Jordan Howard reverse layup.
Michael Wallace 3-pointer on a good pass out of the low post by Leonard Taylor.
Wallace reverse layup.
RELATED: Saturday night scoreboard
RELATED: Saturday night roundup
It was beginning to look like fifth-ranked Springfield wouldn’t lose for the second straight night. The Wildcats had just erased most of a 10-point deficit and trailed fourth-ranked Cincinnati Moeller by three late in the third quarter.
But the inconsistencies that kept the Wildcats in a hole most of the game came back. They allowed too many offensive rebounds and took a few quick shots. The Crusaders took over and outscored the Wildcats 24-9 over the final eight-plus minutes for a 57-39 victory.
“We got the stops that we needed, but then they got offensive putbacks,” Wildcats coach Isaiah Carson said. “That’s what killed us. The last two nights rebounding is really hurting us.”
On Friday, the Wildcats (15-3) lost at Centerville 50-48 .
The other fault Carson found with his team was a lack of patience at times on offense. The plan was to attack the basket and get Moeller’s two best players in foul trouble, which they did.
University of Texas-bound Jaxon Hayes, who is 6-foot-10, had three fouls in the first half, picked up his fourth in the first minute of the second half and fouled out after playing three minutes in the fourth quarter. He had only four points. Jeremiah Davenport, a 6-5 guard headed to Wright State, finished with four fouls and was in and out of the lineup. He scored a game-high 16 points.
“What we have to understand is when we’re playing very good teams, especially teams like we’ve been playing lately, every possession counts,” Carson said. “When you take some bad shots, about eight to 10 possessions out of that game, it killed us.”
This loss concluded a run of six games in 12 days and all of the Wildcats’ losses. Two, of course, were to Division I ranked teams, Moeller (15-3) and No. 1 Wayne (17-0). The gauntlet isn’t over. The Wildcats host Wayne on Friday, but Carson is thankful he gets four days of practice.
“We’ve just got to find a rhythm and get this thing back rolling,” he said.
Regaining the early-season chemistry is the goal. Injuries kept guards Michael Wallace and Jay Rodgers out of the lineup while Carson relied on younger, inexperienced guards. Wallace, who led the Wildcats with 11 points, has now played 10 games, but Rodgers has been back for only four.
“They’ve got to defend at a high level like the young guys were,” Carson said. “Those two are very good basketball players in their own right. They can put the ball in the bucket. What they’ve got to understand is we still have to get into what we get into. We have to be more patient instead of shooting quick ones.”
Do the losses worry Carson?
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We’re 15-3. We’re fine. We play a tough schedule. We’ve just got to focus back up, find our rhythm. We’ll figure it out.”