Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes
Reporter Photographer 

Bobcats run into trouble over two days

 

Mark Dykes

Jake Maksin puts a shot over a Worland defender at Thursday night's home game.

Last week, the Thermopolis High School boys basketball team dropped two games, taking on Worland at home Thursday and playing at Buffalo Friday.

Things started rough for the boys on their home court, with a 72-39 loss to Worland. Coach Kevin Gerber noted Thursday was Senior Night, and had mentioned previously some might think of it as a distraction but he believes it is a good one to have. His philosophy is when the seniors have spent the time being on the team and given a lot of their time to a high school career, they deserve to be on the court first.

Among the starters was Logan Bartholomew, who after last week's games, voiced he would give up his spot. Gerber spoke to the senior and told him he earned that starting spot. Joining Bartholomew were Trey Davis, Jake Maksin, Will DeVries and Brett Nicodemus.

Gerber said it was great to see the boys come out with their parents, and he appreciates spending some time with them on the court before the game.

As to actual play, Gerber noted the struggle for the team to get going, as Worland put up 10 before the Bobcats got on the board, and Thermopolis was outscored 21-8 in the first quarter.

Gerber said he didn't feel the energy during the game, himself included. "There was something just a little off," he said. "Whether it was the game or outside circumstances. I'm not sure. It just was kind of a game where we were a little off."

With only 12 points in the first half compared to Worland's 34, Gerber said it was a tough time for sure. But, the boys came back in the third and matched Worland at 16. "That was great to see," Gerber said. However, Worland fired back again in the fourth, outscoring 22-11.

Losing 72-39 was not great, Gerber said, but noted Worland's Coach Abel was very, and sincerely, upbeat with how the Bobcats played and the great things he saw from them. Gerber noted other people are seeing what the boys are capable of, and he is very proud.

Following the game, Gerber encouraged the boys to keep a short memory of it, and he knows they did, instead looking ahead to Friday's game at Buffalo.

Scoring against Worland were: DeVries - 9; Maksin - 8; Davis - 6; Noah Schwalbe - 6; Hudson Roling - 4, Bartholomew - 4; and Nicodemus - 2.

As for that Friday game, a 70-51 loss for the Bobcats, Gerber said Buffalo had an 8-0 run on them and he saw the perseverance of the boys. While it could've turned out similar to the Worland game, Gerber said they put a quick stop to it and the first quarter had the Bobcats trailing by only two, 15-13. Gerber noted this was the result of a 13-7 run against Worland during which no one player scored all the points. "It was everybody contributing," Gerber said.

Going into the second quarter, Gerber said they ran into some foul trouble. While it wound up being a 17-15 quarter, Roling turned on the steam, scoring 11 of his 18 points. Gerber said his teammates helped him get to the basket, setting up screens and making it difficult for Buffalo to get to him.

The three big starters - DeVries, Schwalbe and Bartholomew - wound up with their third fouls for the game in the second as well. "That's where Trey [Davis] and Brett [Nicodemus], they both stepped up in a really big way," Gerber said, "coming off the bench and getting in some big minutes for us." He also had Jaxon Davis and Cade Zupan come in as well, though they were only available for two quarters.

At halftime, Gerber said they discussed playing smart with so many fouls. However, 36 seconds into the third Bartholomew and Schwalbe picked up their fourth, and not long after DeVries picked up his. "That's a hard call to make at that point," Gerber said. On one side, he could take them out and not have them play for a while. On the other, he could risk them fouling out the rest of the game.

Working with a smaller lineup of Maksin, Trey Davis, Jaxon Davis, Roling and Nicodemus, a rotation that had not seen time on the court, Gerber said they did really well.

Thermopolis was outscored 24-11 in the third, but they came out in the fourth and played really well, though Bartholomew and DeVries fouled out. Schwalbe remained on the court, going four for five on free throws and another bucket.

Aside from the score, Gerber said Trey Davis, Nicodemus, Zupan and Jaxon Davis all saw some good floor time which can really pay off with two season games left and going into regionals.

Had the team been at full strength, Gerber said, it would've been a closer game. But, he noted, it was a good lesson for the boys to learn with regard to getting into foul trouble. He was excited to see how different players stepped up.

In particular, the coach pointed out Roling's leadership skills, getting not only 18 points but seven boards and playing as long as he could after getting injured and leading the rest of the players.

Schwalbe, Gerber said, also responded well to being told to step up his game and did a good job boxing out and rebounding. Looking at his score, Gerber said Schwalbe made about one point for every minute of play he had.

Scoring against Buffalo were: Roling - 18; Schwalbe - 13; Trey Davis - 6; Maksin - 6; DeVries - 4; Jaxon Davis - 2; and Nicodemus - 2.

The Bobcats will next play at Rawlins Friday, beginning at 7 p.m.

 

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