Duke coronation followed by fireworks? Well, metaphorically speaking...Wellington's varsity boys took on El Dorado Homecoming night in a game that went down to the final seconds, ending happily for the home team.
Wellington's varsity boys came out of the gates cold, falling behind early 8-1 against the Wildcats. The first field goal for WHS came with 2:53 left in the first followed by a free throw form Ian King who had all four of the Crusader points at that juncture that saw Wellington down by six, 10-4. More of his teammates got on the board in the final two minutes, buckets by A.J. Snipes and Cade Phelps made the score 13-8 El Dorado going into the second.
An old fashion three point play by Phelps, and a long-range two from Snipes evened the score at 13 all with just over five and a half to go in the second. Thirty seconds later, Snipes gave Wellington it's first lead with a basket and a free throw. The teams traded buckets for the rest of the quarter. Wellington had a one point lead in the waining seconds, but El Dorado flipped the script with a two-pointer at the buzzer. At halftime it was EHS 22 Wellington 21.
On the opening possession of the third, Khalil Boyer was down low and in trouble, but was able to throw a laser-dart pass inside to King who put it through the net to give the Crusaders a one point lead again. Mental errors by the Wildcats, i.e. Phelps in-bounding the ball to himself off of an EHS player's back, then finding King at the other end for a score; along with missed passes going out of bounds for El Dorado allowed Wellington to gain all 33-27 lead with three minutes to go in the third. The Crusader lead didn't last long thanks to fouls, missed opportunities and mental errors of their own. Wellington found themselves down by one, 37-36 headed into the fourth.
Snipes forced a turnover, then raced the ball down the court for a contested layup to retake the lead for WHS to start the final quarter. He and Boyer began to heat up as the last few minutes ticked away, but the Crusaders just could not finish El Dorado off. With 3:34 to go it was 51-48 WHS.
A pair of Therin Frame free throws were answered by two from El Dorado. With 37 seconds left Wellington clung to a 53-52 lead. El Dorado was back at the line after a Frame foul, both shots were sunk. The Wildcats had the lead with under 30 seconds left. Wellington called a time out with 19.5 on the clock down 54-53. Snipes was fouled going up for a shot with 7.7 to go. He went to the line after a timeout and tied it with the first attempt, and won it with the second one. The large Homecoming crowd errupted. A last ditch effort by the Wildcats wasn't close. WHS wins 55-54, and are not 7-7 on the season.
Will Long 1