MOULTON — There were 15 days between district games for the Waelder Wildcats. Within those 15 days was the holiday break plus a two-day tournament in Mumford from Dec. 28-29. Starting off the new year with not only an important district game, but against the state-ranked Moulton Bobkatz is one thing. But to do so with just six players suited up is even tougher. Add to the fact that Head Coach Jacob Garcia admitted the team wasn’t as conditioned as they should have been, Waelder found themselves a formula for failure in their 55-37 loss last Friday, Jan. 4.
“I thought we played with a lot of heart,” Garcia said after the loss. “I told them before the game that if we play with heart, we’d be in the game. And we did play with heart, but what happened was we ran out of gas. We had six guys and we just ran out of gas. If we would have been in better shape, it wouldn’t have been a 20-point game. No telling if we would have won or not but I know it wouldn’t have been a 20-point game.”
The lack of conditioning showed early on as the Wildcats were called for fouls multiple times in the first quarter. With only six athletes suited up, their seventh player injured at the time, Waelder could not afford a foul out.
Garcia did not believe the fouls were a problem. In fact, he believed the whistles motivated his players.
“At the end of the first quarter we were tied,” he said. “At the end of the first half we were only down five. I don’t think fouls played a part. If anything, I think it fueled us a little bit because I think the guys felt they were playing a little eight on five. I think it helped us more than it hurt us.”
Alex Reyna led scoring in the first half, making 11 of the 19 points Waelder had. Reyna added seven more in the third but was blanked in the fourth quarter to finish with 18 of Waelder’s 37 total points. Jr Satterwhite had five points, Jacovan Fields had four and Carlos Reyes added seven points.
“I told them in the locker room somebody had to step up and Alex did,” Garcia said. “He played with heart, he played with passion, he played smart.”
“I think everybody laid it all out there, gave it everything they could,” he added. “We’re coming off Christmas break. I’m sure all of them ate tortillas and stuff like that. It is what it is. I think conditioning got us.”
Moulton took advantage of the conditioning in the fourth quarter. Up 39-30, the Bobkatz finished the game on a 16-7 run to beat Waelder by 18 points.
The loss dropped Waelder to 1-1 while Moulton rose to 3-0. With the theme of the night being conditioning, Garcia again pointed out the team needed to “get back in shape” to get back to the top of the district standings.
“I think if we get in shape, other things will come,” Garcia said. “Our defense will be better, we’ll be able to play with defensive intensity. If we play with defensive intensity we’ll be able to run-and-gun, which is what we need to do. All we got are guards. Our tallest guy is probably 5-10. First thing’s first is getting in shape. But we’ll get there.”
Waelder knocked off Fayetteville at home 44-39 on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The Wildcats travel to McDade on Friday before their bye next Tuesday.
|District 30-1A boys basketball|