After a week layoff from their last competition, the El Dorado Wildcats dusted off the lingering snow and defeated the Chanute Comets 50-39 at home Tuesday afternoon to open substate play.
“I thought we played pretty well defensively and Chanute played well defensively. In the first half we were a little revved up and we struggled to get into a good offensive rythym. I felt we were impatient early but I was very proud of what we did defensively all game,” said El Dorado head coach Gary Melcher.
Despite struggling to find a consistent offensive flow, the Wildcats earned an 11-7 lead over the Comets in the first quarter. Chanute closed the gap in the second quarter and limited El Dorado’s chances on the offensive board and outscored the Wildcats 8-7 in the quarter. El Dorado went into the break with the lead 18-15.
“Their two big kids are the guys that can beat you and I thought we controlled them pretty well. We got Brock Gilmore in foul trouble and he did not score like he was used to scoring and defensively, but I thought we were solid,” said Melcher.
The third quarter was a back and forth battle as each team went tit for tat with points. Chanute got within one possesion late in the third with the score being 26-23. The Wildcats forced consecutive Comet turnovers leading to four straight points, and the Wildcats surged ahead taking a 31-25 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I think we relaxed after that. We were fighting it and fighting it. We would get up a couple possesions and wouldn’t make a good decision. At that point I think we just said lets play,” said Melcher.
The Wildcats had their highest point production of the game in the fourth, scoring 19 to Chanute’s 14 and closing out the Comets with the double-digit victory.
El Dorado was led offensively by guard Travis House who poured in 16 points including a three-pointer and going 3-4 from the line. Trevor Crain logged a solid effort with 15 points a three-pointer and going 8-11 from the stripe. Johnstone Scott and Jared Haury added 7 points each. Sam Haines was 3-4 from the line and Alec Hildreth had two points.
“We haven’t played a substate game at home in nearly a decade and to be a senior and to have that opportunity and being rewarded for our season with it was special,” said senior Sam Haines.
A week from their last competition, it could have been easy for the Wildcats to have had a lapse.
“We met as a team outside of practice on our own and ran through our schemes to make sure we were prepared for tonight’s game. Hopefully we can have more fluidity on offense in our next game and going forward,” said Haines.
Page 2 of 2 - El Dorado will take on #1 seed Coffeyville tonight as the visitors.