PITTSBURG, Kan. — In a cross-state battle Friday at the St. Mary’s Colgan Fieldhouse, the Neosho Wildcats fell 70-62 to the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers, a perennial small school power in Kansas.
Neosho senior Brady Wise scored a game-high 30 points, highlighted by 19 in the second half as the Wildcats outscored the Panthers 17-8 in the third quarter to earn a 44-all score entering the fourth.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Wise fouled out with 57.3 seconds remaining in regulation — a controversial offensive foul call against Wise produced technical fouls on Wise and then Neosho head coach Tony Branscum in a chain reaction of disbelief. Colgan made four straight technical free throws, suddenly producing an eight-point lead for the Panthers.
Summing it all up, Wise thought he had an opportunity for an old-fashioned three-point play, but it turned out to be no points for Neosho, four points for Colgan on technical free throws, and Neosho’s leading scorer fouled out after a technical on top of his fourth personal foul.
A.C. Marion finished with his second double-double of the week and his sixth of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds against Colgan following up on his 22 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday against Webb City.
Cole Seward added eight points, while Yeej Lee scored three and both Sean Moran and Cade Cradduck produced two points to round out the Wildcats’ scoring numbers.
Meanwhile, Aaron Higginbotham paced the Panthers with 20 points, while Jeremiah Buche added 14 points, including eight in the final minute as he was the one who made the four technical free throws, before he fouled out.
Matthew Lomshek, who scored eight points in the first half to match Higginbotham for the first 16 minutes, finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Cade Simmons added nine more points.
Neosho dropped to 4-13 overall this season and the Wildcats return to action Monday night against Joplin at Kaminsky Gymnasium.
Colgan improved to 8-1 on the season.
“We jumped out to a 6-0 lead,” Branscum told Josh King of neoshowildcatsports.com. “Had poor shot selection. You can’t have poor shot selection. Colgan, they were better shooters than us. They hit a lot of mid-range jumpers. We gave up 70 points without them hitting a trey. That’s awful defense. We did not bring the urgency that we needed to tonight. I don’t know why. If we would have played defense like we did Tuesday against Webb City, we would have held them to about 30.”
Branscum boiled part of the Wildcats’ woes down to wasted possessions due to bad shots, which are equitable with turnovers.