Tigers took advantage of the momentum they had gained. As the quarter got underway, the only place Wallace was having success was under the basket. Anders got a couple of put backs and then he got inside to put one in off the glass.
Wallace was able to hold on to their lead until the last three minutes of the game. The only points that the cats put on the board at that point was a free throw from Gardner and Marquardt and a put back by Collin Swedberg. The Wildcats were defeated by the Tigers by a score of 66-62.
Leaders for the Wildcats were Shane Anders and Landon Swedberg. Shane had 23 points, one steal and 11 rebounds; Landon had 21 points, two steals, two assists, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Wallace vs. Arthur
Thursday night the Wildcats were on the road as they traveled to Arthur for a second meeting with the Wolves. Wallace started the game like they had something to prove; they came out and took control right away.
Landon Swedberg started the scoring with a three-pointer and then Andrew Gardner kissed one off the glass for a quick 5-0 Wildcat lead.
Shane Anders put in the next three points with a free throw and then a successful inbound play. Swedberg put up the next five by turning a steal into points, adding a free throw and then taking an assist from John Marquardt.
Marquardt then turned around and stole the ball which he took in for a lay up. Before the quarter ended, Swedberg added another bucket and Hayden Woodcox got a put back.
With a 19-7 lead, the Wildcats continued their domination into the second quarter. Swedberg put up the first four points with a put back and a basket off the glass. Marquardt then went off the next seven points for Wallace. Late in the quarter Tanner Clough, Hayden Woodcox and Shane Anders each added a basket to give Wallace a 36-18 halftime lead.
The pace of the game slowed significantly in the second half. Wallace only put up 11 third quarter points and each basket was made by a different player. Collin Swedberg put in the first basket which was followed by a three-pointer from John Marquardt. Dillon Koop then put in a jumper and then Landon Swedberg drove the lane. Late in the quarter Shane Anders put one in off the glass.
The Wildcats took a 17 point lead into the final quarter and they only tacked on eight points before the final buzzer. Collin Swedberg and Shane Anders each got a bucket and Marquardt added two baskets to make the final score 55-36.
Leading the way for the Wildcats were John Marquardt and Landon Swedberg. John had 16 points, two steals, six assists, and three rebounds. Landon also had 16 points and had four steals, five assists, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Wallace started conference play on Saturday. They defeated Wauneta/Palisade in the opening round so they will continue play throughout the week.