ELBING — The Moundridge Wildcat and Berean Academy boys’ basketball teams played at a scoring pace not seen perhaps since the days of the peach baskets nailed to the gym walls.
Moundridge used a 7-2 run in the fourth quarter to edge the Warriors 28-25 Friday night in Heart of America League play in Elbing. The loss was the first of the season for Berean Academy.
“I thought both teams played hard tonight,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “The score didn’t reflect an offensive juggernaut people like to see, but win or lose, it was a fun game to be a part of. Both teams gave all they could defensively and executed in the half-court offense. I felt the last couple of games, we haven’t put together the defensive effort we needed to get ourselves out of our comfort zone to get gassed playing good team defense. Tonight, we did a good job of that. Parker Lange was under the weather tonight, but he played a solid defensive effort in the post for us.”
“Neither team did very well on offense tonight,” Berean coach Lewis Wiebe said. “I thought we played well on defense. We gave up a couple of offensive boards late that were really huge. Other than that, I though on offense, we were very hesitant. We couldn’t make some shots. You have to make shots. I have to figure out some things to get guys in better scoring position.”
Anthony Otte and Lantonio Unruh scored seven points each for Moundridge, 3-4 overall and 1-1 in HOAL play. Ben Herrman scored 12 points for Berean Academy, followed by Micah Wiebe with 10. The rest of the Warriors scored just three points. Berean falls to 7-1, 0-1 in league play.
Down 7-3, Moundridge used some baskets in transition to end the first quarter on a 6-0 run. The Wildcats opened the second quarter with an Unruh trey. Berean closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to tie the game 14-14 at the half. Neither team scored in the last 3:06 of the period.
Moundridge was five of 16 from the field in the first half, while Berean was seven of 24.
Moundridge opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run. Berean ended the period on a 7-0 run to lead 23-21.
Parker Lange tied the game for Moundridge 84 seconds into the fourth quarter. Neither team scored again until Anthony Otte hit a short jumper with 3:30 left to play. Herrman tied the game with a layup with 2:09 left in the game.
Otte gave Moundridge the lead on a pair of free throws with 1:45 left. Otte missed the front end of a one-and-bonus with 34.5 seconds left. Berean missed a 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining. Noah Eichelberger hit one of two free throws with .5 seconds left. After a time out with .3 seconds to play, the Warriors turned over the inbounds pass.
“We had our two best free throw shooters at the line in the late stages of the game,” Unrau said. “We knocked down enough free throws. You can’t complain about eight of (11) from the line. We did a good job of contesting shots. I was really disappointed in us getting our share of 50-50 balls all season long. We got enough of those loose balls tonight to maintain possession at key points in the game, especially late in the game.”
Moundridge plays Ell-Saline Tuesday in Brookville.
“It’s a tough place to play at Ell-Saline,” Unrau said.