Boys’ basketball coach: “It wasn’t pretty by any means”

Center-Stanton Wildcats No. 24 Hunter Hoffman gets around the Max Cossacks defense to sink a basket during a Thursday, Feb. 3 game. After coming out victorious, the Wildcats reached a 2-6 region record.

By Wren Murphy

The Center-Stanton boys’ basketball team had a mixed bag of a week with two away game losses and a home game win against the Max Cossacks.

The Wildcats faced Wilton-Wing High School and lost 34-76 on Tuesday, Feb. 1. They followed it up with their 68-62 victory against the Cossacks on Thursday, Feb. 3 and a disappoint- ing 36-63 loss on Saturday, Feb. 5 against the Titans.

Their two earlier games were official Region 5 games, bring- ing them to a 2-6 region record.

Despite their victory over Max, Head Coach Andrew Mondry said the team has faced consistent challenges when it comes to controlling the game’s pace.

“We got the win and that’s what matters most, but it wasn’t pretty by any means,” he said. “That’s kind of been our kryptonite all year is getting sped up.[sic]”

Despite this, the Wildcats quickly took the lead in the game, with Hunter Hoffman giving the team seven

points before the Cossacks got their first. But, as the players sped up, the Wildcats saw several turnovers that brought Max up to a single point behind their opponents, despite a basket by Jar- ret Henke. After slowing themselves down, the Wildcats took back control and ended the quarter 17-9 after a run of eight points, courtesy of Jordan Peterson, Hoff- man and Jayden Hall.

The second quarter followed a similar pattern, with Hoffman scoring two baskets and Derin Sailer scoring one, continuing their streak from the first quarter. Once again, the Wildcats faced more turnovers in the middle of the quarter, with Max managing several steals that led to baskets. Eventually, the teams were tied. After the next timeout, the Wildcats edged them- selves ahead, despite
a rapidly increasing tempo leading to a few more turnovers. Over the course of the quarter, Hall, Hoffman, and Peterson scored. The first half closed out with a score of 34-29.

The Wildcats were plagued by similar problems in the third, but they kept better control of the court and stole several ball themselves. A smooth touch pass from Hoffman to Sailer got the crowd cheering, and they pulled themselves to 19 points ahead of their opponents. The Cossacks did make a brief comeback after gain- ing momentum with a few runs. But, the Wildcats had gotten too far ahead and kept a steady pace for scoring, ultimately giving them the 68-62 victory.

Hoffman and Hall were the game’s top scorers, get- ting 24 and 23 in total.

“[I’m] just proud of our effort and our focus. Were there things we need to clean up? Yeah, absolutely, but [I’m] just glad we found a way,” Mondry said. “We’ve been struggling recently with how they’ve been playing so to respond the way we responded after getting beat pretty good against Wilton-Wing and Garrison, I’m just proud

of how we responded to adversity.”

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