Hornets stung by Wheatland-Chili
The clock has struck midnight on Oakfield-Alabama’s Cinderella run.
After upsetting third-seeded Dundee in the Class C3 quarterfinals, the Hornets were blown out by Wheatland-Chili, 62-32.
In last Friday’s victory over Dundee, Hunter Spiotta scored 29 points and both teams knew that his success would be the key to victory.
Spiotta started off the contest hot, hitting his first two three-point field goals and scoring 9 points in the first quarter as Oakfield-Alabama only trailed by two.
The second quarter was a different story for Spiotta and the Hornets.
Wheatland-Chili clamped down defensively and Rodney Roberts, who had only scored 3 points in the first quarter, came alive with 8 in the second.
The Wildcats used a 10-2 run to end the first half and took a 27-15 lead into halftime.
“We got out of the flow of our offense,” said Oakfield-Alabama head coach Ryan Stehlar. “Playing from behind, you get the tendency to take quick shots. When they get up on you, they’re a tough team to play with.”
The third quarter was much of the same as the quarter started with back-to-back steals and lay-ups by Tyler Roberts, and the Wheatland-Chili took off on a 14-3 run to open the second half.
Roberts scored 10 of his 21 points in the quarter to help the Wildcats pull away to a 45-24 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Roberts’ combined for 43 points in the game, as the Hornets keyed in on big man Andre’ Gulley, who only managed 5 points on 1-of-4 shooting.
“They were packing it in,” said Wheatland-Chili head coach Scott Lund. “We realized that and we are glad we got some stops defensively and were able to beat their zone up the floor for some easy looks.”
After making his first two shots of the game, Spiotta only managed to shoot 3-for-15 for the rest of the game. He would finish with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
“Hunter did a great job in the first quarter of getting separation and getting his shot off,” said Lund. “In the second quarter we brought in Justin Clark and he matched up with him the rest of the game. We felt like if we could limit Hunter’s looks then we would be in good shape.”
As a team, the Hornets only managed to 3-of-14 behind the three-point arc.
Nate Nadolinski had a strong game inside for Oakfield-Alabama, finishing with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in his final high school contest.
Oakfield-Alabama finishes 13-8.
“I love this team,” said Stehlar. “These boys gave me everything. I’ve had the luxury of coaching them for four years. It’s going to sting and they’ll remember it, but we’ve also had a very productive season. We got to this point and they just set the bar higher for Oakfield basketball.”
Rodney Roberts continued his great season, finishing with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals, as Wheatland-Chili will play for their first sectional championship since 1985.
“It’s big,” said Lund. “We ended up in a tie with Notre Dame for the league title, but that was a milestone. Last year we lost in the semifinals by a point, so we’ve looked forward to this game for the last 12 months to get back.”
Wheatland Chili (17-3) will play top-seeded Perry on Saturday at the Blue Cross Arena for the Class C3 championship. Tip-off is 11 a.m.