DIAGONAL —A hot start wasn’t enough for Diagonal to hold on for a victory here Monday over Adair-Casey, as the Bombers battled back for a 62-50 win over the Maroons.
Diagonal came out of the gates shooting well as freshman Jacob Taylor buried a 3-pointer from the corner of an inbound play and senior Heath Evans knocked down a pair of 3-pointers from the corner to help the Maroons build a 20-10 lead in the first quarter.
Senior Shad Haidsiak added seven of his 11 points in the opening frame. Evans finished the game with 16 points.
“I feel like we were just looking for each other, finding the open guy and just hitting shots,” head coach Matt Warren said. “We were kind of struggling with that in our first couple of games, but we shot the ball really well there in the beginning. They’re a good team and we needed to hit open shots against them.”
After the two teams traded baskets to open the second quarter, Adair-Casey responded with an 11-0 run capped off by back-to-back 3-pointers from Spencer Rochholz, giving the Bombers a 23-22 lead with 5:27 to go in the half.
During the 11-0 run, Rochholz scored eight points and Emmitt Wheatly added five points. Just minutes later, Wheatly would go on a personal five-point run himself before ending the half with another jumper to give the Bombers a 32-27 lead at halftime.
“Those guys are very good,” Warren said. “They’re tall. They’re quick. The little guy (Wheatly), he’s a good ballhandler and he made a lot of shots. We want to give up long 2-pointers, contested, and if they hit them, then we’ll be in trouble. Credit goes to him — he made a lot of those shots.”
Adair-Casey built up an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Diagonal started to climb back into the ballgame, trailing only 46-39 at the end of the third.
But, the Bombers quickly stretched the lead to 13 in the fourth quarter, and despite several turnovers and missed free throws giving Diagonal an opportunity to close the gap, the Maroons never got closer than 10 the rest of the game, losing 62-50.
“Free throw shooting hurt us and we needed a few more to go down here and there,” Warren said. “They made their free throws and we didn’t. That’s probably the difference in the game.”
The loss dropped the Maroons to 2-2 overall for the season, but Diagonal bounced back with a 63-47 win at Mormon Trail on Tuesday to improve to 3-2 overall for the season.
DIAGONAL (50) — Heath Evans 6 2-7 16, Shad Haidsiak 4 3-4 11, Blake Butler 1 3-5 7, Ryan Parrott 3 0-0 6, Jacob Taylor 2 0-0 5, Levi Jarred 2 0-0 5.