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Wildcats fall to rival Paola on home floor

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg junior Konnor Vohs drives into the lane Tuesday during the Wildcats’ game with Paola. The Wildcats fell 64-52 and are 6-8 on the year.

There are nights where everything seems to be going right, but there are others, like what Louisburg had on Friday, where things just never fall into place.

Foul trouble and tough shooting cost the Wildcats in their home contest against rival Paola and they weren’t able to recover in a 64-52 loss. It was a night where a lot went right for Paola as it shot 54 percent from the floor and took advantage of its opportunities.

“That is as good as I’ve seen Paola play,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “They were confident, and when the ball goes through the hoop, you tend to get a little more energy and they played well. We probably had a lot to do with that as we weren’t great defensively. Offensively we were even worse.

“I thought we were getting good looks, but we shot too many from the outside and I think we were settling for shots too much. Our kids are good shooters and they are confident, but we are struggling right now and are in a little bit of a funk. We have to find ways to generate offense when shots aren’t falling from the outside. Hats off to Paola, so they played really well.”

The Wildcats (6-8) weren’t able to get in a rhythm offensively as junior point guard Weston Guetterman picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter, then picked up his third early in the second quarter and had to sit the rest of the half.

Louisburg managed just 20 points in the first half, but the Wildcats trailed only 24-20 at halftime and were still in it.

“Weston’s first two fouls weren’t smart ones to pick up, and when he gets into foul trouble, it kind of changes his game and it can take away his aggressiveness and that is what he is good at,” Pfannenstiel said. “That definitely hurt us, but we have to find other ways to keep things going when our guys get into foul trouble.”

Sophomore Julian Margrave puts up a shot from the corner Tuesday against Paola.

In the second half, Paola was able to catch fire offensively as it scored 22 points in the third quarter and built a 12-point lead when Bo Robison had a put-back dunk off a missed shot with 1 second left to give the Panthers even more momentum.

Paola eventually pushed its lead to 15 points late in the contest and the Wildcats were unable to recover. Louisburg shot 34 percent for the game, but Paola was able to take advantage at the free-throw line as it converted 20 of 26 chances to just 6-for-8 for Louisburg.

Sophomore Julian Margrave led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points, while Weston Guetterman had 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. Ben Guetterman also scored in double figures with 11 points and six rebounds.

Paola’s Trey Moala led all scorers with a game-high 21 points.

Louisburg will try and bounce back Friday when it travels to Ottawa. The Cyclones are currently ranked No. 6 in Class 4A.

“I have the ultimate confidence in this group,” Pfannenstiel said. “I know that it is a group that wants to win and that works hard. It is a group that has high expectations. We are going to own up to it, look in the mirror – starting with me – and collectively get it figured out. We are going to go about it the right way and we will be fine.”

LOU               5             15           14           18 – 52

PAO               9             15           22           18 – 64

LOUISBURG (6-8): Julian Margrave 8-14 0-0 17; Weston Guetterman 5-17 2-2 12; Ben Guetterman 3-10 3-4 11; Michael Waldron 2-6 0-0 6; Maverick Rockers 1-4 1-2 4; Konnor Vohs 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 22-59 6-8 52. 3-point field goals: 6, (B. Guetterman 2, Waldron 2, Rockers, Margrave)

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