El Dorado showed resilience on Friday night in the opening round of sub-state, but eventually fell 51-45 to the No. 1 seed Wamego.
El Dorado came out looking like the better team as they grabbed a 10-3 lead in the first quarter. Wamego scored the last six points of the quarter to make it 10-9. The Red Raiders grabbed three offensive rebounds on one possession early in the second quarter to score the first points of the quarter. Wamego went on to dominate the rest of the quarter, outscoring El Dorado 17-7 to take a 26-17 lead at the half. Wamego maintained a solid lead until El Dorado put together a run in the fourth quarter. Jarin Koehler took a steal and laid it in to make it 40-35 with five minutes left. A couple minutes later, Peyton Duryea knocked down a huge three to bring El Dorado within three points and then scored again to bring the Wildcats within one with two minutes left. Wamego was able to kill some of the Wildcats’ momentum with a quick basket and a foul to make it a two-possession game. The Red Raiders were able knock down free throws in the final minute and hang on for the win.
Jarin Koehler led the Wildcats with 19 points. Peyton Duryea and Adam Haines scored eight each.
Wamego will advance to take on Circle in the sub-state championship on Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.
With the loss, El Dorado finishes the season 6-14.
“I told the guys afterward that I was so proud to be the coach of this basketball team,” said El Dorado head coach Jordon Regehr.
“Our effort to fight back was unbelievable. Last games are difficult, especially for the seniors. We had three great seniors that all had an impact for us throughout the season. We will certainly miss them. Sure, the season didn't end like we wanted, but these guys did a lot of good things this season that will hopefully carry over into the future.”