The Wildcats moved to 9-2 on the season going 2-1 in the 45th annual Bluestem Classic and taking third place overall beating interleague rival Wichita Collegiate in a 74-66 overtime thriller.
Coming off a semifinal loss to Gardener-Edgerton the night before, the Wildcats had a short turnaround to prepare for a tough Collegiate team.
"I think we were too tight last night. I think that we were much more relaxed tonight. I am sure that the kids would have rather played in the championship game but we were concerned on how they would react coming back from that and they competed, and I can honestly say that we bounced back," said El Dorado head coach Gary Melcher.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 20-16 lead after the first quarter and extended that lead going into halftime with a 36-27 advantage.
"Our scoring effeciency in the first half was pretty good. We were 17-27 from the field making the most of our first half shots and possesions," said Melcher.
El Dorado was up but Collegiate was not out of the game by any means. Collegiate outscored the Wildcats in the third quarter 17-15 and 20-13 in the fourth, Collegiate went on a 9-0 run in the fourth to take a 60-55 lead.
Travis House converted a three ball from the corner and was fouled in the process, House converted the 4-point play and brought the Wildcats within a basket.
El Dorado could not stop the Spartans on the other end and conceded a second chance basket to go back down by three at 62-59 with under two minutes left in the game.
Another long ball shot this time by Johnstone Scott tied the game for the Wildcats at 62-62. Again Collegiate scored and the Wildcats tried to win the game on a final three by Scott that went array, but an offensive board by House and lay in tied the game at 64-64. Neither team could get a good look at the basket before regulation ended.
Scott came up big again for the Wildcats in the overtime period driving to the basket and getting a foul and a lay up to fall in giving the Wildcats an immediate three-point lead in the extra period.
"I know I did not do well last night and I wanted to redeem myself tonight. We wanted to get some momentum going into our next games. We are 9-12 on our coache's board and we want to work to get that number lowered," said Scott.
Scott did all he could for the Wildcats, leading with 26 points, going 8-11 from the line and dropping in two three-pointers.
The tide turned for the Wildcats in the overtime period when senior Sam Haines took a charge from Collegiate's big man Riley Kemmer who had 29 points before fouling out on the charge play.
Page 2 of 3 - "I knew what he (Kemmer) was going to do when he drove ,and I let go of my man to see if I could take that charge and I did," said Haines.
From there, the Wildcats went on to outscore the Spartans 10-2 in the overtime period to earn the third place trophy.
House finished with 23 points going 5-5 from the line and pouring in two three pointers. Jared Haury had 9 points, Trevor Crain had 7 points, Sam Haines had 6 points and Aaron Riffel added 3 points.
Travis House was named tournament MVP and voted onto the All-Tournament team.
Jared Haury also gained All-Tournament accolades.
Trevor Crain was voted to the the All-Hustle team.
The El Dorado Wildcats earned the school spirit award.
El Dorado travels to play former league foe Augusta tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Circle falls to Campus in 7th place game
Circle's rally in the fourth quarter fell just a bucket short as the Thunderbirds fell 69-67 to the Campus Colts and were unable to grab a win in this weekend's Bluestem Classic.
The Thunderbirds went down 50-43 heading into the fourth after the game had been tied at 28 at halftime.
Circle outscored Campus 24-19 in the final 8 minutes but it proved to be not enough for the T-Birds.
Circle was led by Stewart Dennison with 17 points. Kaden Kirkpatrick had 14 points including four three-pointers. Justin Wright had 13 points going 5-6 from the stripe and Seth Blaha had 11 points.
BLUESTEM CLASSIC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
2013 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM (The Top 10 players in the tournament as voted by the coaches.)
Taj Holt – Wichita Collegiate
Marcus Saucedo – Campus
Jared Haury – El Dorado
Dilon Dodson – Gardner-Edgerton
Ryan Miller – Wichita Trinity
Jeremy Lickteig – Kapaun Mount Carmel
Kyle Huppe – Gardner-Edgerton
Riley Kemmer – Wichita Collegiate
Travis House – El Dorado
Braden Hullings – Kapaun Mount Carmel
(The five players determined to have played at a maximum effort through out the tournament)
Landon Root – Wichita Collegiate
Matt Plank – Gardner-Edgerton
Damien Akao – Kapaun Mount Carmel
Trae Wrench – Gardner-Edgerton
Trevor Crain – El Dorado
SCHOOL SPIRIT AWARD
(Awarded to the school displaying the most support of their basketball team)
El Dorado Wildcats
Page 3 of 3 - FREE THROW % AWARD
(Awarded to the player with the highest FT% during the tournament with a minimum of 10 attempts)
Riley Kemmer – Wichita Collegiate 18-19= 94.7%
TOP PLAYER AWARD
(Awarded to the player receiving the most votes for the All-Tournament Team)
Brandon Hullings – Kapaun Mount Carmel
(Awarded to the player determined to be the most valuable to his team’s tournament success.)
Travis House – El Dorado