Concordia boys give valiant effort, come up short in W-K Holiday Shootout
On Wednesday, Dec. 27, the Concordia High School boys basketball team traveled to State Fair Community College, in Sedalia, for a 9 p.m. non-conference matchup with the Lincoln High School Cardinals in the W-K Holiday Shoot-Out. Despite excellent performances from a trio of Orioles led by junior Tad Deatherage, the team fell just short of completing the double-digit comeback, losing 59-56.
Concordia’s big story in this one was the attempted (and almost completed) comeback led by Deatherage. He absolutely took over the game, posting a game-high 25 points on a ridiculous seven three-point field goals. Although his team went into the half down eight points (31-23), Deatherage turned it into an opportunity to display his deadeye from outside, seemingly unable to miss for long stretches.
Deatherage’s dominance helped open the door for other players, including Kade Meineka. Coming off the bench, the senior finished with 10 points, good for the second highest total on his team, despite not subbing in during the first quarter.
While Lincoln brought a more balanced offensive attack (three players scored between 11 and 16 points each, while another cashed in nine points), the trio of Deatherage, Meineka and junior Matt Gatewood (nine points) did everything in their power to put up enough offense for the win. The three combined for a ridiculous 37 of their team’s final 42 points, including a combined 28 points in the second half (out of 33 CHS second-half points). The game came down to an attempted game-tying three, but good defensive pressure forced the attempt to clank off.
Although the Orioles outscored LHS by five in the fourth quarter, the ultimate decider of the game came between the whistles — free throws. On one side, Concordia hit on four of their seven attempts (and while nobody expects a team to hit every single one, a 100 percent free-throw percentage in this one — or hitting on any of them, most likely — could have made a world of difference in the both their strategy down the stretch and also the result it yielded.
On the other side, however, the Cardinals shot a nice 68 percent from the stripe, connecting on 15 of their 22 attempts. Not only did they hit their charity shots at a higher percentage, but they also shot more than three-times as many of free-throws and scored 11 points more from them than did Concordia.
The Orioles have been struggling to win the free-throw battle (such as their 8-of-25 performance against Smithton High School, or their 9-of-21 performance against Knob Noster High School). Concordia will need to continue working to fix this deficiency, as it appears to be among their weakest qualities — ipso facto, that’s partially because they’ve played highly solid basketball throughout the first half of the season.
The victory advanced the Cardinals to 6-2 on the season. They are not scheduled to compete against any teams representing the I-70 Conference in the remaining portion of their regular season.
As for Concordia, the loss dropped them to 7-3, with no I-70 Conference games played yet this season. Their next four regular-season games are against I-70 Conference opponents, starting with road matches on Jan. 9 (Crest Ridge High School) and Jan. 12 (Lone Jack High School).