Wildcats pull away from Panthers, 65-57

HOLTON — Concordia was able to wipe out an 11-point first half deficit, but couldn’t battle back from 12 points down in the second.
Falling behind Holton 30-19 in the second quarter, the Panthers rallied to grab a 35-32 lead early in the third period.
Holton, trailing 42-41, put together a 13-0 run to open up a 54-42 advantage.
Concordia could get no closer than eight points over the final six minutes on its way to a 65-57 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday.
The Panthers, with two games postponed because of bad weather, and who had not played for two weeks, fell to 9-4 with the loss.
“You like to play quality opponents and kind of see where you are at. It would have been nice to have a couple of games before that,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said, “Our biggest problem was conditioning. We weren’t ready to play 32 minutes as hard as we can.”
Holton improved to 8-4.
Concordia had a slim 11-9 lead after one quarter of play, and a three-point shot by Grant Holmes early in the second period made it a 14-9 game.
The Wildcats went just one of nine from three-point range in the opening period, but connected on four treys during a 21-9 surge that gave them a 30-19 lead.
Samuel Tanking knocked down two of those threes, and finished with four in the game. He was averaging just six points per contest, but tossed in 20 against the Panthers.
“We knew they were going to shoot the three. They average 20 per game,” Roe said.
Concordia got a free throw by Jace Coppoc, four straight points by Cooper Holmes and a basket by Grant Holmes to climb within four points, 30-26.
Cooper Holmes, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, drained a three with time running out in the first half, and the Panthers trailed just 30-29.
Trey Tanking scored the first two points of the second half, and Holton led 32-29.
Buckets by Cooper Holmes and Grant Holmes and a tip in by Gilberth Garcia gave Concordia the lead back at 35-32.
A three by Garett Beecher tied the game at 35-35.
Beecher paced Holton with 22 points.
Trey Tanking made a layup and Beecher scored on a drive to put the Wildcats up 39-35.
Grant Holmes, who had 17 points and seven rebounds, scored inside and Cooper Holmes made two free throws to pull Concordia even at 39-39.
Trey Tanking scored for Holton, but Kaleb Pounds hit a three, and the Panthers were back on top 42-41 with 2:10 to play in the third period.
Holton responded with a follow by Mason Barton, consecutive threes by Jason Yingst and Samuel Tanking and a two by Tanking to grab a 51-42 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Samuel Tanking made another three to start the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats were on top 54-42.
“We made a couple of turnovers and they took advantage of them and got big buckets off of them,” Roe said.
Grant Holmes scored on a drive to make it 54-41.
Buckets by Yingst and Samuel Tanking pushed Holton’s lead to 58-44.
Grant Holmes made a three, and the Panthers trailed 58-47 with 5:00 remaining.
Holton pushed the lead back to 14 points, 63-49.
Concordia got a three by Coppoc and a three-point play by Ethan Bechard to close within eight points, 63-55, but ran out of time.
“They did a good job of moving the ball and running the time off, and we couldn’t keep up with them,” Roe said.
Pounds finished with seven points and five assists for Concordia.
The Panthers hit 18 of 45 field goal attempts for 40 percent and 15 of 19 free throws for 79 percent.
Trey Tanking finished with 11 points for Holton.
Concordia will host Riley County on Tuesday night.

Coppoc 1-1-1 4, Pounds 2-1-5 7, Garcia 1-0-2 2, Wetter 0-0-1 0, Bechard 2-1-5 5, G. Holmes 6-3-3 17, Nordell 0-0-1 0, C. Holmes 6-9-2 22. Totals: 18-15-18 57.
Holaday 0-1-4 1, T. Tanking 5-1-3 11, S. Tanking 8-0-3 20, Yingst 3-0-0 8, Barta 1-1-3 3, Allen 0-0-2 0, Beecher 6-7-4 22, Wheeler 0-0-1 0. Totals: 23-10-20 65.


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