Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Spoiler alert: Warriors win

WACO boys upset West Burlington, knock Falcons out of first place
Jan 31, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Colton Horak (22) and Matthew Leichty (00) celebrate as the Warriors pull away in the second half.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


WAYLAND — West Burlington walked into WACO’s gym on Tuesday night with the SEISC South Division title in sight, but they walked out one game back of first after a big Warrior upset.

The Warriors played razor-sharp against the first-place Falcons, knocking them off 60-47, flipping the script on a 20-point loss at West Burlington in December.

West Burlington just needed to beat WACO on Tuesday and hold off winless Cardinal in their final game to lock up at least a share of the conference title and the Falcons were in good position after eight minutes of play. West Burlington outscored WACO 14-8 in the first quarter to take a six-point lead into the second.

WACO began to gain traction in the second quarter. Drew Kissell scored eight points in the period and Conner Eichelberger tallied five points inside as the Warriors climbed back to take the lead. The Warriors led 27-22 at the halftime break.

WACO started to pull away in the third quarter. Kissell added five points to his total and Matthew Leichty had five of his own as the Warriors inched closer and closer to the upset.

The Warriors led by as much as eight points in the third quarter. West Burlington cut it down to six points before the end of the quarter and WACO led 40-34 into the fourth.

When the fourth quarter hit, the Warriors started throwing haymakers. WACO turned up the heat even more, surging out to a 50-36 points after a flurry of fastbreak points and a bench technical on West Burlington with 5:55 left on the clock.

The Falcons did begin to stage a comeback in the middle of the fourth quarter. Tanner Snodgrass led the Falcons back to within single digits with a three-pointer that cut the WACO lead to 52-45 with 3:15 remaining.

The Falcons scored just two points in the final three minutes, however. WACO put the game on ice with a couple of layups and West Burlington stood atop the South Division no more.

“A lot of excitement (and) a lot of emotion out there on the floor (and) for us it was about staying in control,” head coach Paul Kissell said after the win. “We have three ‘Fs’; focus, finish and have fun, and we saw all three of those tonight.”

The Warriors were led by D. Kissell, who hit double-digits for the third straight game, scoring 19 points on 8-11 from the field and 3-3 from behind the three-point line.

After the game, Coach Kissell talked about his son’s recent surge in scoring, crediting his off-season workout.

“It’s just confidence in his shot,” Kissell said. “I’d like to say it’s coaching but he’s put in a lot of time this summer and now you’re starting to see it.”

Eichelberger finished with 13 points in the win to give the Warriors two double-digit scorers. Colton Horak filled the stat sheet with eight points, eight steals and four assists. Calvin Battle scored eight of his own.

Nik Coble had a huge night, scoring seven points and leading the team with 16 rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots. Leichty finished the game with five points.

The WACO boys moved to 8-10 overall and 5-9 in the South Division with the win. They will hit the road to play Cardinal on Thursday, Feb. 1.

West Burlington now has four south division losses, tied with Central Lee and New London in second place. Notre Dame sits one game ahead of the trio after a win over Central Lee Tuesday night.

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