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Wamego pulls away from Panthers

WAMEGO —  Playing their first game in three weeks, the Concordia Panthers were in position midway through the third quarter to pick up a second consecutive North Central Kansas League victory.
Trailing Wamego by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Panthers were down just 23-22 when Kendall Reynolds scored about midway through the third period.
Wamego would outscore Concordia 20-9 the rest of the way to post a 43-31 victory Friday night.
“We beat ourselves in the terms of turnovers and rebounding,” Concordia interim coach Carly Bloomfield said.
Concordia, now 2-3 overall and 1-2 in league play, had knocked off Abilene in the final game prior to semester break, back on December 17.
The Panthers battled back from that 11-point deficit in the second period to get within a point, but couldn’t keep pace with the Red Raiders over the final quarter and a half.
“We are not even shooting the ball enough to score enough points to win,” Bloomfield said. “We have got to work on rebounding, turnovers and getting more shot opportunities, which obviously the turnovers play a part in the lack of shot opportunities.”
Concordia had an early 3-1 lead in the game, but scored just four points over the final 5:30 of the first quarter.
Wamego got three-point baskets by Addison Denney and Ryan Alderson, tossing in 14 points during that stretch to go up 15-7 going into the second quarter.
A three-point play by Denney, who led the Red Raiders with 12 points, made it an 18-7 game 22 seconds into the second stanza.
Wamego would then go nearly five minutes without scoring.
“We were getting defensive stops, for sure. They like to dribble drive, and we really worked hard in practice on guarding the screens, and I think when we did it correctly we were able to get the stops,” Bloomfield said.
Chloe Conway connected on three of four free throws, Hannah Acree knocked down a three-point shot and Carlie Carlgren scored inside to get Concordia within three points, 18-15, with 1:50 remaining in the first half.
Candace Kueker made one of two free throws 10 seconds later, and Wamego led 19-15.
Reynolds went one of two from the line, and it was 19-16.
Carlgren grabbed an offensive rebound and scored as time expired in the first half, and the Panthers were down just 19-18.
The two teams went back and forth over the first four minutes of the second half, and it was a 23-22 game.
Back-to-back baskets by Alexis Billings and Grace Williams gave Wamego a 27-22 advantage with 3:10 to play in the third quarter.
Reynolds, who led Concordia with 10 points, scored inside to close the gap to 27-24.
Wamego got baskets by Williams and Denney and two free throws by Alderson to stretch the lead to 33-24.
Reynolds made one of two free throws in the final seconds of the quarter, and the Panthers trailed 33-25.
Acree scored off an offensive rebound early in the final period to make it 33-27.
Wamego got a bucket by Denney and a three-point play by Toree Hoobler to up the lead to 38-27 with 5:15 on the clock.
A pair of free throws by Reynolds with 4:10 to play left Concordia trailing 38-29.
The Panthers would score just two more points on free throws by Carlgren the rest of the way.
Concordia had Acree and Carlgren score six points each in the game.
Denney led the way for Wamego with 12 points.
Hoobler finished with 10 points.
Concordia will host Marysville in a league game on Tuesday night.
The two teams just played back on December 15 with Marysville winning, 53-27.
“I am really excited to get started again so we can get back into the groove and start fixing these little things that we need to fix,” Bloomfield said.

Bechard 0-0-3 0, Acree 2-1-1 6, Conway 1-3-4 5, Reynolds 3-4-2 10, Rundus 2-0-2 4, Carlgren 2-2-4 6. Totals: 10-10-16 31.
Billings 2-1-2 5, To. Hoobler 3-4-4 10, Denney 4-3-3 12, Williams 3-0-2 6, Alderson 3-2-4 7, Kueker 0-1-3 0, Tr. Hoobler 1-0-2 2, Springer 0-0-1 0. Totals: 15-11-21 43.


Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901