By Steve Kochersberger
It was a tale of two halves. Friday night’s senior night matchup between the Reitz Panthers and the Mount Vernon Wildcats saw a little of everything happen. And on a night when the Wildcats honored their seniors in the last game they will play on their home court not much went their way. The Wildcats had the halftime lead but the second half would be too much for the Cats to overcome as they dropped the game to the Panthers 84-67.
The Wildcats went down early in the game struggling to make the early baskets necessary to gain a lead. The Cats did get it turned around midway through the first period and took the lead 15-14 behind Brian Koch’s layup. The Panthers kept it close in the period and the Wildcats led 25-21 in the opening period of play.
Mount Vernon would then go on to stretch their lead to seven in the eight in the second period of play. But nothing could stop the Reitz Panthers Friday and the visitors stormed back into the game riding a 7-2 run at the end of the half to be within one. Mount Vernon led at the half 38-37 and felt good about where they were at considering the 13 turnovers they committed in the first half alone.
But where the first half the Wildcats hit their shots necessary to compete in the game, the second half would not be the same for the home team. Reitz took the lead midway through the third period of play and didn’t look back. At the end of the period the visitors led 59-53 and was able to stretch that lead even further in the final period behind the turnovers and missed shots by the Wildcats.
And when the final buzzer sounded the Wildcats found themselves on the losing end of a 84-67 game.
“Its an emotional loss,” coach Marc Hostetter said after the game. “Its tough when you lose on your senior night. We knew going in that it wouldn’t be easy and emotions ran very high tonight. We weren’t real sharp and you have to give Reitz a lot of credit. “
The game seemed to be a big disappointment to the seniors that played their hearts out but were on the losing end Friday night. Those seniors, Brian Koch, Drake McNamara, Collin Varner, Jevin Redman, River VanZant, and Brandon Roy are all appreciated for their hard work and effort these past four years and will be missed.
Leading the game in scoring for Mount Vernon friday night was Senior Brian Koch who had 17 points. Bryce Newman added 16 and Collin Varner had 15 in the contest as well.
The Wildcats now have two games left on their schedule before sectionals. Those two games this week are at Bosse and at Castle High School. And though the schedule is not doing them any favors right now coach Hostetter says the team focus right now is all on getting ready for post season play.
“Its all about the sectionals right now,” coach Hostetter said. “We have some tough games left and these last two weeks of the season has been all about preparing for the post season.”
The game at Bosse will be Tuesday night and tip off for the Castle game this Friday is 7:30.
By Steve Kochersberger
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