By LaDonna Swedberg
Wallace had a very light week of basketball due to the weather causing a cancellation.
The Wildcats were supposed to host the Brady Eagles last Tuesday but inclement weather forced the schools to call it off. The busy schedules that both schools experience at this time of year made it impossible to reschedule the game.
The Wildcats had to wait until Friday night to hit the hardwood to play host to the Hayes Center Cardinals. It was evident early in the game that this match up, like so many before, was going to be a battle to the end.
Wallace drew first blood when Shane Anders successfully completed an in-bound play for two points. Hayes Center’s Seth Gohl, however, was quick to respond with a couple of three-pointers.
The Wildcats had answers for the Cardinals, Landon Swedberg put in a free throw, Andrew Gardner turned a rebound in to two points and John Marquardt put one in off the glass. After another Hayes Center basket, Anders came back with a three-pointer and then he drove the lane and half way through the opening quarter, Wallace had a 12-8 lead.
Following a time-out, the Cardinals came out to make a statement by putting up the next three scores to take the lead. Landon Swedberg was able to put in one basket but the Red and White responded with two more baskets to give them a 19-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The intense battle continued into the second period where the two teams consistently exchanged baskets to keep the game close. John Marquardt put the first points up for the Wildcats when he scored on a put-back. Shane Anders then took over for his team by scoring the next nine points for Wallace; it started with a free throw, later a three-pointer, a few plays after that, another three-pointer, which he followed up with driving the lane for two.
With Hayes Center answering everyone of Anders’ scores, the Cats had to keep battling. Andrew Gardner turned a steal in to two points and then Landon Swedberg put back his own rebound for two.
After a couple more Cardinal baskets, Dillon Koop took an amazing assist from Tanner Clough for the Wildcats final points of the half.
Hayes Center went in at half time with a 35-32 lead.
Wallace used a variety of players and many different looks to battle their way back in the second half. Shane Anders got things started by driving in for a basket and then on the next Cat possession, John Marquardt got the bucket.
Hayes Center responded with a successful jump shot in the lane but then Andrew Gardner came back to put one in off the glass. Wallace’s next two scores came as a result of two great assists by Shane Anders; one was to Collin Swedberg and the other to Andrew Gardner.
With just under three minutes to play in the third quarter, Wallace had battled back to take a 44-42 lead but Hayes Center was not going away. Each team took turns scoring as the quarter wound down. With each basket made by a Wildcat, Seth Gohl came back with a Cardinal basket. Scoring for the Cats were Marquardt, Gardner with a basket and a free throw, Dillon Koop with two free-throws and Collin Swedberg.
The score was knotted up at 51 as the final quarter got underway and it was like Wallace had saved the best for last. The Wildcats were able to shut the Cardinals down except for Seth Gohl and the Big Blue offense just went off scoring.
Landon Swedberg got things rolling by driving in for a basket and then putting one in from beyond the arc. After Gohl put in two free throws for Hayes Center, John Marquardt got in the lane for a bucket which was followed by two more Gohl free throws.
Wallace then went on a rampage while defensively stopping the Cardinals. Anders had a put-back and a three-pointer and then Marquardt hit a jumper from the corner and then he drove the lane. Before the game came to an end, Gohl was able to get inside for a bucket.
Hayes Center was forced to foul, so the Wildcats put up points from the charity stripe. Landon and Collin Swedberg each put in two free throws late in the game. Gohl hit one final Cardinal three-pointer late in the game so the Cats responded with and Anders free throw and a basket by Tanner Clough which was a result of a steal. Wallace defeated Hayes Center with the final score being 74-60.
Leaders for the Wildcats were Shane Anders with 24 points followed by Landon Swedberg with 12 points.
Wallace will be on the road this week. The Wildcats travel to Stapleton to take on the SMC Broncos on Thursday and then they go south on Friday to compete against Hitchcock County.