|Boys end regular season in irregular fashion|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Holyoke boys’ basketball team gave their fans a little something to think about this past week as they wrapped up the regular season. “It was a tale of two teams,” coach Scott Dille said.
Holyoke played host to Akron Thursday, Feb. 16 and handed the Rams just their third loss of the season in thrilling fashion, 74-62.
The next night, the Dragons took the short bus trip north to Ovid to face Sedgwick County—a team they felt they should easily beat. However, it was the Cougars playing with a chip on their shoulder who came away with the 68-61 win over the Dragons in overtime.
The two games wrapped up the regular season and sent Holyoke into the District Tournament Tuesday night, Feb. 21 in Holyoke. The Dragons finished the regular season with a 9-10 record.
Holyoke 74, Akron 62
Thursday night’s game began just as many of the Dragons’ games have this year, they fell behind early. Akron’s up-tempo play and great shooting helped them to an early 21-11 lead over Holyoke.
The Dragons’ never-quit attitude was evident in the second period as they chipped away at the lead and outscored the Rams 17-13 to head into the locker room down by just six, 28-34.
Reid Baumgartner drives towards the basket during Holyoke’s win
“We really got after it in the second half,” Dille said. “It was sweet.”
Holyoke exploded onto the court with momentum on their side as they outscored the rams 23-11 to open up a 51-45 lead heading into the final period.
Strong defense and outstanding offense led the Dragons to victory as they again outscored Akron, this time 23-17 to secure the win.
“They didn’t get rattled and just kept playing their game,” Dille said.
Dille noted appreciation for Jeremy Loutensock and Tito Fierro on their defensive play against Akron’s Brady Baer. “They forced him into some tough shots,” the coach added.
The coach said the Dragons did the same thing when they played in Akron earlier this year but rebounded the ball much better this go-around.
Offensively, the Dragons exploded. Reid Baumgartner led the team with a season high 37 points. He finished with one two-pointer, seven treys and 14-17 from the charity stripe. Fierro scored 12, Logan Tharp 11 and Trevor Dalton had 10 to round out double digit scorers.
“We got open shots and shot with confidence,” Dille said.
Down the stretch, Akron decided to play Hack-a-Shaq type ball and began fouling with two minutes remaining, hoping to fight back off missed Holyoke free throws. The Dragons responded by going 15-22 in the final period as a team from the free throw line.
Holyoke 61, Sedgwick Co. 68
Holyoke was hoping to end with a bang and pick up a second consecutive win to round out the regular season schedule last Friday night in Ovid.
The cross county border rivalry game usually plays up to its hype and it was no different Friday night. The game was close all night with neither team leading by more than four points at one time. However after four quarters, the teams decided they needed overtime to decide the victor.
The Cougars jumped out to the early 12-10 first-quarter lead. The steady play left the game tied at 25 after two quarters of action.
The Dragons held a one-point lead after outscoring Sedgwick County 12-11 in the third.
Jeremy Loutensock puts up a shot against Akron last Thursday night.
The game continued to stay tight and with only seconds left, Holyoke led by three. The Cougars’ Chase Dunker took an inbound pass and tossed up a three-pointer as time ran out. To the dismay of Holyoke fans, the ball went through the hoop to tie the game and force an overtime period.
Holyoke grabbed the first bucket in the extra period but Sedgwick County answered and then continued to shut down the Dragons on their way to the win.
Baumgartner led the team with 16 points. Austin Killin and Tharp were the only other Dragons to hit double digits with 12 and 10 respectively.
The Dragons were scheduled to host Wray Tuesday, Feb. 21 in the first round of Districts. Results will appear in next week’s issue of the Enterprise.
Holyoke Enterprise February 23, 2012