Sports

WACO completes perfect regular season

Submitted photo

The WACO basketball team poses for a team picture after completing their 21-0 regular season in a road game at Van Buren County on Tuesday night.
Submitted photo The WACO basketball team poses for a team picture after completing their 21-0 regular season in a road game at Van Buren County on Tuesday night.

KEOSAUQUA — Only one game stood in the way of No. 2 (1A) WACO’s undefeated season on Tuesday night. WACO went into Van Buren County looking for their 21st win in a row, and they got it in style, 57-28.

Van Buren didn’t make it easy in the first half. WACO led 13-12 after the first quarter and 24-18 at the break. The visiting Warriors were able to run away in the second half, though, winning the third quarter 19-4 and the fourth quarter 14-6.

WACO was led by Nik Coble, who finished the night with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Gabe Reichenbach scored 13 points. Pietro Vannini had 11 points. Drew Kissell scored seven points and five assists. Braden Hammond had six points, and Kolton Connelly ended the night with two.

Jackson Manning scored 11 points to lead Van Buren. Tony Davidson finished the night with five points and 15 rebounds. Jonah Heckenberg had four points. Wyatt Mertens and Ace Padgent each scored three, and Lane Davis had two.

The 2019-2020 WACO Warriors were just the third team in school history to go undefeated in the regular season. The 1967-68 squad had a perfect regular season before getting knocked out in the postseason to go 21-1. The 1980-81 team went perfect through the regular season as well, and ended the year at 19-1 after tournament play.

This current WACO squad will play their first postseason game at home, on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Class 1A District 8 quarterfinals. They’ll play either Winfield-Mt. Union or Columbus Community at 7 p.m.

Van Buren will take on Cardinal in Eddyville on Monday during the Class 2A District 11 first round. That game will be the first end of a doubleheader, starting at 6:30 p.m.