By Christopher Tenpenny
The Harrisonville Wildcats hosted Belton Friday night in what was a back-and-forth game for three quarters. Then things got out of hand for the Wildcats in the fourth quarter as Belton outscored them 20-6 and went on to win 78-63.
The Pirates put constant pressure on whoever brought the ball up the court for the entire game which led to 20 turnovers for the Wildcats. The turnovers really picked up in the fourth quarter which allowed the Pirates to lengthen their lead.
“We let their pressure bother us,” head coach Jeff Langrehr said. “And to their credit, they forced some turnovers, and we got a little rattled which turned an eight-point game into a 15-point game. Just something we need to work on.”
This was the Wildcat’s first game since Dec. 17, but they played well early on. The Wildcats actually led 42-41 at the half. Senior Brooks Langrehr scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half and kept his team in the game.
The two teams continued to trade baskets in the third quarter which ended with Belton being up 58-57. It looked like we were set for a close finish but that was not the case.
The Wildcats continuously switched up their half-court defense to try and slow down the Belton offense. Langrehr was trying to find the right fit between zone and man but Belton continued to score.
“I didn’t feel like anything worked great tonight,” Langrehr said. “We kept hoping if we switched our defense then maybe something would give them some trouble. They handled
it all pretty well.”
The Wildcats are 5-4 but have had a second half lead in all four of their losses.
“We have to close better,” Langrehr said. “We need to keep looking at it. Maybe we need to substitute more, keep guys fresher and handle the pressure better.”
Billy Bottcher had a good game for the Wildcats. Botcher was second on the team in scoring with 15 points and seven rebounds. Kobe Norris finished with 13 points on 5-8 shooting from the field.
The Wildcats were scheduled to host Kansas City Christian Academy on Tuesday before traveling to Oak Grove for a conference matchup tomorrow night.