The Dunwoody Wildcats boys’ basketball team did not get off to the fast second half start it hoped. The Wildcats have lost four straight games to start the second half of the season, falling into 10th place out of 11 teams in the region, and now have an overall record of 6-12, and a region record of 2-8.
The losing skid began with a Friday night showdown against the Southwest DeKalb Panthers on Jan. 11. The Wildcats took an early six-point lead against the Panthers and maintained the lead until halftime. The Panthers took their first lead of the game going on a 14-2 run to begin the second half. Behind Kelvin Brown’s 18 points and three other Wildcats in double figures, the Wildcats closed the gap to four points, but were unable to grasp the lead. Victimized by poor free-throw shooting the entire night, the Wildcats missed 18 free-throws, shooting a dismal 48 percent from the foul line. Missed opportunities at the foul line proved to be too costly for the Wildcats to overcome, losing 65-61.
The second loss of the four-game losing streak came at the hands of the Riverwood Raiders, in a tightly contested, non-region game, 56-54. The Wildcats led by as much as 10 points in the third quarter against the Raiders, but were unable to secure the victory. The Raiders took a two point lead with seven seconds left, giving the Wildcats one final possession to win the game. Shooting guard Paris Ballinger fired a deep three-pointer as time expired, but missed, as the ball rolled around the rim and fell out, giving the Raiders their 11th win of the season.
The Wildcats took on the top ranked team in class AAAAA Tuesday night, in their toughest region game of the season, against the Miller Grove Wolverines. The Wolverines came into Tuesday’s game undefeated in region play, with a 17-3 overall record, and proved why they are the number one ranked team in AAAAA. The Wolverines dominated the game from the opening tip, never surrendering the lead, cruising to 35-point victory over the Wildcats, 71-36.
On Friday night, the Wildcats traveled to Southwest Atlanta to take on the Mays Raiders, who hold second place in the region, with an overall record of 13-5. The Wildcats fell behind 13-0 early in the first quarter, and were never able to recover. The Wildcats cut the Raider lead to five points, with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, behind a clutch three point basket from junior forward Davis Nims, but were unable to close the gap any further before losing 52-42.
“We got off to a bad start and had to fight back the whole game, and couldn’t put the pieces together to get the win.” said junior Davis Nims. “We need to turn the ball over less and play more as a team to finish the season strong.”
The Wildcats were looking to rebound with two home games against the North Atlanta Warriors, Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and the Clarkston Angoras on Saturday at 7 p.m.