Wildcats lost in the Woods

Joey Woods, Upper Iowa crushes former coach Brian Dolan in reunion

Trevor Urkoski, Staff Writer

In 2013, coach Brian Dolan led Upper Iowa onto the court for a matchup with Wayne State College. The two teams exchanged the lead back-and-forth until Amry Shelby hit the game-winning bucket for Wayne.

In 2014, Coach Dolan saw himself leading Wayne State onto the court with Amry Shelby as his graduate assistant.

“Coach Dolan and I will joke around with each other about it, I think he is still bitter about the loss last year,” Shelby said jokingly.

Friday night was no joking matter, though.

Joey Woods carried the Peacocks to beat WSC at home 73-53 in Dolan’s first matchup with his former school.

It was a rough-go-around for the Wildcats as 22 turnovers plagued the team.

Wayne State was able to keep it close as they went into the locker room down 27-26.

The Wildcats grabbed the lead with the first bucket of the second half.

However, Upper Iowa took off with a 10-0 run and left Wayne trailing the rest of the game.

There were positives to take away from the loss.

“Our injured players are starting to heal up,” Shelby said. “They are getting back into the swing of things.”

Jared Bartling and Ryan Rolfzen led Wayne with 14 points apiece.

The Wildcats were 4-11 from behind the arc and shot 43 percent from the floor.

Saturday’s game with Winona State had the Wildcats clawing their way from behind from the tip off. The Warriors defeated Wayne State 79-67.

At the start, the Warriors went on an 8-0 run when Rolfzen drained a three-pointer for Wayne.

After the Warriors led 40-33 at halftime, Wayne fought hard through the second half, keeping the lead within striking distance.

The Wildcats showed grit as they battled to keep the game close. With 14:50 remaining, the Wildcats trailed 49-44.

The Warriors were able to go on an 11-0 scoring romp, that ate up over three minutes of the game clock.

With 5:51 remaining, Winona was in command 70-54.

WSC still had a little fight in them as the ‘Cats cut the lead to 11.

“Saturday was one of the best games we have played all year. We are going to have some confidence leading into our next matchup,” Shelby said.

Wayne State’s Rolfzen finished with 18 points going 4-7 beyond the arc. David Anderson had 13 and Bartling, 11.

After losing seven in a row, WSC has an overall record of 8-14 and 5-13 in conference play.

Wayne State will host a pair of weekend games, playing Northern State Friday at 8 p.m. and MSU Moorhead Saturday at 6 p.m. Wayne State will look to end a losing streak that spans seven games.

“We can control our effort and put ourselves in a position to win,” Shelby said. “They are big games that can put us back on the right track.”