Orioles finish strong against Crest Ridge
Tuesday, Jan. 8 — I-70 Conference
Crest Ridge 47
It certainly wasn’t without some mid-game drama, but the Concordia High School Orioles boys basketball team got their I-70 Conference season off on the right foot, overcoming a comeback effort from the Crest Ridge High School Cougars en route to the 55-47 victory.
The Orioles — who fell to the Cougars in the I-70 Conference’s third-place game, 61-51 on Dec. 8 — were nearly able to double up the Cougars each quarter, jumping ahead to a 12-6 first quarter advantage behind four point quarters from seniors Lane Mueller and Matthew Gatewood.
More of the same was in store for quarter two, getting four-point quarters from seniors Mueller, Tad Deatherage, and Cameron Kelly en-route to a 14-8 quarter and a 26-14 halftime advantage. Despite putting up 11 third quarter points, all of the Orioles’ hard work was negated, as a 23-point quarter by the Cougars brought the score back to an even 37-37 mark heading to the fourth.
The talented, deep Orioles senior class took over the fourth quarter, as Gatewood (six points), Mueller (five points), and Kelly helped put the Cougars back in the cage, advancing on to the 55-47 victory.
The senior class did the majority of the damage behind a solid — and complete — showing. Gatewood (16 points) and Mueller (15 points) led the team in scoring, while Kelly (11 points) and Deatherage (seven points) had sneaky-good performances offensively as well. Troy Brandt contributed as well, as the sophomore collected five points.
The Orioles (10-4, 1-1) have proven themselves already this season, but back-to-back statement victories (Jan. 5, 67-62 over Wellington-Napoleon High School in third-place game at I70-MRVCE Challenge, and over CRHS) should leave the Orioles feeling good about themselves heading into the Wellington-Napoleon Invitational — and a possible rematch with the WNHS Tigers.
Crest Ridge fell, but a 9-4 (1-1) record bodes them well heading deeper into their I-70 schedule.