WAELDER — The game’s leading scorer Jacovan Fields scored Waelder’s first and last made baskets last Thursday. Between those two scores, the Wildcats led throughout the game, despite a third-quarter comeback by the visiting Round Top-Carmine Cubs, yet Waelder held off RTC with their intensity, specifically on defense, to win 56-44.
“In the first quarter we played some defense and in the fourth quarter we played some defense, that’s why we had such a big lead,” Waelder Head Coach Jacob Garcia said after the win. “In the second and third quarter we played undisciplined, ball watching, and just played bad.”
Waelder had a 16-7 lead in the first and continued playing well with scores coming from Fields, Jr Satterwhite, Isaiah Miller and Justin Schilhab. The Wildcats would then go on a 10-3 run before the visiting Cubs ended the half on a 12-4 run of their own to cut the lead to 30-22. Then a bad third quarter turned what could have been a double-digit blowout into just a one-point game.
“We had good ball movement [in the first quarter],” Garcia explained. “Whenever we did go to the basket, we didn’t get a lot of calls but in transition we finished, so it allowed us to set up our defense. In the third quarter we didn’t score a lot, so we weren’t allowed to get back in our set defense, that’s why the game got so close.”
The team shifted to a 3-2 zone defense in the second half due to what Garcia called “undisciplined defense” which allowed the Wildcats to get back to what worked best, which was points on transition.
“Once we started making buckets, whether it was through ball movement or getting the ball to the middle of the zone or finishing in transition off a steal, once we started getting shots in the basket, then we had a chance to actually set up our defense and continue to get stops,” Garcia said. “That’s what it was.”
Fields led the team in scoring with 23 points. Miller had 14 of his own. Other scorers include Carlos Reyes with six, Schilhab with six, Satterwhite with four and Jayvion Thompson with three.
Garcia touted Fields’ intensity as well as Reyes’ leadership as factors in the district win.
“Carlos led the way vocally and that’s what I need from Carlos, to be a leader vocally, not just lead by example,” Garcia said. “Carlos leads by example, but I’ve been telling him to be more vocal and in this game, he was a lot more vocal and I think the guys rallied behind that.”
During the holiday break, the Wildcats will travel to take on the Mumford Tournament this upcoming weekend before traveling to Moulton on Jan. 4 for a district-rivalry game.
During the break, Garcia hopes his players will fill some holes that were left by last year’s graduates. The head coach admitted no one has stepped in certain roles such as leading rebounder, best defender and even the all-important role of game closer.
“I’m anxious to see who is going to step up and take control,” Garcia said, “we don’t have someone who when a game gets close, who will take over the game. Everybody wants to be passive. Nobody has assumed that role yet. I’m anxious to see who is going to assume different roles because we’ve lost a few guys.”
Waelder is currently ranked 11th in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 1A state poll. Moulton is ranked 10th. Dime Box is ranked 13th.