Tuesday night, Circle defeated El Dorado for the second time in three meetings between the two teams this season. The first two meetings took place at El Dorado high school, with El Dorado winning the first contest 70-59. Circle got revenge in the first round of the Bluestem Classic, with a 57-48 win over the Wildcats.
The third matchup went back and forth, but the Thunderbirds came out on top 60-52 at home.
El Dorado looked dominant in the opening minutes, scoring at will and jumping out to a 14-5 lead. Circle’s Matt Hromek brought the Thunderbirds back to life in the fist quarter, going three-for-three from beyond the arc. El Dorado’s Adam Haines knocked down a three at the end of the first quarter to put El Dorado up 19-16.
After a high-scoring first quarter, both defenses stepped up in the second quarter as El Dorado added seven points, while Circle scored eight to cut El Dorado’s lead to two going into the half.
Circle continued to heat up from behind the three-point line in the third quarter, as the T-birds used three threes to help grab a 39-34 lead going into the final quarter.
El Dorado fought hard to climb back in front, but foul trouble hindered the Wildcats in the final quarter, as multiple players fouled out and Circle shot 17 free throws in the fourth quarter. Circle scored 12 points from free throws in the final quarter to hold off the Wildcats and earn a 60-52 win.
Jude Warren led Circle with 22 points. Matt Hromek made five three-pointers to finish with 15. Gunner Hutson was also in double figures with 10 points.
El Dorado was led by Jarin Koehler with 21 points. Peyton Duryea added 11 before fouling out. Cameron Clausing scored 10 points before heading to the bench with five fouls.