By Steven Kochersperger
Sometimes the game of basketball is fast paced and action packed while other times it is slow moving and methodical. The latter was true of Friday night’s game at Gibson Southern High School as the Titans took on the Mount Vernon Wildcats.
And even though Gibson Southern slowed the pace to a snail’s pace at times, the Wildcats were able to adjust and responded by beating the Titans 44-39 behind a great defensive effort and patient offense.
“Overall I was happy with our performance,” Wildcat coach Marc Hostetter said.” In a game that has very few possessions one mental error is magnified and that challenges you in your head more than anything. I thought we responded well tonight and showed maturity.”
Gibson Southern came into the game with only three wins on the season and seemed to try to throw the Wildcats off their game by slowing the game down and taking as much time off the clock as they could. It’s something coach Hostetter said causes a team to value each offensive possession. “It makes you have to value the offensive possessions and get the best you can get. We made some shots early and that helped,” Hostetter said. And though it’s not the most exciting brand of basketball to watch, it seemed to work for a while for the Titans especially early on in the contest.
The slow pace didn’t seem to throw senior Brian Koch off his offensive game though. Koch scored 5 of Mount Vernon’s eight points in the first period as the Wildcats opened the game with a 8-6 going into the second period of play. It was in the second period that the Wildcats built a lead eventually finding themselves up five points. That’s when the Titans responded with a 5-0 run at the end of the period to tie the game at the half 17-17.
And while the third period saw more of the same, it wasn’t until the final period of play that the Wildcats were able to build enough of a lead to cause Gibson Southern to have to pull out of their slow methodical pace. The Cats found themselves ahead five points behind their great free throw shooting and it was too late for the Titans in the end as Mount Vernon cruised to their 14th win of the season, still the best start in school history.
Senior Brian Koch led the team with 15 points in the contest. With the win the Wildcats find themselves with a 14-2 record on the season.
This is the point in the season where every win is extremely important and the Wildcats seem to know it. “Every road win is a big win,” coach Hostetter said.
Mount Vernon hopes to continue their winning ways this week as they host the Central Bears on Tuesday and the Princeton Tigers on Friday night. Friday night’s contest is homecoming for Mount Vernon. The JV game will tip off at 6 p.m. followed by the Senior Recognition of the winter athletes at 7. Homecoming festivities will begin at 7:05 followed by the game with Big Eight rival Princeton at 7:30.
By Steven Kochersperger
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