In their 56-44 win over Lufkin Tuesday night (February 26), the Wildcats’ basketball team trailed the Panthers at the half, 18-16. The second half was a different story as the Wildcats outscored Lufkin, 40-26. Wildcats Basketball Coach Clark Cipoletta said the difference was patience.
He said in the first half, the Wildcats were trying to create their own shot opportunities and were working too hard to score. During halftime, Coach Cipoletta said he told the team the Wildcats offense is designed to create easy scoring opportunities. He urged the Wildcats to be patient and told them to reverse the ball a time or two. Coach Cipoletta said that would cause the defense to break down and that would make some shot opportunities come easier which should mean the Wildcats would shoot at a higher percentage.
Coach Cipoletta also said he moved Keaston Willis around some and he was able to free up and hit several threes in the second half. Those made threes then opened things some inside. Coach Cipoletta said the Wildcats rebounded well and kept Lufkin from one of their favorite things, driving to the basket. The Wildcats also blocked several shots. After the game, Coach Cipoletta turned to social media to thank the huge crowd for turning out. He said their support provided a boost for the Wildcats.
The win was also historic. No past Wildcats’ basketball team has never gone this far. The Wildcats now play Highland Park Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. The winner plays in the Regional Final game Saturday at noon. #1 ranked Lancaster and Frisco Lone Star also play Friday at around 7:30 p.m.