The Saint Ignatius Wildcats basketball squad took on the Massillon Washington Tigers in the first battle of 2019 for both teams. The Wildcats entered the game on a 4-game losing streak, but would leave with a resounding 67-47 win.
The first quarter went routinely for the Wildcats, with a strong lead to glide into the second. Freshman Jonathan Effertz showed amazing attacking abilities, as he pulled down six points to build on the offense for the Wildcats. Kevin Davet teared down his usual number of boards, and a few points, while facing the strong 6’6 Michigan State commit Tre’von Morgan. The Basketball Cats held a 18-14 lead against the Tigers after the first.
The second quarter proved to be decisive. The Wildcats rolled to a 21-3 lead to take command of the game. Effertz added another 8 points and several other Wildcats, such as Lukas Bielek, stepped up on offense. The Tigers could manage little in response, as the Wildcats’ defense bonded together like glue under Head Coach Brian Becker ‘77.
At the half, the Basketball Cats owned a commanding 37-19 lead.
Going into the third, the Tigers’ hopes were withering away, and the Wildcats kept it that way. The Wildcats stayed strong in the third, building up a 50-30 lead. But, as the Wildcats proved it against Lake Catholic, a comeback is never impossible, so the hosts focused on avoiding a defensive letdown.
High scoring from the hot-streaked Bielek (18) and Effertz (14), along with other players such as junior Tommy Spear, ensured no comeback would be made. The Wildcats continued to play well on both ends, and finished off the Tigers in the fourth quarter, 67-47. With the win, the Wildcats moved back to .500 with a 4-4 record.
“We take a lot away from wins and we take a lot away from losses as well,” Coach Becker said after the game. The team will continue to push into the new year while running a full game with great effort all around the board.
Be sure to catch the squad on Sunday, January 6 for a 7 p.m. varsity-only battle in the Play-by-Play Classic. The Wildcats will take on the Elyria Catholic Panthers on an audio-only broadcast on the SIBN.
Also, if you're planning on attending the game, make sure to bring a coat or two to donate to the tournament's coat drive!