The Wheeler Wildcats looked to defend home court as they faced the Kell Longhorns in a regional match-up. The girl’s kicked off the doubleheader.
Kell started the game in a full-court press. Both teams struggled to get the offense going early on in the quarter. Midway through the first quarter, Kell began to make their shots. At the end of the first quarter, Kell had the lead 14-9.
The Lady Longhorns continued to apply pressure with the full-court press. The defense by the Longhorns caused the Wildcats confusion on offense. The Wildcats struggled to advance the ball past half court, which led to turnovers. The Longhorns took advantage of the Wildcat’s misfortunes and extended their lead to double digits to end the first half.
The second half belonged to Kell as they pulled away in this contest. The relentless pressure on defense by Kell caused problems for Wheeler as they couldn’t get their offense to click in the second half.
The Lady Longhorns secured the first win of the doubleheader by defeating the Wildcats 65-28.
The boy’s game was much closer as the two teams went back and forth in a tight game.
Wheeler offense started the game out of sync as they failed to take care of the ball. Kell seized control of the game due to the rough start by Wheeler. Kell had the lead, 17-10, to end the first quarter.
The Wildcats offense came alive in the second quarter as they started to move the ball around and attack the paint. The Wildcats went on an 8-0 run to start the second quarter. The Longhorns responded with a run of their own to regain the lead. The Longhorns were up 31-27 at the end of the first half.
Kell came out of halftime on fire as they made three consecutive shots from downtown. Not to be outdone, Wheeler answered back with three-point shots of their own. Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter. It looked like Kell would secure the lead going into the final quarter, but a buzzer-beater Wildcat layup made it a tie game going into the fourth.
The game became physical in the fourth as both teams fought to win. With neither able to gain separation throughout the quarter, Wheeler hit a big three-pointer to give them the advantage with three minutes left in the game, 58-55.
As regulation time wound down, both teams missed clutch free throws. Kell missed free throws to tie the game, and Wheeler missed free throws to put the game away. Kell trailed Wheeler 62-60 with only a few seconds left in the game. Kell drew a foul in the closing seconds of the game and made both free throws to force overtime.
The Wildcats struck first in overtime with back-to-back baskets. As Wheeler began to pull away in overtime, the Longhorns responded with a corner three-point shot to cut the lead to 69-67. The Wildcats would hold on to the lead after more missed free throws by the Longhorns.
Wheeler narrowly beat Kell 74-73 to take over the number one seed in the standings. Wheeler improved their record to 13-3, and Kell fell to 12-5. These two 6A powerhouse teams will meet again in the final game of the regular season on February 12. Don’t miss it!