Wildcats Pull Away from Lutheran North in Double Overtime


Marty Briner

As has often been the case for the last three years, Brennan Orf was a major reason why the Wildcats were able to get the win on Tuesday night.

The Westminster boys basketball team got a huge win on Tuesday night versus the Lutheran North Crusaders. After losing to the Crusaders by 15 points in their first matchup nine games ago, the Wildcats needed a bounce back. This game was also huge because before tip-off there was a 3 way tie for first place in the conference between Westminster, Lutheran North, and MICDS. The game certainly lived up to the hype as it took two overtimes to decide a winner.

The game started out slow and sloppy for both teams. Both sides fought for baskets, and with a minute remaining in the first quarter, Lutheran North led 14-7, the biggest lead for either team in the whole game. However, after a buzzer-beating putback from EJ Williams, the Wildcats trailed only 16-12 after one quarter of play. 

As the game progressed, both teams heated up. Kobi Williams converted a couple of tough jump shots in the second quarter, and Westminster as a whole began to lock down on defense. However, the Crusaders’ full court press forced the Cats into some turnovers, leading to a couple of quick scores for Lutheran North. This pressure gave the Crusaders a slight 27-25 advantage at the half.

The Wildcats marched out of halftime with some confidence. Caleb Thompson scored a variety of tough layups around the rim, but the Crusaders had an answer for everything the Wildcats threw at them. They were aggressive on the boards and capitalized on second chance points. This effort kept the Crusaders up by two at the end of the quarter, 44-42.

But as has been the case for much of the past three seasons, the fourth quarter belonged to Brennan Orf. He was everywhere for the Cats. Whether he was pulling in critical rebounds, diving for loose balls, or making and-one layups, it didn’t matter. Orf was going to find a way to will his team to victory. He would go on to finish with a game-high 22 points. 

As the Cats looked primed for victory, North would not give in. They took the game to overtime at a score of 53-53.

In the first overtime period, the two teams traded buckets. Orf continued to go to work in the paint, giving Westminster the upper-hand. But Lutheran North kept firing back with layups of their own, and a Lutheran North guard buzzed in a crazy double-pump three pointer to tie the game.

Marty Briner
Casen Lawrence scored 13 points of his own on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats had a one point lead with 6 seconds left and Caleb Thompson headed to the line. After knocking down the first free throw, he missed the second and a Lutheran North forward drove down and made a nice left handed layup as time expired, sending the game to a second overtime.

The Wildcats were not done yet though. Casen Lawrence gave the Cats a boost when he poured in a corner three to put the team up by 3. This bucket proved to be insurmountable for the Crusaders, as the Wildcat defense stepped up to get three stops in a row. The game was iced when Casen hit two free throws, giving the Cats a hard-fought 73-68 conference win.

With this win, the Wildcats are now in first place in their conference. They have also solidified themselves as a legitimate contender in the playoffs who will not go down without a fight. The team’s record is now 16-3 and they are on a nine game winning streak. The Cats will put this winning streak to the test Friday at John Burroughs at 7 o’clock.