Before the Fox Valley Association game between the host Oshkosh West Wildcats and the Appleton West Terrors, Wildcat head coach Jason Fahrney observed during pre-game warms up that the Terrors were “big and talented.”
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Fahrney’s observation was accurate.
The Terrors were just too big and too long for the Wildcats, especially down the stretch, posting a 46-35 victory over the Wildcats in conference play at Oshkosh West last night.
“This game was a lot closer than the score indicated,” said Fahrney. “I think we executed well offensively, but we just couldn’t get over that hump. And were very poor on the defensive boards. We played well defensively against their initial shots, but very poor on the defensive boards.
The Wildcats (3-3 overall, 2-2 FVA) didn’t go down with out a fight, however. The Terrors made it look like it was going to be a blowout in the first quarter, jumping out to an 11 point lead, 18-7. But Appleton West went ice cold in the second quarter, going just 2-of-6 from the field in the stanza, mostly due to an inability to finish at the rim.
The Wildcats took advantage of the cold spell, and while not able to take a lead, cut the lead to seven at halftime, 24-17.
“They got off to a good start offensively, especially from (Appleton West senior forward Jake) Verhagen, who got hot fast in the first,” Fahrney said. “We were able to stay with them for the most part, but again, we just could not get over that hump. They are a very good team.”
Verhagen scored nine points in the first quarter, and finished 16 points for the Terrors (5-1 Overall, 3-1 FVA).
Both teams fought hard in the third quarter, with Appleton West starting out real strong in the stanza, but the Wildcats fighting back and staying close. The Terrors held an eight point lead at the end of the period, but were able to pull away in what turned out to be a disastrous final quarter for the Wildcats.
With the Terrors ratcheting up the defensive pressure, the Wildcats were held to just four points from the field and six points total in the stanza. As a matter of fact, the Wildcats first points of the period weren’t until 1:11 left with two free throws from Trevor Wenig.
“We are three point shooting team, but we were 1-16 from three point land tonight,” Fahrney said. “We didn’t shoot very well tonight, and it showed.”
The Wildcats were led by Jordan Kollmann, who scored 10 points. Blake Derickson was right behind him with eight.
Appleton West…18 6 13 9 — 46
Oshkosh West…7 19 12 6 — 35
Appleton West: Berlick 5, Lang 4, Mielke 6, Nelson 7, Reader 6, Verhagen 18. 3-pointers: 5 (Verhagen 4, Nelson). FTs: 11-14. Total fouls: 12.
Oshkosh West: Derickson 8. Johnson 3, Kollmann 10, O’Keefe 2, Rodders 2, Stanek 2, Wenig 6, Doro 2. 3-pointers: 1 (Kollmann). FTs: 6-8. Total fouls: 13.