Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Diane Temple, Maquoketa Valley adviser
DELHI – It’s not over til it’s over, and for the Maquoketa Valley boys’ basketball team, the final buzzer didn’t come at the right time in two recent games.
In a heated Delaware County battle Saturday night, the Wildcats battled the West Delaware Hawks and fell behind in the fourth quarter, suffering a 51-40 loss. MV led at halftime and at the end of the quarter, but after giving up some big offensive rebounds and put-backs, the Hawks gained momentum for the win.
The ‘Cats shot 38 percent from the field and 18 percent from the 3-point line. Coach Troy sterhaus said West Delaware’s 1-3-1 defense forced the Cats to rush their shots. He noted MV was in the bonus in the third quarter and could not take advantage of it, shooting only 15 free throws in the game.
Leading scorers were Jobe Ellison, with 20 points, Ben Dzaboff (9) and Aaron Dzaboff (7). Zach Salow and both of the Dzaboffs had two assists each.
Defensively, Ben Dzaboff had two steals and Ellison had two blocks, Tanner Hargrafen one. Ellison had 10 defensive rebounds.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats traveled to Starmont and lost a tough one, 59-58. Maquoketa Valley trailed, 39-23, at the half, but poured it on in the last half to make the end of the game close.
“This was a game of two halves,” Osterhaus said. “We came out extremely flat in the first half. We played with little to no energy on the defensive end and settled for jumpers on the offensive end.
“The second half was a different story as we came out of the locker room with a lot of energy, led by Ben Dzaboff who got two quick steals at the start of the third quarter to get us going. We continued to chip away at the lead and finally took the lead at 58-57 with nine seconds to go. But an unfortunate series of events led to a one- point loss.
“I was proud of how our team responded in the second half and came back from a big 1st half deficit.”
Ben Dzaboff led the Cats in scoring with 23 points. Ellison had 18 and Aarond Dzaboff had nine. Mitch Manternach had six points. Aaron Dzaboff had four assists. Ben Dzaboff had five steals.
On Friday, Maquoketa Valley hosts East Buchanan.