MCDERMOTT – Notre Dame (2-21) held an 8-7 advantage after the first quarter in their sectional semifinal matchup with Whiteoak (11-12). However, despite the Titans best efforts, the Wildcats would outscore Notre Dame 41-25 over the rest of the game, resulting in a 48-33 loss to end the Titans season.
“Give those guys credit, they’re a good basketball team and are getting healthy at the right time,” said Notre Dame head coach Matt Mader following the loss. “Their pressure after one quarter just kind of wore us down after the second quarter. We weren’t able to hit some shots, got behind there a little bit at half and made a run there in the second half, but just not enough.”
A bright spot in the Titans loss was the play and effort that sophomores Caleb Nichols, Ethan Kammer, and Jackson Clark. Nichols finished with a game high 15 points and helped keep Notre Dame in the game throughout the final three periods.
“They play extremely hard,” said Mader on his three sophomores. “I’ve said it all year, Ethan Kammer has played against bigger players while being undersized, and he’s found a way to play in that environment. The good thing about him is that he’s a sophomore, and so is Caleb Nichols. You know exactly what you’re going to get from him, very active on the offensive glass. Jackson another sophomore, he’s a part of that core nucleus that is our sophomore class. I thought Jackson competed, especially the other night against New Boston.”
Wednesday night’s loss marks the end of Ben Mader, Coach Mader’s son, and Cole Harrell, two four year seniors who have made a large impact on not only Coach Mader, but also the Titans program as a whole.
“They’re guys who have been in our program for four years,” said Mader. “I coached them when they were freshman, took a couple of years off and now back with them as seniors. The leadership and energy that they provided, those guys are the glue guys. They’ve had successful years as freshman and sophomores, down years their last two years but they kept working. For that, I’m very thankful and hopefully the younger guys, especially our freshmen, are seeing that and we can get this program back on the right track.”
With the loss of just two players from this year’s Notre Dame roster, the Titans will return a large number of pieces as next year comes along. For Mader, the most important thing he can see from his returning players is the time and effort it will take to improve upon this year’s season.
“We talked to the kids there after the game, we’ve got to get back, we’ve got to get bigger, we’ve got to get stronger. We’ve got to play more. We’ve been behind a little bit with the coaching change, we’ve got to pick things back up in the spring and the summer and come back stronger next year.”
Whiteoak: 7-17-9-15 – 48
ND: 8-5-6-14 – 33
Whiteoak: 16 FG, 2 3PT, 14/23 FT.
ND: 13 FG, 4 3PT (Nichols 2), 3/4 FT. Scoring: Nichols 15, Kammer 6, Mader 5, Harrell 5, Clark 2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT