EXCELSIOR SPRINGS – The Tiger basketball team looked to build momentum after ending a 44-game skid last week, but dropped three straight games.
The first game of the week saw the Tigers come out slow in the first quarter against Warrensburg, falling behind 21-9. The second quarter had both teams squaring off back and forth, with Warrensburg outscoring the Tigers 13-12 to take a 34-23 lead into the locker rooms.
The second half was no better for the hometown Tigers, as Warrensburg outscored them 30-10 to finalize the score at 64-31.
Junior Mason Wright led the Tigers in scoring with 14 points, as the Tigers shot 32.5% from the field, with just 14.3% coming from beyond the arc.
Game two of the week had the North Platte Panthers come to town for a non-conference matchup. Both teams struggled scoring early in the first quarter, but eventually chipped in baskets, with the Panthers taking a 23-22 lead into the half.
The second half turned sour for the Tigers when they could not get anything to fall in the third quarter, getting outscored 22-0 to fall behind 45-22 at the end of the third. The scoring drought continued for half of the fourth quarter before putting up six points in the final half of the quarter, but that was not enough. Excelsior Springs fell to North Platte, 57-28.
The Tigers shot just 16% from the field and 47.6% from the free throw line. Wright scored 10 points for the Tigers and grabbed six rebounds.
Friday night’s homecoming game had a different vibe for the Tigers as they hosted the Odessa Bulldogs.
“We challenged the guys to ask them what kind of team they wanted to be,” head coach Chad Wright said.
The Tiger offense jumped out early, putting up a 15 spot in the first quarter and held Odessa to 13 points. The offense stayed consistent for the Tigers in the second, but the Odessa offense turned up the heat as well, scorching the nets for 22 points to take a 35-30 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw both teams chip away at each other, with the Bulldogs outscoring the Tigers by a single point, 12-11, to stretch their lead to six after three.
The Excelsior Springs offense would play well in the final frame by putting up a respectable 16 points, but the Odessa Bulldogs did even better by breaking open the game in the fourth quarter. They dropped in 25 points to reach the final score of 72-57.
Senior Brandon Gluhm and junior Tanner Phillips led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points each.
The Tiger offense shot 35.8% from the field and 76.9% from the free throw line. The Tiger defense forced 11 turnovers, but converted only four points.