Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 19, 2017

WACO boys knock out Cardinal

Feb 14, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Colton Horak draws contact from Cardinal’s Zackary Steele on a layup attempt.

By Andy Krutsinger,

Mt. Pleasant News

WAYLAND — The boys’ Class 1A District 10 began with a nail-biting opening round game on Monday night.

WACO hosted Cardinal in a tight district opener that ended with the Warriors holding off a late Comet rally to hang on for a 48-45 win.

The Warriors jumped into the lead early behind a balanced attack that led to an 11-8 lead at halftime. Cardinal’s Zackary Steele scored all eight points for the Comets to keep them in the game.

Steele’s teammates got into the action in the second quarter, especially Trevor Albert who scored nine points as the Comets took the lead and led by as much as four points throughout the period.

WACO cut the Comet lead to two points right before halftime, trailing 23-21 at the break. Colton Horak led the balanced scoring effort with five points after the first two periods.

Steele and Albert scored 21 of the Comets’ 23 first half points. Steele led the way with 12.

“I think as a shooter, it’s nice to start early,” Cardinal coach Patrick Stecker said about his top two scorers. “That builds confidence as the game goes on. With those two being our senior leaders, it’s nice for them to hit some shots early.”

The Warriors picked up in a full court press in the third quarter. The WACO defense forced a handful of turnovers, and stole the lead back in the first three minutes of the third.

“One of the things we were really worried about was their backcourt in Albert and Steele,” said WACO coach Paul Kissell. “One of the things we wanted to do is try to pick them up in full and let Calvin Battle, Colton Horak and Cornell Hulme use their athleticism.”

Battle was the main benefactor to the press, scoring on a handful of layups early in the third en route to nine second-half points.

The Warriors led by double-digits at times in the third quarter and held a 39-30 lead after three quarters. They were able to hang on throughout the fourth but Cardinal put together a big rally late in the fourth.

The Comets cut the lead to two points in the final minute and had the ball with a chance to win it.

Cardinal ran the clock down to the final ticks and got a good look from three-point land by Dawson Hamm, but the shot rimmed out. Nik Coble hit a late free throw and Cardinal’s full court shot to tie it fell short, allowing the Warriors to walk out with a three-point win.

“We kind of dug ourselves in a hole in the third quarter, and that’s kind of been our Achilles heel all season,” Stecker said after the game. “I was real proud of that effort. We had a shot there at the end to win and it didn’t fall.”

WACO was led by Beau Beckler, who scored nine points in the second half to finish at 11. Battle had nine. Wyatt Harbison scored eight. Hulme had seven. Horak finished with five. Coble and Jacob Fried had there points apiece and Drew Kissell had two.

Steele finished with 24 to lead Cardinal. Albert had 17. Hamm and Jarett Greiner added two points apiece.

The Warriors move on to the quarterfinals in New London on Thursday, Feb. 16. That game is the second game in a doubleheader and will begin at 8 p.m. Notre Dame and Holy Trinity will tip things off at 6:30 p.m.


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