El Dorado was the team Andale had been waiting to play against.
“We’ve been thinking about El Dorado for a long time,” Andale’s Ben Seiler said. “We’ve seen them get in the top 10 in rankings, and we’ve heard a lot of hype about them.”
So it was a surprise to Andale when it went on a 26-0 run to open the game, leading the Indians to a 57-38 victory over the Wildcats.
“El Dorado’s a really, really solid team, and you can see it by their scores,” Andale coach Jeff Buchanan said. “For us to come out and get the score to 26-0, we did not expect that.”
Buchanan and his team credited the win to defense — the best Seiler has seen Andale play in that facet all year.
“We work on defense a lot in practice, and we have a great scout team in practice simulating the other team’s offense,” Seiler said. “That was by far the best we’ve played all year.”
El Dorado (10-4) only turned the ball over two more times than Andale (13-2) in the first quarter, but the Indians outrebounded El Dorado and hit three three-pointers for an 18-0 lead headed into the second quarter.
El Dorado didn’t get on the scoreboard until 3:50 remaining in the first half, when John Scott hit two free throws. Scott scored the Wildcats’ first field goal one minute later. Even an 8-1 run by El Dorado didn’t do much damage to Andale’s lead.
“At halftime we talked about how it doesn’t matter what the score is,” Buchanan said. “We knew they had the capability, because they’re a good shooting team, to come back and narrow it down pretty quick.”
By the third quarter El Dorado looked more like the team Andale was expecting to see. El Dorado’s Jared Haury scored eight points to help the Wildcats outscore Andale 14-11 in the period. But it didn’t take long for Andale to readjust and keep rolling.
“I think Andale has a very good basketball team, and evidently I didn’t prepare our kids well enough to come in and play against them,” El Dorado coach Gary Melcher said. “I think we have some potential, but it’s hard for it to come out when you’re not very consistent, and we weren’t.”
Andale freshman Bo Knoblauch scored 15 points, Seiler added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Hermreck added another 11 points.
El Dorado: House 11, Riffel 8, Crain 3, Haury 10, Just 1, Scott 5. Totals 15 (4) 4-5 38.
Andale: H. Knoblauch 10, Reichenberger 2, Seiler 11, Hermreck 11, Deaver 4, Macari 4, B. Knoblauch 15. Totals 19 (8) 11-18 57.