The Kellogg Wildcats put on a show on Saturday night as they knocked off the Bonners Ferry Badgers 72-48 at Andrews Gymnasium.
It was the Wildcats’ first game in two weeks as the winter weather forced the cancellation and/or rescheduling of three different games for Kellogg.
The Cats were not too rusty though as they jumped out to a quick 23-14 lead after just one quarter, but even with their fast paced offensive onslaught, Kellogg struggled to keep their hands to themselves as they picked up several fouls on key contributors.
The Badgers would have another 14-point quarter in the second, but Kellogg was able to keep up and outdo them with 16 of their own as they took a 39-28 halftime lead.
During the first half, junior Tanner Mueller found himself getting extra minutes due largely in part to Toby Colburn getting into early foul trouble.
Mueller made the most of these extra minutes by racking up eight of his 19 points in the first half.
During the second half, the Wildcats were forced to play a more tentative defense then they are normally accustomed to after they once again found themselves on the wrong end of the foul count, but the offense continued to keep the lead in double digits.
The Badgers kept on coming though and the Wildcats could not seem to kill their momentum.
This was until midway through the fourth quarter when Mueller decided to put a highlight reel stamp on an already huge night for the big man.
Mueller caught a pass in transition, took two steps and flushed a powerful one-handed dunk on his defender, drawing the foul in the process and getting the Wildcat faithful on their feet.
From there, the remaining minutes were a formality and the Wildcats extended their record in the Intermountain League to 5-0.
“I thought the kids played with a great effort tonight,” coach Jeff Nearing said following the game. “We are undefeated in league and whenever you can say that it’s a good thing.”
Nearing was also pleased with Mueller’s near-perfect offensive night.
“Tanner played well tonight,” Nearing said. “He has been working really hard in practice lately and it showed big time tonight. I think he only missed one shot (confirmed) and was perfect from the free throw line.”
As great as Mueller was for the Wildcats, it was Chase Jerome who led all scorers with 21 points.
Jerome was followed by Mueller, and then Toby Colburn who had 13 points despite playing in foul trouble.
The Wildcats will travel to Priest River on Tuesday for an IML Valentine’s Day showdown with the Spartans at 7:30 p.m.