Second half struggles see El Dorado fall 61-57
EL DORADO—The El Dorado Wildcats showed some youth in their 61-57 loss to Winfield on Friday night.
With the calls not going their way, the boys let their emotions get the best of them in a game they saw flip in the fourth quarter in Winfield’s favor.
“I have to do a better job of controlling my emotions,” El Dorado Head Coach Drew Culbertson said.
An official removed a fan from the stands after a call and the game went on a rollercoaster of emotions after that.
Sophomore Drew Veatch picked up a technical foul for “an unsportsmanlike behavior” and the official refused to give an explanation.
All of that was only a part of what happened in this one as the Wildcats never stopped letting the calls get to them.
While it may not have the end all of the game, the way they let it seep into their play was obvious. They started bailing out at the rim on calls, not expecting to get the call or afraid to reach or properly defend as a fear or getting called.
As the Wildcats appeared flustered, Winfield flourished.
The Vikings went to the line six times and then Kamron Moore hits a corner three as the third quarter ended to pull the Vikings within one.
Kyan Towels hit two free throws with 5:01 remaining to give the Vikings the lead for good.
Winfield had their biggest lead with 3:07 when Moore drained another corner three to put the Vikings ahead 57-52.
All of that was a much different game than what El Dorado had played in the first 12 minutes of the game. The Wildcats hit threes, they drove to the basket and got calls. Sophomore LJ Berkstresser had three, “and-one” calls in the first quarter alone.
Then, Winfield started to drive and get to the rim. It forced the Wildcats and their zone to over help and sometimes leave shooters open, which happened on the Moore three-pointer late in the fourth.
Jeremiah Kemboi did everything he could late to try and help the Wildcats but they missed their last four shots of the game.
“I thought we had really high efficiency shots tonight,” Culbertson said. “Those shots for whatever reason just didn’t fall tonight.”
The Wildcats jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter behind Berkstresser’s aggressiveness. The Sophomore had eight points in the first five minutes of the game. He finished with 14 on the night.
El Dorado led 33-24 at halftime and the Wildcats had done their part. They had forced 15 turnovers and held the Vikings to 1 of 7 from behind the three-point line.
Winfield shot 3 of 6 in the second half for three and only committed only four turnovers.
“We just have to be better and not probably reach or over help so much,” Culbertson.
Berkstresser’s 14 points led El Dorado in scoring tonight, with Jaydon Sundgren finishing with 10 points. Eight different players scored at least five points for El Dorado.
Aiden Harper led all scorers with 19 points for Winfield.
The Wildcats shot 32.4 percent on the night and committed 14 turnovers in the loss. El Dorado went 2 of 18 from beyond the arc. Winfield had 19 turnovers and shot 38.6 percent.
El Dorado is now off for a couple of weeks, like much of Kansas with their winter break.
“I’d like to get back out here and play,” Culbertson said. “We have things we need to work on.”
El Dorado 19;14;15;9;—57
Winfield: Harper 19, Moore 15, Yingling 10, Towles 7, Acosta 5, George 5.
El Dorado: Berkstresser 14, Sundgren 10, Clausing 8, Kemboi 7, Veatch 5, White 5, Fowler 4, Wittenberg 4