“We had talked about trying to get out and dictate things and I think we did that early,” said Loogootee coach Mike Wagoner.
Out of halftime, Loogootee scored five of the first seven points of the third quarter to expand its leads to 37-19, but Washington Catholic was ready with an answer. Ethan Wichman hit a 3-pointer and Loogootee’s Dylan Street hit a pair of free throws, but the Cardinals answered with a 9-0 run to cut the Loogootee lead to 39-31.
Washington Catholic got five points from Sellars and two apiece from Brown and Taylor on the run. In the final 1:09, Nolley split a pair of free throws and knocked down a jumper to give the Lions a 42-31 lead heading into the fourth.
“Teams get complacement when you get big leads and you take chances on defense that you shouldn’t take,” Wagoner said. “We talked about that at halftime and about containing people and not letting them drive. We let a couple guys get loose on some drives and every time we would get the lead back to 15 they would knock down a three or somebody would get open. There are things we can work on and things we can learn from this.”
In the fourth, the Lions were able to push the lead to 51-36 midway through the quarter. The Cardinals came on strong and cut the lead 51-41, but they couldn’t get any closer as they lost 62-49 in a game that had been much more lopsided in years past.
Howell led Loogootee with 15 points, Nolley had 12, Sibrel added 11, Street had nine and Jayce Wagoner had six points. For Washington Catholic, Wichman had 14 points, Taylor added 10, Brown had nine, Mitchell had eight, Sellers added six and Thomas Bradley had two points.
“The second half was a really nice half with the ball, but in the first half we just had too many unforced turnovers,” Howell said.