WAELDER — Dreams of winning the District 30-1A title went up in smoke Tuesday as the Waelder Wildcats lost 50-45 to their rivals, the Moulton Bobkatz, in overtime.
Early turnovers forced the Wildcats to claw back and compete with Moulton. But in overtime, the shots just didn’t fall through late as Moulton took the victory and maintain their district lead over Waelder and Dime Box.
“I think what got us was our turnovers in the first half,” Waelder head coach Jacob Garcia said after the game. “[Moulton] had that little 2-2-1 press where they had their guys way in the back and we had six turnovers in the first quarter, so I don’t think it was turnovers in overtime, bad shots in overtime, I think it was bad shots, our turnovers in the first quarter that came to bite us in overtime. The game, we should have been up, if we didn’t have those turnovers back then.”
The Wildcats were down 34-18 midway through the third quarter before they went on a 19-2 run to finally retake the lead. During the run, big shots were made by Jr Satterwhite, Alex Reyna, Jacovan Fields, Carlos Reyes and Justin Schilhab.
“I don’t know if they like being down sometimes, but they like to claw their way back,” Garcia said. “We’ve done it before to be down so many points and we end up coming back. I don’t know if it just fuels them like that. Sometimes we have to work to get … once we get our first basket in, usually everything else comes after that but usually it takes us two or three minutes to get our first basket in, so I don’t know. It could be our offense sometimes sputters or it could be they like coming back, I don’t know which one it is, probably a bit of both.”
After taking the 37-36 lead, both teams traded shots to eventually tie 40-40. The last few minutes of the game had a mix of turnovers and a near-miss at the buzzer to go to overtime. But in overtime, after Javion Thompson made a three to put the Wildcats up 45-44, Moulton would end the game on a 6-0 run, giving the Wildcats their third loss of the district season.
“Javion is kind of our Cinderella guy right now,” Garcia said of the shot. “He didn’t play last year this year he was our manager at the beginning of the year. I’ve been telling him for two years, ‘hey man, just play,’ and he hit a big three in overtime.”
Garcia also touted Schilhab’s play in Waelder’s loss tonight. Schilhab led the team in scoring with 16 points followed by Satterwhite with 13. Reyes came away with seven points, Reyna had four points, Thompson added three and Fields had two points.
With just three games left in district, the Wildcats need a lot of help to overtake Moulton or Dime Box’s position. Despite that, Garcia believes the team is in a good position in third place.
“I was looking at brackets the other day and obviously the easiest road to regionals is winning district,” he noted. “We’d have to go through Region 32 which I believe is McMullen County. The second easiest is the third seat because, I forget which team we would have to go through but we would end up meeting Moulton again because they’re probably going to be district champs. We’re eyeing that third round because we just want to be fueled. I think this is the perfect game to be fueled.”
Other than his team growing another six inches, Garcia jokingly said, the Wildcats need to use these next few games to gain confidence and learn when to take the shot instead of passing it up. If the team can get their confidence back up, the Wildcats will be a tough out in the playoffs.
Waelder travels to Fayetteville on Friday before hosting McDade next Tuesday.