Warrior boys eliminated by Danville
The WACO boys’ basketball team got off to a slow start in Thursday night’s district quarterfinal game against Danville. The Warriors never stopped fighting, but ultimately fell to the Bears, 69-35, in the game at New London.
Danville scored the first 10 points of the postseason contest.
“We got down real quick,” WACO Coach Bob Hilmer said. “We had trouble reading their defense — they lined up a little different than what we’d seen on film, and we’re too young to make adjustments.”
Danville forced turnovers, and when the Warriors could get to the basket, their shots were bouncing out.
“The real problem was that we didn’t make a lot of easy shots,” Hilmer said.
Meanwhile, the Bears had no trouble getting on the board, scoring half of their first-half points from beyond the arc. They sank seven 3-pointers in the first two quarters on their way to a 42-18 lead at the break.
The Warriors had a chance to make some adjustments at halftime.
“We didn’t change our perimeter defense, but we tightened it up, and ... we decided to go with a perimeter-oriented offense.” Hilmer said. “We held our own in the second half.”
The WACO offense remained consistent, scoring 18 points in each half. But the Warriors allowed 15 fewer points in the last two quarters of the game and limited Danville to just one basket from deep after halftime.
“The kids always play hard, no matter what the score is,” Hilmer said.
On the night, WACO was led by Braden Blake, who scored 11 points. Bryce Achen chipped in 10.
Jackson Roth added six points, while Dylan Carlson contributed four. Tucker Janecek had three points and Jackson Gerot scored two.
Janecek had a team-high five rebounds and three steals, and Gerot pulled down four boards.
Carlson had the team’s only block.
WACO ends its season with a record of 7-15.
“We started 0-6 and then went 7-9,” Hilmer said. “So I think we rebounded pretty fair. And we were in some games with good teams that we didn’t win.”
The Warriors graduate two seniors — Dylan Carlson, a starter who averaged 12.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game to lead the team in both categories, and Michael Stutzman.
“(Stutzman) really gets after it and plays for love of the game,” Hilmer said. “He’s been a big help at practice; he does a great job.”
The Bears improve to 19-3 on the season and advance to play Holy Trinity Catholic on Tuesday in the district semifinal.