Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wildcats defeat Warriors, 80-75

Alex Stoddard No. 11 prepares to pass the basketball to Logan Irwin No. 1 during the Whitko-Wawasee basketball game, Saturday, December 11 at Wawasee. The Wildcats defeated the No. 2-ranked Warriors 80-75.

By MIKE KRAUSE
The Whitko Wildcats came from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Wawasee Warriors 80 - 75. 
The Wildcats trailed by a score of 43 - 34 to end the first half.  The Warriors were nearly perfect from the charity stripe in the first half and were hot from all over the court. 
Going into Saturday’s game the Warriors were ranked second in the state in points per game scored, near 85. 
Logan Irwin; normally deadly from the charity stripe shot 6 for 10 foul shots in the first half.  The Warrior boosters yelled “Over-Rated, Over-Rated” at each of his attempts at the line.   
The third quarter was more of the same, with the Wildcats trailing by 11. Wawasee’s Jacob Thompson, (No. 30) poured in baskets scoring an unofficial 33 points on the evening. 
The fourth quarter began and most of the Whitko fans and certainly the Wawasee fans were wondering how much Whitko would lose by; then something extraordinary happened. 
Coach Rob Irwin would not let his Wildcats give up; and sure enough, behind a full court trapping defense, the pressing ‘Cats forced turnover after turnover.  The closer the score became; the more the Wildcats put the pedal to the metal in an all out assault. 
Logan Irwin lead the way for a Whitko with a 31 point fourth quarter by doing everything and more a point guard could do by breaking the press, making shots, and/or assisting. Whitko’s second leading scorer, Zac VandeWater, fouled out; and Max Elder and Derek Snep stepped up with rebounds, shot blocks, and scoring on Irwin’s assists. 
Irwin finished the night with 35 points.  VanDeWater added 18, Elder and 12 and Alex Stoddard’s 8 points.
The Wildcats demonstrated tonight that to beat a ranked team on their home court; you cannot rely on the officials. 
The boys elevated their game to here-to-fore unseen levels and beat a very, very good team.  What happened tonight was indeed rare and frankly a marvel to watch. 
Despite the first half’s over-rated chant about Irwin, Wawasee fans have to now be thinking (quietly), “Not only is that kid under rated, the entire Whitko team is under rated.”
The junior varsity Wildcats defeated the Warriors 39 - 35.  Jordan Sims lead the ‘Cats with 11 points and some excellent guard play. 
Kolten Krull scored 9 points and pulled down a half dozen rebounds in 2- 1/2 quarters of play. Ryan Wiegold had a stellar performance adding a season high 8 points for the winning cause.
The  4-1 Wildcats play Tippecanoe Valley at TVHS Friday, December 17 at 6:15 p.m. Tippy gave highly ranked Warsaw a good game losing by 12 points.  Columbia City lost by more than 12 points to Warsaw. 
Tippecanoe will be tough to beat on their court as coach Bill Patrick is always tough at home especially in conference play.

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