It started with a few double screens to create some easy looks for Kesten Trebbe. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
It continued when the Orioles made a couple steals. Trebbe made one and flung the ball up to Kyler Steinkamp, who cashed in with an easy basket.
For Augusta’s boys basketball team, it kept snowballing and snowballing.
The Orioles trailed El Dorado 39-26 at halftime of Tuesday night’s home game in Hutter Gymnasium. But Augusta caught fire shooting the ball and rolled to a 35-7 third quarter in what has to be one of the biggest, most lopsided quarters in team history. The Orioles finished off the comeback in style, with an 85-62 victory.
“I told the kids we were playing fine in the first half. They were just hitting everything and we couldn’t buy a bucket,” coach David Stephenson said. “...I kept telling them, ‘Just hang in there.”
Much like El Dorado’s first quarter, everything just clicked for the Orioles in the third quarter. Trebbe hit three 3-pointers and converted a 3-point play.
“I was almost forced to,” Trebbe said with a laugh about being more aggressive in the third quarter. “I like that, though. We ran a bunch of set plays, and they were perfect plays. I don’t know, it just worked.”
“His last one was right in front of me. I was yelling ‘money’ as soon as it left his hand,” Stephenson said with a smile about one of Trebbe’s 3-pointers.
Connor Hurst drained a 3-pointer and finished off a 3-point play of his own. The Orioles forced seven turnovers and scored off nearly every one of them in the third.
“I thought we pressured the ball really well,” Trebbe said. “Especially with Travis House handling it up top. We shut him down.”
Augusta outrebounded E Dorado 8-3 and scored five second-chance points.
For one stretch in the third, El Dorado didn’t score for five minutes. Trevor Crain scored on a basket from Travis House to put El Dorado ahead 43-36. The Orioles scored 19 straight points in furious fashion to take a 55-43 lead. They finished the third with a 61-46 lead.
By the fourth quarter, any Wildcat attempt to ignite a comeback was foiled, sometimes by their own doing. On a scramble while trying to corral a loose ball, El Dorado’s John Scott was called for back-to-back technicals that led to an ejection.
The 19-0 run gave the Orioles their first lead since the opening play of the game when Hurst hit a 3-pointer. El Dorado’s offense was sharp and fluid from the start. The Wildcats had four assists and made most of their shots, even tightly contest shots, to open up a 25-12 lead. House hit a pair of 3-pointers, while 6-foot-5 junior Jared Haury scored five quick points as he gave the Orioles trouble in the paint early on.
A free throw by Haury put El Dorado ahead 30-12 early in the second quarter. The Orioles had to piece together some shots to just stay afloat. Steinkamp scored Augusta’s first points of the quarter at the 4:57 mark. Caleb Dunn, who played one of his best games of the season, converted a 3-point play after Chase Winter made a steal and passed it to him in transition.
Connor Scanlon scored six of his eight points in the second for El Dorado.
House finished with 21 points to lead the Wildcats and made four 3-pointers, though two of them were in the final minutes after the game was already decided. Haury and Crain both made three field goals and scored nine points apiece. Sam Haines hit two 3-pointers for his six points. John Scott finished with five and Aaron Riffel added four.
Hurst scored a game-high 26 points on 9 field goals and 5-of-6 shooting at the free throw line. Steinkamp finished with 16 points. Winter and Trebbe had 15 points apiece. Dunn scored seven, Tristan Finch added four and Caleb Laubhan scored two.
Augusta next travels to Buhler Tuesday, Jan. 29.