By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD ? The Winfield-Mt. Union boys had Mediapolis right where they wanted them through three quarters on Tuesday night, but a furious Bulldog comeback led to a tough 56-52 loss.
The Wolves looked good early, especially in the back court. B.J. Rodgers went off in the first half, scoring nine points in the first period and 10 points in the second period for a 19-point first half. The Wolves outscored the Bulldogs 18-8 in the first period and 17-14 in the second to go into halftime with a 35-22 lead.
The Bulldogs switched to a box-and-one defense in the second half, which closed down Rodgers? driving lanes and started to stump the W-MU offense, but the Wolves were still able to hang on to their lead, 46-35 after three periods.
W-MU couldn?t buy a bucket in the fourth quarter. The Wolves scored just six points in the quarter and allowed Mediapolis to claw back, until the Bulldogs eventually tied the game at 48-48 with 3:20 remaining.
Mediapolis scored the next two baskets to take a 52-48 advantage. Daunte Oepping cut it to 52-50 on a couple of free throws after a steal, but the potential go-ahead three-pointer by Rodgers rimmed out and Mediapolis was able to stretch their lead to 54-50 with two more free throws.
Christian Gerot cut the lead to 54-42 in the final 10 seconds. Mediapolis? Ben Wolgemuth hit one of two free throws, but the Bulldogs pulled down an offensive rebound on the miss, and Mediapolis closed the game out with one more free throw.
?We needed people to step up and make plays, and unfortunately we didn?t do that,? W-MU head coach Brad Doerring said after the game, noting the lapses in the fourth quarter. ?When it gets close, you can?t panic and start throwing the ball away. You just need to relax and get a good look.?
Rodgers didn?t score in the second half but his 19 points led the squad. Cody McCreight was second on the team with 10 points to give W-MU two double-digit scorers.
Oepping finished with nine points. Gerot had seven. Mitchell Niebuhr scored four points and Jared Arnold finished with three.