Bears sweep struggling Warriors
The Schuyler Central High School basketball teams traveled to Blair on Dec.17 in the second to last games before a week away from the court.
The host Bears defeated the Lady Warriors by a score of 33-24 while the Warrior boys dropping a 47-25 final score.
The Lady Warriors played the Lady Bears close throughout and nearly upset the 4-4 team from Blair.
Schuyler Central head basketball coach Dan Wolken thought his team competed well.
“I was proud of my team’s effort,” he said. “They played hard from the start, but we struggled to score once again.”
Both sides displayed strong defensive efforts in the opening quarter of action as Blair held a scant 3-1 lead through the first eight minutes.
“I think our defense has come a long way,” commented Wolken. “We are doing a great job of putting pressure on our opponents.”
The second quarter was the difference maker in the game as the Bears outscored the Warriors 10-5 to take a 13-6 halftime lead. Both teams then played on even terms in an 11-11 third quarter with SCHS still trailing by seven at 24-17.
Schuyler Central had opportunities to chip away at the Blair lead in the fourth but couldn’t quite pull off the upset.
The Lady Warriors were once again handcuffed with foul problems in the backcourt. Tasha Wolken, Reagan Folda, and Jakelin Mejia all played out the fourth quarter in foul trouble.
Ball control and valuing possessions continued to be a challenge as well.
Rachel Shonka had another strong game in the paint for the Lady Warriors leading her team with 13 points. Tasha Wolken added eight points, Yessica Rodriguez had two and Reagan Folda had one.
Wolken said his team needs to figure out a way to get better scoring if his team is going to be successful.
“Rachel and Tasha did a good job finding ways to score, but we will need to find more points if we want to have a real good chance of winning in the future,” he said.
In the nightcap, the Blair boys came into the game 5-1 and on a four-game win streak.
SCHS head coach Lyndon Beebe noted good things about his team’s effort in the defeat especially on the defensive end of the court.
“We were happy holding Blair to only 47 points,” Beebe said. Going into the game we knew that Blair was a top ten team in Class B, so we would have to defend as best as we could, and I feel like we did that.”
The Warriors found it difficult to get into a scoring groove once again as they shot just 26 percent from the field and percent from 3-point land.
The Warriors also made it to the free throw line just six times in the contest connecting on only three of those attempts.
“Their size and speed made it tough to score, Beebe said. “They are a very good ball club at the defensive end.”
Blair dominated the first quarter racing out to a 15-3 lead. The hosts kept the surge going in the second quarter outscoring the Warriors 14-6 to push their lead to 29-9 at the halfway point.
The Bears controlled the third quarter as well with a 10-2 scoring advantage over the Warriors.
With reserves seeing a bulk of the action in the fourth quarter the Warriors made the final outcome respectable outscoring the hosts 14-8 down the stretch.
Schuyler sophomore Oscar Velez had another strong outing pacing the Warriors with eight points. Aaron Langemeier, Rosel Diaz, and Easton Hall all added five points to the SCHS attack.
Hall dominated the boards for the Warriors with eight rebounds followed by Langemeier with five, Juan Gonzalez with four, Diaz with two, and Velez, Ruben Lickei and Nolan Healy with one each.
As the Warriors continue to fight for their first win of the season Coach Beebe likes the progress he is seeing.
“We’ve improved each time out this season and this game was no different,” he said. “We’re doing what we need to do to improve, and it’s showing.”
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net