Orioles varsity squads split with WellNap on the road
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Concordia High School boys and girls varsity basketball teams traveled to Wellington for a matchup with the Wellington-Napoleon High School Tigers.
If there is one certainty that CHS supporters took from this matchup, it would be that all four quarters of each game are equally important.
While the game certainly wasn’t over at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers had to be feeling good with the 13-5 quarter result. Only senior Madyson Langkrahr (three points) and junior Jacey Smith (two) found bottoms on their attempts, while four players for WellNap were able to score in the period.
Going into the second period, the Orioles knew they’d have to start playing well immediately or risk the victory. The girls dug deep in the second and won the quarter 12-9, dropping the eight-point deficit to just five points entering the halftime break. Senior Samantha Brackman made up for lost time with seven points in the second, while Langkrahr, Smith and freshman Cassidy Warren also contributed either one or two points each in the frame.
The third quarter could have worked out better from a defensive standpoint for the O’s, as their 15 points scored in the period were practically negated by allowing 14 points.
Heading into the fourth quarter down 36-32, the Orioles were just one good quarter away from taking the lead, but unfortunately they were outscored 11-10 in the frame, ultimately sealing their fate. Ironically, they connected on three of their four free throws, but just one field goal apiece from Smith.
Should the O’s have been able to hit more than two field goals in the first quarter, this game would have been even more winnable than it was for Concordia. Unfortunately, their comeback attempt ultimately was for not.
Langkrahr’s quiet first half was doubled in the second half, picking up five points in each quarter to give her a total of 15 points. Despite ending with 12 points, Brackman couldn’t really get it going outside of her seven-point second quarter. She contributed just a three-pointer and a two-pointer in the second half. Smith and Warren also did what they could for the squad, contributing eight and six points each, respectively.
While no coach expects perfect free throw percentages night in and night out, shooting just six-of-13 from the charity stripe does not help a team working on a comeback attempt, especially when the other team hits 11 of their 16 chances.
The loss drops Concordia to 8-10 (2-2) on the season. This was their fourth matchup with the Tigers this season, having previously fell 58-37 on Dec. 7 (I-70 Conference Tournament) and 48-38 on Jan. 15 (Wellington Napoleon Invitational), and winning 52-31 in the Lafayette County Tournament. This fourth matchup was the most competitive game between the teams, showing how far Concordia has came this season despite a bit of streakiness.
WellNap advanced to 13-7 (2-1 in conference) with the victory.
In the boys matchup, defense was merely a theory, as both teams seemed to attempt to play some, but to no avail. The first quarter was more of an exception, as the Orioles put up a respectable 17 points compared to the 11 put up by the Tigers. Both Matthew Gatewood and Kade Meineka put up five points in the quarter, with the senior Meineka putting up his points off the bench.
The second quarter is where the defense really started breaking down. Behind 12 second-quarter points from junior Cameron Kelly and another six points from junior Lane Mueller off the bench, the Orioles put up a whopping 30 points in the eight-minute quarter. The Tigers did their thing, as well, getting a combined 23 points in the quarter out of their two best players, Jordan Hill and Trey Shannon (they scored 30 of the Tigers 34 first half points). However, the offensive firepower Concordia brought was enough to give them a 47-34 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the rest of Wellington’s squad hit their stride, with Hill and Shannon tallying three third quarter points apiece. The rest of the Tigers were able to step up, scoring 19 points and taking the quarter from the Orioles, 19-17. They didn’t cut much into the 13-point deficit, but the Tigers did pick up their first quarter-victory while holding the Orioles to “just” 17 points for the second time in three quarters, so some sort of momentum seemed to be building around the Tigers bench.
Free throw shooting was again a concern for the Orioles, as they hit on 13-of-28 attempts despite allowing the Tigers to shoot 35 (of which they made 21). Luckily, not every game comes down to free throws, but the Orioles will need to improve on those numbers down the stretch.
With the win, Concordia advances to 12-8 (3-1 in conference) on the season. The Orioles lost their previous matchup with Wellington, falling 59-56 on Jan. 15 at the Wellington Napoleon Invitational.
With the loss, WellNap falls to 14-6 (2-1 in conference).