The Atchison Redmen had to feel pretty good after watching their counterparts on the girls basketball team demolish the Lady Cats, but if they didn’t already know, it quickly became obvious that the Wildcat boys are a completely different animal, one which overwhelmed them almost from the start.
Atchison fell behind early and subsequently never got within single digits of the visitors’ lead on Tuesday night at home. When all was said and done, they had allowed Washington to score 85 points, only clearing the 50-point margin themselves just before the initiation of the running clock.
The Redmen began the first quarter with the only promise shown for essentially the entire game, battling for about two minutes before the Wildcats responded to their zone defense with highly accurate shooting from the outside.
When the Redmen attempted to adjust, junior Nathan Johnson of the Wildcats executed the first of two show-stealing dunks from on high, testing the maintenance and glass integrity of the southern side goal as the ball slammed through the hoop and Johnson hanging out on the rim. This empowered the Wildcats with a 12-6 advantage heading into the second quarter.
The Redmen fought to stay alive in the second quarter, but turnovers — often enough represented by overhead across-the-court deep plays that fell right into the hands of the Wildcats or went out of bounds — and poor shooting accuracy conspired to deny them any hope of keeping pace. They entered the locker room with a 43-25 deficit.
The third quarter eliminated all hope of a rally. Johnson took the opportunity to test the ceiling bolts on the other goal in the AHS gym, and multiple extraordinarily well-placed three point shots snuffed out whatever offensive momentum that the Redmen were able to build, with the home team not managing to chain together more than three buckets before the visitors responded. The third quarter ended with a 60-43 deficit.
Atchison, falling to 5-2, will host the F.L. Schlalge Stallions on Friday night. The boys varsity tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.