Concordia boys take down conference opponents
The Concordia High School Orioles boys and girls basketball teams took on a slew of I-70 Conference opponents over the past week. The girls squad had trouble despite a few solid outings, while the boys were able to pull victories out over their opponents behind a few clutch performances by seniors Lane Mueller and Cameron Kelly, and one record-setting performance by senior Matthew Gatewood.
Monday, Jan. 29
In a matchup of two teams still in play for the I-70 Conference regular season championship, the Wellington-Napoleon High School Tigers took the Orioles all the way down to the wire. Late-game heroics were able to save the day for the Orioles, as they knocked off the Tigers late in their contest, 57-56.
An early six-point deficit (19-13 WNHS after one quarter) maintained itself throughout most of the game, as the halftime score found the Tigers ahead 29-22 and up 41-35 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter would prove to be a memorable one for the O’s though, as a nine-point quarter from senior Lane Mueller, six points from senior Cameron Kelly, and five points from senor Matthew Gatewood would be spearhead the comeback effort.
Held to just six points through three quarters, Mueller got busy when it mattered most, hitting three two-point shots — including the eventual game-winner — and three of four free throws in the final quarter.
Gatewood was one of two Orioles to foul out in the matchup, but not before collecting a team-high 19 points. He really locked in from deep, knocking down five 3pt shots.
Mueller (15 points) and Kelly (13 points) scored 11 points each in the second half, as did Gatewood.
The loss drops Wellington-Napoleon to 11-7 (1-1) on the season.
Concordia snapped a three-game losing streak — which included a loss to WellNap in the Wellington-Napoleon Invitational two weeks prior — to advance to 11-8 (1-1).
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Lone Jack 70
A Courtwarming game for the ages ensued when the Lone Jack High School Mules came into Concordia looking to pull off the upset. The Orioles were able to feed off of the energy and put up their best offensive performance of the season, and senior Matthew Gatewood put up one of the best performances in school history en route to the 90-70 victory.
The Orioles scored 30 points in the first quarter behind 22 points from Gatewood. He knocked down six threes in the opening frame while chipping in a two-point shot and a pair of free throws in the first quarter, and the O’s went ahead by a cool 17 points early on.
Gatewood stayed hot into the second, adding 11 more points behind a two-point make and a pair of three-point field goals. He also was fouled on a three point attempt in the quarter and knocked down all three attempts.
Tad Deatherage also got in the mix offensively in the second quarter. The senior put up seven points to help the Orioles extend their lead to 23 points.
Senior Cameron Kelly added 10 points to the team’s tally in the third quarter, while Gatewood did the majority of the rest of the quarter’s damage behind another three and two twos.
Moving into the fourth quarter, Gatewood was within striking distance of two school records — three-point field goals made in a single game, and points scored in a single game. After a trio of free throws made, he would convert on one more three-point shot. That long-range make would move him to 10 three-point shots made — a new school record — and 46 points, tying the school record set by Dennis Droege in the 1960s.
Gatewood’s 46 points were more than enough to lead the Orioles to a commanding — and memorable — 90-70 Courtwarming victory over the Mules.
Kelly finished with 16 points. His improved free throw shooting has been on display recently, s the big man knocked down four of his five attempts. He now finds himself within striking distance of his own extraordinary honor — joining the 1,000 point club.
Deatherage — who won Concordia’s Courtwarming King honors — put up 12 points of his own.
The Mules fall to 10-8 (2-3) with the loss.
Concordia moved to 12-8 (2-1) with the statement victory over a much-improved Lone Jack squad.