Wildcats fall despite late surge


Craig White

Forrest Nettles, forward, defending the ball, rushes past a Lancer putting a play into motion, Jan. 13.

The Eureka Varsity Boys Basketball team took on the rival Lafayette Lancers at home, Jan. 13.

The Lancers started quick by scoring four points in the first minute and a half, prompting a timeout by Mr. Craig Kennedy, head Boys Varsity Basketball coach.

“I was concerned that we weren’t keeping them off the offensive glass,” Coach Kennedy said. “I just wanted to put a stop to that quickly.”

With the Wildcats down 14-6, Brett Geisz, guard, hit a three to cut the lead to 14-9.

Then after Lafayette scored on the other end to make the score 16-9, Geisz knocked down his second consecutive three to cut the lead to 16-12 late in the first quarter.

“When Brett [Geisz] hit those two shots it gave us confidence,” Forrest Nettles, forward, said. “After those shots we knew the game would turn into a fight.”

Both teams added a bucket each to make the score 18-14 at the end of the first quarter.

A very even second quarter, where the Lancers outscored the Wildcats 13-12, led to a 31-26 score at the half.

“We had some defensive problems,” Coach Kennedy said. “I just wanted our execution to improve.”

Just out of halftime, the Lancers jumped on the Wildcats and increased Lafayette’s lead to 11 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.

“We didn’t play with as much energy as we should have,” Mason Bendigo, forward, said. “We just kind of slowed down early in the third.”

With 1:16 left in the third quarter, Conner Walden, guard, converted his third consecutive bucket to cut the lead to seven.

“He caught fire real quick,” Bendigo said. “It sparked us and helped the team get back in the game.”

Despite the effort late in the third quarter the Wildcats trailed by nine entering the final quarter, 46-37.

The Wildcats cut the lead to three at the beginning of the fourth behind a quick 6-0 run early in the quarter.

“I think we were really running the floor well in the fourth,” Nettles said.

The Lancers answered back and led 55-49 with approximately three minutes left until Bendigo got the offensive rebound, following a Wildcat miss, and converted on the put back lay-up to cut the lead to four with 2:29 left in the game.

After the basket by Bendigo, the Wildcats were outscored 8-2 the rest of the fourth quarter and lost 63-53 overall.

Lafayette entered the game ranked ninth out of large schools in the St. Louis area, according STL Today.

The Wildcats face the Kirkwood Pioneers next at Kirkwood High School Thursday, Jan. 16.