Wildcats fall to eventual sub-state champion Rock Creek team
Rock Creek High School’s varsity boys basketball team proved to be too much for Holton High School’s Wildcats to handle from the get-go.
The Mustangs handed the Wildcats a 74-44 loss — and the end of the Wildcats’ 2015-16 basketball season — on Friday during substate play on their home court. Holton head coach Ryan Noel said the loss wasn’t quite how he or the team pictured the end of the season, but the Wildcats found themselves outmatched by Rock Creek from the start.
“They’re a really good basketball team, unfortunately for us,” Noel said of the Mustangs, who went on to win the substate tournament. “We didn’t run through any offense one time on any possession. And with them playing man to man, we just had to set more screens. We just had to be more disciplined and do the things that we practiced every day, and they just did a nice job of not allowing us to do that.”
The Mustangs came out setting the pace for the entire game, outscoring the Wildcats 22-7 in the first quarter by hitting shot after shot and taking rebound after rebound. The Cats attempted to catch up in the second and third quarters, but could not manage a comeback, due partly to getting into some early foul trouble.
“At halftime, there wasn’t a whole lot of strategy discussed in the locker room,” Noel said. “I told them, let’s do the things we worked on daily, and we’ll find a little bit more success. And I think maybe we did. The score doesn’t reflect that, but I do appreciate how the kids continued to fight.”
Indeed, in recapping the 2015-16 season, Noel said his team knew they would be going into some of this year’s games “knowing that we were going to have some fights on our hands.” What made the season a good one, despite the final record — 6-10 in the Big Seven League, 7-14 overall — was that the team was willing to fight.
“That’s what you like about them,” he said. “I think we had a good season, knowing what the numbers were and winning three or four where we got hot there for a stretch. It was a nice little run.”
Friday’s game also marked the end of the Wildcat seniors’ basketball careers, including Bryson Patch, who led the Cats in scoring with 22 points, and Austin Frakes, whom Noel said played a fierce game despite getting into foul trouble, with six points off two treys. Other seniors getting notable final shots on the court included Will Wright and Kaden Brandt.
“They work hard every day, and they get a little tired of getting beaten down,” Noel said. “They just respond to those things. They’re good kids.”
Rock Creek earned a berth in the Class 4A Division II state tournament this week by taking down Topeka Hayden 75-59 in the substate championship game here on Saturday.
Rock Creek 74, Holton 44
Rock Creek 22-21-15-16—74
Holton: Patch 7 (1) 7-8 22, Frakes 2 (2) 0-0 6, Strader 2 (1) 0-0 5, Maleska 2-5 0-0 4, Brandt 0 2-6 2, Haussler 0 2-2 2, Wright 1 0-0 2, Bain 0 1-2 1. Totals 14-42 (4) 12-18 44.
Rock Creek: Becker 5 3-6 13, Vetter 4 (2) 2-2 12, Garcia 3-5 4-5 10, Zenger 2-3 4-4 8, Schlochtermeier 3-4 1-3 7, Rogge 2 (1) 2-2 7, Vogts 3-4 1-3 7, Ebert 1-1 2-2 4, Jensen 1-1 (1) 1-3 4, Dobbins 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 25 (4) 20-31 74.