Wetmore, ACCHS teams have mixed results in return to action
To start 2016, just like some Jackson County teams, area teams from Wetmore and Atchison County Community high schools had tough tests to start the new year.
Wetmore started things off by hitting the road to take on Axtell and while the boys basketball team didn’t have quite enough firepower to keep up with the Eagles in a 62-26 loss, it came back strong in its next contest.
The Cardinals continued to be road warriors as they headed to Linn and, while it took an extra period, the team managed to pick up its first win of the season there last Friday.
Following a back and forth battle that saw Wetmore take leads in the first and third quarters, the team got just enough in overtime to edge the Bulldogs, 40-38.
Balance was a key for the WHS boys, as four different players chipped in at least eight points. Trey Craig finished with eight, Ethan Osterhaus had nine and the team was led by Noah Klingler and Newt Smith, who each scored 10 points in the game. Klinger and Smith also nearly recorded double-doubles, with the former grabbing seven rebounds and the latter tallying seven assists.
Next up for Wetmore (1-7) is competition in the Twin Valley League tournament, which will be held in Frankfort and first round games will be played on Saturday.
For the girls team, the week may have been even tougher for Wetmore as the team started off against 10th-ranked Axtell and closed out the week facing a pesky Linn squad.
To start the road slate, the Lady Cardinals hung tight with the Eagles in Axtell, but could not dig themselves out of an early hole. The WHS girls fell behind by 16 points in the first half and while the team rallied furiously in the second half, it couldn’t make much headway in an eventual 52-41 loss.
Dakota McQueen led Wetmore with 19 points, but Axtell’s balance was too much to overcome as three different players scored in double digits, with Eagle Courtney Heinen matching McQueen’s game-high total of 19 points.
Against Linn, the WHS girls didn’t have much more luck, falling 45-39 on the road last Friday. The team (1-6) will now look to regroup before going into TVL tournament play in Frankfort, which starts on Saturday.
Atchison County got the new year off to a little better start as, like the WHS boys, the Lady Tigers picked up their first win on the basketball court last week.
Facing county rival Atchison, the ACCHS girls used a 27-point outburst in the second quarter to take a commanding lead they would never relinquish on the way to a 54-40 home victory.
Balance was a key to success again, as Mallory Eckert and Katie Beien led the team with 13 points apiece, while Jaycee Ernzen added 10 more.
The Tigers couldn’t quite match that on Friday, though, as Hiawatha turned the tables and spread around their offensive attack on the way to a 52-22 victory over ACCHS.
Now, Atchison County (1-6) will get ready for another big challenge as the team travels to Seneca to take on Nemaha Central this Friday with games starting at 4:30 p.m.
Two 20-point quarters from Atchison were too much for the ACCHS boys to overcome last Tuesday, despite getting 21 points in the third quarter and 19 points individually from Trever Smith.
With Ryder McAlexander finishing as the next highest scorer with seven points, though, the Tigers just did not have enough to keep up with the Redmen in a 76-41 loss.
Despite a slow start, things went a little bit better for the ACCHS boys against Hiawatha, keeping the deficit to single digits at halftime.
The Red Hawks gradually pulled away behind the tandem of Joseph Kunkel and Ethan Pierce (27 combined points), even though Smith was strong again with 12 points for the Tigers.
Atchison County (0-7) will continue its challenging path to start 2016 as the team gets set for a road contest at Nemaha Central this Friday. Games will begin at 4:30 p.m.
On the wrestling mat, ACCHS headed to Rossville for a loaded tournament in which the team placed 12th overall with six wrestlers competing. Individually, the Tigers had a lot of success as five of those six ended up medaling.
Hunter Ostertag (3-1), Class 3-2-1A’s second-ranked 132-lb. wrestler, led the charge, finishing runner-up to undefeated Bryce Erickson of Class 4A Santa Fe Trail (ranked fourth in his class). The championship match was decided by a tight 10-5 decision.
Ryan Hanshaw (2-2) also finished fourth at 285 lbs., while Karl Scholz (2-2) was another top finisher, taking fifth at 120 lbs. Hunter Evans (138 lbs., 1-3) and Makaea Forbes (195 lbs., 1-3) also added a pair of sixth-place finishes for ACCHS.
Next up, Atchison County will head to Basehor to compete in the Bobcat Classic, a two-day tournament starting on Friday.