The El Dorado boys basketball team upset No. 7 Augusta by a score of 60-54 at Augusta High School on Friday night. With the win, El Dorado ended the Orioles’ six-game winning streak, which dated back to the middle of January.
The Wildcat victory marked the first time the El Dorado seniors were able to defeat the Orioles in their four years with the program.
El Dorado senior Jarin Koehler descried what it felt like to finally beat their rivals.
“We always look forward to these games. For the last time to play Augusta, especially at Augusta, to get a win is huge. It’s huge for me and for the whole team,” said Koehler.
“We were really tough down the stretch. We really wanted to focus on being tough. I can’t say we didn’t turn the ball over, because we did, but in the end as long as you find a way to win, that’s all that matters,” added Koehler.
Augusta looked poised to cruise to their seventh straight victory in the first eight minutes of the game. Five different Orioles scored in the first quarter as the Orioles jumped out to a 13-6 lead.
The Wildcats came storming back in the second quarter, and finished the first half with an 8-0 run to go up 21-19.
In the third quarter, both teams struggled offensively and combined for just five field goals. El Dorado was able to maintain their lead and took a 28-25 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Orioles were able to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, when Jaren Jackson knocked down a three to tie the game at 30. A couple minutes later, El Dorado’s Adam Haines and Zach Wittenberg knocked down back-to-back threes to give El Dorado a 38-31 lead. Both teams continued to trade big shots down the stretch, as the Orioles fought back to make it a two-point game in the closing seconds. El Dorado senior Adam Haines knocked down two free throws with 8 seconds and the Wildcats were able to celebrate as the final seconds ran off the clock.
“Before the game I challenged them on toughness,” said El Dorado head coach Jordon Regehr.
“For the environment, and the opponent, that was probably our toughest game that we’ve played all year. I told this seniors that that is hands down the best win of their career. When we didn’t turn it over, we got the looks we wanted. We were fortunate for some shots to go down in the fourth quarter, but toughness and poise were the two things that won us that game.”
Three Wildcat senior finished with 11 points. Jarin Koehler and Cameron Clausing each scored five field goals, while Adam Haines knocked down one three and finished 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Augusta junior Jaren Jackson led the Orioles with 15 points. Zac Burton added 12.
“Winning at home is fun, but winning on the road is better,” added Regehr.
“I’m very very happy for them. They deserved it. I’m so happy for them to get that signature victory that we feel like we’ve missed over the years.”
El Dorado improves to 5-13 and will host Buhler (6-12) on Tuesday, Feb. 19 with just a few more chances to get tuned up for the postseason.
Augusta falls to 13-5 and will travel to McPherson (13-5) on Tuesday.