The El Dorado and Circle boys basketball tams met earlier in the season on Dec. 15, with El Dorado coming out victorious by a score of 70-59. The two teams met again on Thursday night in the first round of the 50th Annual Bluestem Classic at El Dorado High School, with Circle winning a revenge game 57-48.

After a low-scoring first quarter, Circle held a 8-6 lead over the Wildcats. El Dorado exploded for 23 points in the second quarter, thanks to 11 points from El Dorado junior Jarin Koehler. After two quarters, El Dorado seemed to be in control with a 29-20 lead at the half.

Six different Thunderbirds scored in the third quarter to help Circle slowly erase the deficit and cut El Dorado’s lead to three going into the fourth quarter.

The Thunderbirds took advantage of El Dorado foul trouble, as the Thunderbirds shot 19 free throws in the final quarter. Circle shot 74% from the foul line, knocking down 14 free throws to distance themselves from the Wildcats in the closing minutes. Circle was able to score 23 points in the final quarter to earn a 57-48 victory and advance to the semifinals.

Jude Warren led Circle with 15 points. Matt Hromek and Lane Coulter were also in double figures with 10 points each.

El Dorado was led by Jarin Koehler with 20 points. Cameron Clausing finished the night with 13 points, while Peyton Duryea added 11 for the Wildcats.