Wildcats seek rebound

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Kolton Pinkly drives to the basket for Verona during varsity action on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@monett-times.com

Blowout a result of a perfect storm

If fans were looking for someone to sugar coat or deliver bad news, Verona Coach Brad Stewart probably would not be high on the list.

Moments after Stewart’s boys hoops squad suffered the worst loss of the season, a 75-36 blowout to Billings, Stewart broke down what happened.

Eddie Gutierrez gets cut off on the baseline during action at Billings on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@monett-times.com

“When you’re flat in walk-through and warms ups, get off to a slow start against a red-hot team that plays with more energy, out-rebounds, out-hustles, hits a ton of 3-pointers and is more aggressive, you get a 39-point loss,” Stewart said. “We didn’t start playing until the third quarter, and by the end of the game we had settled in, but it was too late.”

The game was a perfect trap for the Wildcats.

First, it was the third game in four days for Verona, and the Wildcats had played a tough game with Thomas Jefferson the night before. Additionally, Verona had defeated Billings in the Walnut Grove Tournament, and it was Homecoming for Billings on Friday.

“I told the boys that tonight’s game does not affect our team goals in any way,” Stewart said. “We’ve played for two tournament titles this year and reached the final four of a 14-team tournament. Now, we begin conference play on Tuesday.”

Scoring for Verona: Caleb Hillhouse, 17; Kolton Pinkly, 17; Eddie Gutierrez, 2.

Verona plays at Golden City on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Wildcats played Purdy on Tuesday night. For results, check www.monett-times.com/sports.

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