The Licking Wildcats had a short week of action due to weather related school cancellations at the end of the week. On Tuesday, Jan. 4, they faced a tough Willow Springs team at the Sherman Hill Field House and came up short, 52-77.
Willow Springs (6-3) is ranked eighth in Class 4 this year. They outpaced Licking through each of the first three quarters, leading 43-31 at the half and 66-39 at the end of three. Willow’s Owen Duddridge led all scorers with 20 points. Licking trailed Willow Springs in field goal attempts and completions, and in rebounds, shooting 12/24 in two-point range compared to Willow Springs’ 27/38, and with the Bears dominating the boards with 34 rebounds to Licking’s 19.
Leading scoring for the Wildcats was Austin James with 13 points and 4 steals. Carter Sullins added eight points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Chris Bartling seven points and 3 rebounds; JB Huff 6 points and 3 rebounds; Keyton Cook 5 points and 2 rebounds; Cole Wallace 5 points and 5 assists; Roston Stockard 3 points; Austin Stephens 2 points and 2 rebounds; Eli Shepard 2 points; and Cade Richards 1 point. Licking’s record dropped to 7-5, with a 3-0 conference record.
“We got beat tonight by a team that just did what they wanted. This was the first game I felt like we didn’t make them do something they didn’t want to. They ran their stuff all night. Although we were able to turn them over some, we had too many turnovers to negate any advantage we would have had. They also outrebounded us by a large margin. It’s the first time this year we got beat that bad on the boards. We will have to play better if we want to win games for the next two weeks.” – Coach Mike Phillips