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Metro Academy 54, Louisburg 48

It wasn’t the way the Louisburg boys basketball team wanted to end its home season.

A victory against Metro Academy on Tuesday would have given the Wildcats a chance at hosting a first-round playoff game, but instead, they might have played their last home game of the season.

Metro Academy used a big fourth quarter run to help pull away and hand Louisburg a 54-48 loss. The Wildcats are now 8-11 on the season, and will need to beat Paola on Friday, along with some other help to be able move up the seed line for the playoffs.

“We talked about what was on the line going into this game,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “If we would have won our last two games, then we could have hosted a first round game. Not that it is completely out the window, but we are looking at a 9 or 10 seed right now.”

Louisburg got out to a fast start as it outscored Metro Academy 15-5 in the first quarter and the Wildcats increased it to a 14-point advantage early in the second. It was then when the Mavericks started to gain confidence.

Metro Academy finished the first half on a 14-5 run to cut into the Louisburg lead and eventually took a small lead early in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we were really good defensively in the first quarter,” Pfannenstiel said. “Some of those things we struggled with against Bonner Springs last week, we watched those on film and we were better in that first quarter. I thought we were very disciplined, but that is a talented Metro team. I think they return four guys off of last year’s team that made it tough on us last year. They have some shooters and good posts that are explosive. A lot of them are seniors and are big, physical kids. We just didn’t get done and hats off to them as they made some plays.”

Louisburg junior Konnor Vohs broke a tie early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats the lead, but Metro Academy went on a 10-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the game and the Wildcats weren’t able to bounce back.

The Wildcats were without starting point guard Weston Guetterman, who was out with an illness, but sophomore Maverick Rockers started in his place and he, along with Vohs, helped pick up some of the scoring slack. The two players combined to score 15 points to help keep Louisburg in it.

“I thought both of them played really, really well,” Pfannenstiel said. “I was pleased with everything that those guys did. They handled the ball well and took care of the ball. I think they combined for like two turnovers and that is impressive versus some kids that could really guard. They both were able to score some points for us and ran the offense, so I was definitely pleased with that.”

Three-point shooting wasn’t a problem for the Wildcats as they knocked down seven on the night and shot close to 50 percent from behind the arc. It was the inside that caused Louisburg some problems.

The Wildcats shot just 31 percent from 2-point range and they had problems finding easy baskets.

“We struggle to finish on the inside and for some reason it is hard for us to finish when we get into the paint,” Pfannenstiel said. “If you look at our 2-point percentage, it is not what you would expect. We have to get better there. Some of it is we are taking tough, contested runners where if we make that extra pass off the drive that we could get a higher percentage shot. It is not always the guys driving the ball, it is also the guys off the ball that have to make plays too to give us some opportunities. We shot it well from the outside, but we have to finish on the inside and find ways to execute offensively.”

Junior Ben Guetterman led Louisburg in scoring with nine points and had six rebounds, while sophomore Julian Margrave had a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Garrett Rolofson also finished with six boards.

Louisburg will try and bounce back to win its regular season finale when it travels to Paola. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., as the Wildcats try and avenge a loss to the Panthers from earlier this season.

“It shouldn’t take anything special to get us motivated to play Paola,” Pfannenstiel said. “We have a sour taste in our mouths from the last time we played them and have an opportunity to go to their place and get a win. We have played well over there the last couple of years, so I think it will be a good environment and is always a great rivalry.”

 

LOU               15           9             15           9 – 48

MA                5             14           18           17 – 54

LOUISBURG (8-11): Ben Guetterman 3-16 2-2 9; Konnor Vohs 3-4 0-0 8; Maverick Rockers 3-5 0-0 7; Garrett Rolofson 2-5 1-2 6; Michael Waldron 2-5 1-2 6; Charlie Peters 2-4 1-2 6; Julian Margrave 3-11 0-0 6. Totals: 18-50 5-8 48. 3-point field goals: 7, (Vohs 2, Rolofson, Rockers, Guetterman, Waldron, Peters)