HOMER — One night, one shot at a win and the Hartington-Newcastle Wildcats were hoping to find their footing on the basketball court.
Unfortunately, they fell to hosts Homer, 52-47 to drop to 3-9 this season as they are still trying to get some momentum as the season enters the final quarter of the campaign.
Next up, the Wildcats have a Friday home clash against Crofton.
Against Homer, the Wildcats were led by Jake Peitz’s monster 20 points while Kobe Heitman added seven points and Isaac Bruning and Lane Heimes each scored five points.
But it was still not enough.
“We needed to be more active with our feet defensively and make better contact on defensive box outs,” Harlington-Newcastle head coach Nick Haselhorst said. “Homer had too many second-chance points. Offensively, we didn’t execute our play calls well enough and we had too many turnovers as a result.”
Things will need to pick up a bit more when the Wildcats play Crofton Friday and hopefully coming off a campaign where they could answer LCC’s full court relentlessness.
“We will have plenty of chances to score the ball, we need to capitalize on those opportunities,” Haselhorst said. “We need to improve our mental focus which should lead to better execution.”
Haselhorst said his team’s place in conference is still up in the air, but pegs the Wildcats in the No. 10-12 range as far as seeding.
Peitz, who has started since his freshman year, has battled back from a back injury that he suffered last year and had to miss the second half of the campaign with a fractured vertebra.
Peitz said the Wildcats had a few good days of practice leading up to the Homer contest, but it would not pay off in the end.
But if he is any indication, the Wildcats can come back from anything.
“All through the summer, I had therapy and everything and here and there has been sore, but nothing major that would stop me from playing,” Peitz said. “I am a little bit more cautious in games and weightlifting.”
Peitz says he watches more film than he did in previous seasons.
“I study the film more in knowing what my options are on offense and how to score and help my team win,” Peitz said. “I am more confident in the things I am doing. When you watch film, you watch what the guy is doing and how is going to do to guard you and try to replicate what the other person is doing.”
He is a far cry from the days a growth spurt led to his back being fractured against Crofton last year and has bounced back strong.
The Wildcats, he hopes, will do the same throu these growing pains.
Harting on 13 11 1Z 11 —47
Homer 15 17 8 12 —52
HNS - Jake Peitz, 20; Kobe Heitman, 7; Isaac Bruning, 5; Lane Heimes, 5; Bennett Sievers, 4; Riley Sudbeck, 4; Seth Pinkelman, 2. Homer - K Harris, 16; K Kinzey, 12; T Harris, 10; L Gilster, 6; G Lander, 4; A Parades, 4.
HNS - Kobe Heitman, 10; Jake Peitz, 10; Riley Sudbeck, 6; Bennett Sievers, 5; Turner Dendinger, 3; Seth Pinkelman, 2. Homer - T Harris, 13; L Gilster, 6; K Kinsey, 4; G Lander, 3; A Parades, 2; L Schreier, 1.
HNS - Kobe Heitman, 5; Bennett Sievers, 4; Jake Peitz, 3; Isaac Bruning, 1; Turner Dendinger, 1. Homer - L Gilster, 7; K Harris, 4; K Kinsey, 1; T Harris, 1; L Schreier, 1; A Parades, 1.
HNS - Isaac Bruning, 2; Kobe Heitman, 2; Jake Peitz, 2; Seth Pinkelman, 2; Riley Sudbeck, 1.
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