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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Moundridge uses free throws to finish off Inman

  • Separated by only 16 miles, and having already played twice this season, there was very little not to like about a game between long time rivals Inman and Moundridge.
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  • Separated by only 16 miles, and having already played twice this season, there was very little not to like about a game between long time rivals Inman and Moundridge.
    Matching up against one another in the state tournament for the first time since 1997, six made free throws in the game’s final 38 seconds gave the Wildcats the final push and a 48-41 victory.
    With the win, Moundridge (19-5) advances to face No. 1 seed Meade (23-0) in Friday’s semifinals at 4:45 p.m.
    “Survive and advance,” Moundridge head coach Vance Unrau said about the victory. “Good news and bad news is we played a familiar opponent tonight. I think it helped us in preparation, but wow we played it a little tight near the end of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter.”
    After opening a 35-20 lead on Inman with 4:03 left in the third quarter, Moundridge appeared to have made the knockout punch on its in-county rivals but the Teutons found an answer.
    Struggling to hit jump shots, junior guard Tyler Cottam opened up a 15-2 Inman run by attacking the Moundridge interior, forcing the Wildcats to alter their approach.
    A strong defensive effort from Moundridge contained a strong shooting attack from Inman, limiting the Teutons to 23.4 percent shooting on just 11 made field goals on 47 attempts.
     “I don’t think we were nervous, I just don’t think we shot the ball well,” Inman head coach Brett
    Froese said. “We missed a lot of free throws and we just didn’t shoot the ball well, and when you get in a hole it’s just hard to come back.”
    A defensive shift by the Teutons minimized shot attempts for the Wildcats and Unrau said it was a difference maker.
    “We know each other pretty well,” Unrau said. “It’s a chess match all night long and coach Froese did a great job throwing that half court trap on us. We kinda froze up just a little bit. and they’ve got great shooters.”
     In need of a push after the Inman rally, the Wildcats looked to Garrett Higgins and the junior answered.
    Higgins’ 3-point basket pushed the Wildcat lead to five points and with each Teuton basket following, Moundridge had an answer.
    Up one with 45.1 seconds left in the game, Inman put senior guard Ryan Lorimer on the free throw line for a one and one hoping for empty attempt.
    The line drive attempt bumped off the front iron right back to Lorimer, giving the senior a shot at redemption from the charity stripe.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s frustrating but you know it’s a long rebound, it’s a line drive and boom it comes right back out,”
    Froese said. “It’s tough, I mean the rule is you can’t come move until the ball hits the rim so it’s kind of a chaotic deal. Both kids get a good move at the same time and for the inside guy it’s tough for him. It’s just one of those things.”
    A matchup against the top-seeded Buffaloes will be tough and Unrau says it’ll be important for the Wildcats to maintain their approach.
    “We’re going home and we’re going to sleep in our own beds tonight,” Unrau said. “I told the kids to enjoy it tonight but tomorrow morning you think nothing other then Meade.”
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