Hot start for Orioles boys
In back-to-back home games to start the season, the Concordia High School Orioles boys basketball team had no problem finding net while collecting victories over Smithton High School (0-0) on Monday, Nov. 16, 68-64, and Holden High School (0-0) on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 73-58. Two wins down, plenty more to go for the Orioles, who advance to 2-0 (0-0) after the opening spat of games.
Monday, Nov. 16 — Nonconference
A back-and-forth matchup ended on a victorious note for Concordia in their first taste of regular season action, as Concordia would ultimately prevail in a tight affair, 68-64.
Despite falling behind early (16-11 after one quarter, 29-26 at halftime) thanks in part to cashing in just six of 13 free throw attempts, the Orioles found their groove, picking up 18 third quarter points and bringing the score to 44-44 heading into the final frame.
After pulling in a game-high 11 points (one 3-pointer, 2-4 FTs) in the first half, senior Matthew Gatewood really turned it on down the stretch. Gatewood added six points in the third quarter on three field goals as the Orioles defense clamped down enough to let them even the score heading — and gain momentum — heading into the fourth quarter.
Gatewood absolutely took over in the fourth quarter, piling on 14 points (four field goals, 6-7 FTs) and practically willing the Orioles to victory. He finished with a game-high 31 points (one 3-pointer, 8-11 FTs).
Senior Lane Muller finished with 14 points, while sophomore Troy Brandt chipped in 10 points (6-6 FTs), including six big ones in the fourth. Seven Orioles put at least one point on the board.
Early-season comeback victories bode well for teams trying to make deep postseason runs, and the Orioles already give the appearance of a tough team to slow down offensively.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 — Nonconference
After a season-opener that provided enough drama to last two games, the Concordia Orioles took care of business, outgunning Holden High School, 73-58 behind two 20-point performances and point contributions from eight players.
After a quiet first game where he scored just five points, senior Tad Deatherage didn’t wait to get active in his second appearance, scoring nine first quarter points. The sharpshooter connected on four 3-pointers and made all three of his free throw attempts en route to a 21 point performance.
Senior Matt Gatewood had his way around the basket, connecting on eight field goals and two 3-pointers. He would finish with a team-high 25 points. Senior Lane Mueller put up another solid performance offensively, collecting 11 points. Senior Cameron Kelly did his part with aggressive defense and six points on the offensive side of things.
The Orioles regressed from the foul line, only collecting eight points on 15 attempts.
Behind a bundle of impactful performances from their seniors, the Orioles rolled to their second straight victory in dominant fashion, having scored 141 points in just 64 minutes of basketball on the year.