Adams leads ’Cats past Astronaut 57-40

Dave Foster, Staff Writer

Senior Scott Adams led the varsity boys’ basketball team with 19 points while also tallying nine steals and knocking down three 3-pointers in a 57-40 home victory against Astronaut High School on Tuesday night.
Early in the first quarter it seemed that Astronaut was to have its way on the offensive glass as the War Eagles capitalized on second-chance opportunities.
But after a quick timeout by Coach Tony Riopelle, the tide began to shift. Senior Justin Laneuville scored the first five points, which included a physical and-one basket over the War Eagles starting center. The Wildcats turned up the ball pressure in the half court with a variety of traps and defensive schemes which led to easy fast-break points.
Building a five point lead at the end of the first half, senior Scott Adams sparked a third quarter run with a three-pointer and sacrificed his ailing body on the following play to draw an offensive foul which added more fuel to the fire. The Wildcats defense picked up and finished the third quarter on a 14-4 run largely led by point guard Scott Adams who was seen diving on the floor for loose balls and even happened to break an opposing player’s nose in the intensity of the game.
“It was the second nose I broke in two games, but I was just trying to clear space when it happened,” said Adams, who has been playing with a ruptured disk in his neck.
 “I had a few close calls when I drew fouls driving to the basket and when I was going after loose balls,” he said. “I banged my head a bit, but I should be good to go with a few days off and ice.”
The senior point guard also undergoes physical therapy several times a week to lessen the pain he feels while playing.
The Wildcats went up by as much as 20 during the final period. Other role players stepped up in the win, notably senior forward Micheal Lucas, who was dominant on the glass and collected double digit rebounds which were key in the second-half dominance.
The junior varsity game versus the War Eagles proved to be a completely different match. The squad suffered a 20-point loss in a 49-29 blowout. The defense of the Wildcats was easily picked apart by the more athletic and taller War Eagles with quick ball movement and second-chance points.
The Astronaut rout presented the opportunity for Coach Greg Buttrick to give more minutes to his younger, developing players. Eighth grader David T. showed promise in his late-game performance by snatching a few rebounds and scoring over a larger defender with a polished hook shot. First-year guard Joseph Along, also knocked down a corner three versus the War Eagles and showed potential. Sophomore Shane Potter led the team in scoring with nine points in limited minutes.
“I was kind of upset that coach waved the white flag early in the second half, but I was glad to see the younger players get some in-game experience against a quality team,” Potter said. “But on Friday’s game [versus St. Edwards] we should be able to get another win under our belt.”
The next game for the Wildcats is on the road against the St. Edwards Pirates of Vero Beach, with tip-off at 5:30 p.m. for junior varsity followed by the varsity game at 7 p.m.