Night Hawks fall to Wildfire

It was a heartbreaking way to end the season for the Night Hawk boys basketball team.

Jaxon Mellmer (L) tries to get around a defender. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

For The Record

It was a heartbreaking way to end the season for the Night Hawk boys basketball team.  They took the lead early in the game over the Mott-Regent Wildfire and held it throughout until the last three minutes when the teams started trading leads.

After the third quarter they held a 55-49 advantage and were able to prevent any comebacks until the fourth quarter when the Wildfire outscored the Night Hawks 21-13.

Led by Carson Schalesky’s 14 first-half points, and the scoring and speed of guards Isaiah Kludt and Jarad Mattis, they kept the Wildfire at bay and at the end of the first half held a 39-33 lead.  But Tanner Zentner and Brady Wegh led the way for the Wildfire in the second half to tie the score with two seconds on the clock.

Zentner scored 16 of his 25 points and Wegh 15 of his 21 in the second half.  Zentner hit four big treys and was leading the way in rebounds.  With the score tied at 68 all it looked like it would go into overtime, especially when Schalesky blocked a Wildfire shot with seconds left.  The teams battled for the ball but it went out of bounds off the Night Hawks with two seconds left.

With the Night Hawks concentrating on Zentner and Wegh, Sean Hertz managed to sneak in close to the basket to get the quick pass from inbounder Dylan Ambers and put in any easy layup. Wildfire win 70-68.

It didn’t look good for the Wildfire when Wegh picked up his fourth foul just past the midway point of the third quarter.  He was sent to the bench but came back at the start of the fourth quarter and managed not to pick up his fifth foul.

Leading the Night Hawks in scoring were Kludt and Mattis with 18 and Schalesky added 16.

Despite the tough loss, the Night Hawks had a successful season after having to replace four starters from last season’s team. This year they only graduate one player and will return a very experienced and good team.