Titans shooting shines against Wildcats

Papillion-La Vista South’s dominant second quarter propels them past Millard West


Photo by David Rochford

Senior Reese Kolar dribbles the ball up the court and looks for the open man. Although the Wildcats led after the first quarter, the team dropped their third consecutive game and will look to rebound against Westside. “As a team, we need to be physically and mentally prepared to have a solid start against Westside on Friday,” Kolar said. “We need to work together and manage their pressure to give us our best shot at getting the win.”

Joseph Ebmeier, Staff Reporter

Coming off of back-to-back large losses, the Millard West boys varsity basketball team traveled to Papillion to take on the Titans and hoped to get back in the win column on Tuesday, Feb. 1.Titans shooting shines against Wildcats

The game started out with senior Trace Thaden winning the tip and the Wildcats quickly finding junior Peyton Moore who knocked down a three pointer. After a Titan miss and a senior Avery Moore layup, Millard West had an early 5-0 lead. A Papillion-La Vista South layup and two made free throws by Thaden put the score at 7-2 with six minutes and 30 seconds left in the opening quarter. 

After two minutes of no action on the scoreboard, Peyton Moore was fouled and made both free throws to extend the Wildcats lead to seven. The final four minutes of the quarter saw the Wildcat offense go stagnant as they were only able to put up three more points while the Titans scored six. This sent the game to the second quarter with Millard West leading 12-8.

We got off to a pretty good start by finding the open man and hitting our shots,” senior Reese Kolar said. “On defense, we limited their shooters in the first few minutes and rebounded strong.”

Papillion-La Vista South started the quarter with the ball and knocked down a three pointer within the first 10 seconds. A steal and another three pointer by the Titans erased the Wildcats lead, and just 40 seconds into the new quarter they were now trailing by two. A Titan turnover followed by two more Thaden free throws tied the game at 14. 

After a string of empty possessions by each team, Papillion South hit another three pointer, and Thaden made two more free throws, giving the Titans a slim one point lead. Following Thaden’s free throws, Papillion South hit yet another three pointer, this one making the score 20-16. Throughout the final four minutes of the quarter, the Titans continued to light it up from behind the arc, and the Wildcats could not keep up. After an impressive 33 point quarter, Papillion-La Vista South went into halftime up 41-24.

“They got hot,” head coach William Morrison said. “A few of the baskets were in transition where we didn’t find their shooters right away. Once they started hitting shots, I thought they were moving faster and we just were not rotating fast enough.”

The third quarter started off extremely slow for both teams and featured a lot of great defense and turnovers. The first points of the quarter came after three minutes of play via a Titan layup. Another Wildcat empty possession followed by a Papillion South three made the score 46-24 with half the quarter left. After another minute of no scouring the Titans hit another three, pushing their lead to 25 points. 

Six minutes and 45 seconds into the quarter the Wildcats finally found their first basket, and a senior Jessie Cauble three pointer made the score 49-27. The Titans scored four more points in the final minute of the quarter while Millard West did not score any. The lone three pointer was the Wildcats only points in the quarter, and the game went to the fourth with the Titans up 53-27.

“After losing the lead in the second, we got too caught up in trying to get the lead back all at once,” Kolar said. “We turned the ball over quite a bit and couldn’t get any of our shots to fall.”

The Titans got the ball to start the final quarter; however, it was the Wildcats who found the scoreboard first as junior Cole Kirschner was fouled and made two free throws to make the score 53-29. A three pointer by each team then made the score 56-32 with five and a half minutes left in the game. Five quick points by the Wildcats gave them some life but still left them down 19. The final three and a half minutes of the game saw the Titans score five more points while Millard West scored four. When the final horn rang, the Wildcats came up short 61-42 and had dropped their third consecutive game.

The Wildcats will be at home this Friday, Feb 4, and Saturday, Feb 5, where they will face off against Westside and Gretna as they hope to erase their three game losing streak.