It was a sad ending to a great season for the Idalou Wildcats. Entering their 4th straight state final four, the Wildcats run ended right where it did a season ago, in the state semis.
Koal Houchin's 21 points, including 14 in the second half, weren't enough for the Wildcats who fell to Brock for the second time this season, 56-51 on Friday morning.
"We just couldn't make enough plays," Idalou head coach Tyler Helms said afterwards. "We knew Brock would be tough, but I'm proud of the guys for hanging in there and giving us a chance at the end. We just didn't make enough plays."
A slow start put Idalou behind the eight-ball early. Scoring just one field goal in the opening quarter, the Wildcats fell behind 11-4. The deficit swelled to 15-6 before Idalou finally got into the game.
Two free-throws from Houchin, followed by back-to-back buckets from senior Alan Zahn, and a lay-up from Callan Johnson, brough the Wildcats within 15-14. The Idalou run continued, fueled by Zahn--who scored 11 of his 13 total points in the opening half--as Idalou closed the half on a 19-4 run to give them a 25-19 halftime lead.
sell our team on toughness," coach Helms said. "We told them
toughness was going to win this game. But you have to make more plays too, it's
not just toughness. I was just happy we got back in the game and gave us a
The third quarter opened with five straight points from Brock as the Eagles outscored Idalou 18-10, to take a 37-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
Lay-ups from Donta Johnson and Seth Reagan gave the Wildcats a 39-37 lead early in the fourth, but that would be their last lead of the game. Eight straight points from the Eagles, including two three-pointers, gave Brock a lead they would never relinquish.
Still, it was a better showing from the Wildcats in the second matchup with Brock this season. In December, Idalou fell by 17 to the Eagles.
"We made them earn it," Helms said. "I'm proud of what these kids have done. You can't get here without talent and we've had a special run. I was really proud of the kids this year because we lost several off of the teams who've been here the last two or three years."
the Wildcats shot just 36.5 percent (19-52) from the field compared to 40.8
percent (20-49) for the Eagles. Idalou dominated the rebound battle, 40-24 but
14 Wildcat turnovers, converted into 17 points for Brock, was the difference.
"We've built some tradition here," Helms said. "I think that's what got us here because the kids thought they were supposed to be."
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