Carter Warster’20 drives for a layup. (Sarah Neltner’20/Media)
The boys basketball team kicked off its 2019-2020 campaign with a road trip to Fredericktown on Friday, November 30. The team hopes to bounce back from its loss of 7 key seniors and to lean on some of its underclassmen in the upcoming year.
Fredericktown jumped out to a quick start, leading CA 12-6 at the end of a low scoring first quarter. The second quarter began with a Mitch Priest’20 three-pointer, kicking off an early comeback, as the Vikes tied up the game with a quick basket and a free throw before forcing four straight Fredericktown turnovers with a Warstler’20 steal, Reeves’22 block, Hess’21 steal, and Murry’20 steal to give our boys a six-point lead.
The game turned into a back-and-forth affair for the remainder of the first half and through the third quarter, as CA held a six-point lead with six minutes left in the fourth. Poor Viking shooting opened the door for Fredericktown to get back in the game, as the Freddies held possession and a two-point lead with 30 seconds remaining before Hess tipped a pass and set up a Warstler steal, forcing Fredericktown to foul. Warstler drilled the two attempts at the line to tie the game at 46, as a missed Fredericktown shot forced the game to overtime.
The storyline of forcing turnovers and missed shots continued into the extra period, as CA snagged two steals with the help of its 2-3 zone but failed to convert on the other end. Fredericktown had no such problems, making some key shots and handing Academy an opening game loss as the Vikes shot 6% from beyond the arc in the game.
After a week of practice, the Vikings played in its home opener against Grandview on Saturday, December 7. This was the first big challenge for the Vikes in terms of one-on-one matchups as our boys faced off against two of the league’s best players, Grandview seniors Luke Lachey and Brian Collier.
The Vikings started out strong, jumping out to a 7-5 start after David Cooperman’20 forced a Bobcat timeout. Grandview rallied and held a 14-19 lead near the beginning of the first. Sophomore Carter James came off the bench and drilled a three to narrow the gap to just two. The Vikes stuck with Grandview for the rest of the half, with a late steal and fast break from Warstler keeping the game well within reach for CA with a score of 23-28 to end the first half.
The Vikes found themselves in an 8-point hole with seven minutes to go when Priest hit a corner three to spark an Academy comeback. Grandview took a lengthy possession and scored a mid-range jump shot before James hit a quick three-pointer to narrow the deficit to just 4. Warstler got yet another steal and score with four minutes remaining to cut the Bobcats lead to 2.
Unfortunately, missed Academy shots and well-played Grandview possessions allowed the Bobcats to pull away, leading 41-51 with under a minute to play. A late Warstler three cut the final score to 44-51, with Warstler’s huge 17 point game keeping the Vikes close against a strong Grandview team.
The Vikes look to get in the win column with a game at Wellington on Tuesday, December 10, before taking on rival Bexley away on Friday, December 13.