Red Raiders snap Panthers’ winning streak, 69-61
WAMEGO — The Concordia Panthers got in too deep.
In a matchup of teams unbeaten in the North Central Kansas League, the Panthers fell behind Wamego by 18 points, 43-25, about midway through in the third quarter.
Concordia, led by sophomore Cooper Holmes, charged back to within three points in the final minute, but Wamego scored five points in 31 seconds to lock up a 69-61 victory Friday night.
The loss ended the Panthers’ five-game winning streak and dropped them to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in league play.
“We gave up 69 points and that is not good enough to win games,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said, “We got ourselves back into the game, we just didn’t have enough fight.
Wamego improved to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the NCKL with the win.
The Red Raiders, led by 6-4 Eli Miller, turned a 14-13 lead after one quarter into a 34-23 halftime advantage, and then went on a 9-2 spurt to open that second half to make it a 43-25 game.
Miller scorched Concordia for 24 points.
“We couldn’t stop the big man inside. Our helpside defense wasn’t very good. Our defense in general wasn’t very good,” Roe said.
Five straight points from Holmes got Concordia started on its comeback.
Holmes hit 7 of 14 field goal attempts and 10 of 11 free throws in scoring 24 points. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and five steals.
Wamego would push the lead back to 16 points, 50-34.
Gilberth Garcia hit a three-point shot, and the Panthers trailed 50-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
Five points in the first minute of the final period left Concordia trailing just 50-42.
Trenton York made two free throws to give Wamego a 52-42 cushion.
Kaleb Pounds scored on a drive and Grant Holmes made two free throws to pull Concordia within six points, 52-46, with 6:10 to play.
Consecutive baskets by Miller again gave Wamego a 10-point advantage, 56-46.
“I think he (Miller) really played well. He is capable of playing this well, and he did it in a big game,” Roe said.
Cooper Holmes and Grant Holmes scored four points each during an 8-2 Concordia spurt that made it a 58-54 game.
After Miller scored again, Cooper Holmes made two free throws, and it was 60-54 with 1:56 remaining.
Pounds came up with a steal, but the Panthers turned the ball over.
Two free throws by Jared Ayres and a layup by John Ten Eyck put the Red Raiders on top 64-56.
Cooper Holmes completed a three-point play, the Panthers got a steal and Jace Coppoc made a layup to get them within three points, 64-61.
Miller missed a shot inside, but grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled.
His two free throws put Wamego up 66-61 with 42 seconds on the clock.
“We gave up that offensive rebound. He was bigger than our players. He was stronger than our players,” Roe said.
Cooper Holmes missed a three-point attempt, and Wamego went three of four from the line over the final 32 seconds to secure the win.
“I was proud of our kids. We just didn’t get the start we wanted,” Roe said.
Grant Holmes finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists for Concordia.
Pounds and Garcia scored seven points each.
Ayres scored 15 points for Wamego.
Concordia got out to a 5-0 lead in the game.
Wamego fought back, and went up 14-13 when Kyler Alderson scored as time ran out in the first quarter.
Leading 27-23, the Red Raiders scored the final seven points of the first half to push the lead to 34-23.
A three by Ayres early in the second half made it 37-23.
Garcia hit from 15 feet for Concordia.
Six straight points gave Wamego a 43-25 lead.
The Panthers made a charge, but couldn’t dig out of the deep hole.
Concordia plays at Marysville on Tuesday night.
Coppoc 2-0-3 5, Pounds 3-0-3 7, Garcia 3-0-5 7, Wetter 1-0-0 2, Bechard 1-0-0 2, G. Holmes 5-4-3 14, C. Holmes 7-10-4 24. Totals: 22-14-18 61.
Ten Eyck 4-0-1 8, Totten 10-1 2, Ayres 4-4-4 15, Stewart 0-0-1 0, York 2-2-3 7, Rowden 1-2-1 4, Alderson 3-0-3 7, Blain 1-0-1 2, Miller 10-4-4 24. Totals: 26-12-19 69.
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