|Dragons beat Akron, fall to Caliche in heartbreaker|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Holyoke boys’ basketball players ended a five-game home stretch on a sour note Saturday, Jan. 29 with a five-point 58-63 loss to the Caliche Buffaloes in front of a packed and energized gymnasium.
A night earlier, Holyoke managed to beat Akron 62-47.
Coach Scott Dille said he was pleased with how the Dragons shot the ball over the two-night stretch. Perimeter shooting really came into play both nights as the Dragons knocked down nine treys Friday and five on Saturday.
Saturday’s game against the Buffaloes brought an end to a five-game home stand in which the Dragons won two and dropped three. They will now go on the road for four consecutive games.
Julian Titze looks to put up a shot against Caliche Saturday, Jan. 29.
Holyoke 62, Akron 47
Holyoke looked to improve upon their season record against the visiting Rams Friday night. After a slower start, the Dragons led 7-4 heading into the second period. Reid Baumgartner and Julian Titze both found their stroke from downtown in the second quarter to help the Dragons pull away with the game.
After taking a 26-14 lead into the locker room, Holyoke continued to pour it on in the third extending their lead 45-28. Akron put up 19 in the final quarter to Holyoke’s 17 to give the Dragons their sixth win of the season.
Baumgartner and Titze led the team scoring 19 apiece. Baumgarter hit five three-pointers while Titze knocked down four.
Brian DeBoer and Alex Quintana each finished perfect from the charity stripe with DeBoer going 4-4 and Quintana 2-2.
Holyoke 58, Caliche 63
In front of a packed and very loud gym Saturday night, Holyoke held a 51-40 lead heading into the final quarter of play. However, injuries and foul trouble plagued the home team as they saw their lead dwindle and eventually disappear, allowing Caliche to steal a win.
The teams were tied at 13 after the opening quarter and 27 at the half. The Dragons put up a 24-point effort in the third stanza to pull away from the fast and physical Buffalo team.
With Preston King on the bench with an apparent knee injury, DeBoer bothered by a hurt knee and numerous other players in foul trouble, Caliche turned up the pressure. The Dragons could only put up seven points to the Buffaloes’ 23 in the final period.
From the get-go, it was obvious the game would be a physical one with players on both sides getting banged up. Dille was proud with how players coming off the bench stepped up to help carry the load for those in foul trouble.
The pressure from Caliche in the final period got to the Dragons, which led to turnovers and quick points for the visitors. “The kids weren’t really ready for the ball pressure and that’s on me,” Dille said.
The coach said having experienced a game like that against the Buffaloes, the kids will be a little more comfortable should the situation arise again in the future.
Titze led the team with 18 points followed by Baumgartner with 14.
The Dragons will hit the road Friday, Feb. 4 when they travel to Burlington for a 4 p.m. tip off. The following night they will travel to Wray to face the Eagles at 2 p.m. Two more road games are scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 8 at Benkelman, Neb., 4 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 10 at Haxtun, 4 p.m.