Wildcat basketball scrapes by Cards

By: 
Seth Kinker
Sports reporter

The Minster boys basketball team improved to 11-4 (3-2) when they traveled to The Barn and defeated the Cardinals, 7-7 (1-4), on Jan. 24, 48-44.

A fast-paced, physical contest, neither side could get more than a possession or two lead before the other side answered as the game came down to the wire and was won at the free-throw line.

Cards head coach Cory Stephens knew coming in limiting Wildcats senior sharpshooter Jacob Salazar was a key as well as keeping a body on Wildcats senior forward Justin Nixon. Offensively, it was about getting the right shot.

Wildcats head coach Mike McClurg knew the length of the Cards would be a problem. He knew his team could score, but shutting the Cards down defensively was the key to the game.

“We had to rely on our defense,” said McClurg. “We knew there would be games like that (this season). We hit one three tonight. I feel pretty good with one three and the win, because we’ll hit more threes.”

The two teams traded baskets early, something they would do for the majority of the night, as they both looked to push the pace with success in the first half. The lone Wildcat three-pointer of the night from junior guard Bryan Falk gave them a 7-4 lead a few possessions in.

Cards junior guard Dan Homan would come off the bench and score six straights while adding a block to put the Cards up 10-7 with 1:16 in the first as senior forward Pat Wells picked up two fouls in the opening quarter.

Nixon would respond with back to back buckets inside to give the Wildcats an 11-10 lead after the first.

“Physicality,” said Nixon when asked about the gameplan coming in. “Just outwork them, outrebound them.”

To read the rest of this story, check out the Jan. 30 sports pages of The Community Post.