BURRTON — Elyria Christian School’s girls are heading to state for the first time ever.
The Eagles had their offense in full throttle on Saturday to race past arch-rival Central Christian 60-44 to advance to the Class 1A Division II State Basketball Tournament on Thursday in Dodge City.
The 17-6 Eagles are matched against 20-3 Axtell at 4:45 p.m. at the United Wireless Center. A win and they would play the winner of Sylvan-Lucas (14-9) and Ingalls (21-2).
On the other side of the draw, Wetmore (12-12) is matched against Norwich (22-1), while Golden Plains (18-5) goes up against Dighton (19-3).
ECS coach Greg Fields said his team has realized its dream.
“I'm so proud of our girls and the effort they put out that entire game,” he said. “This was a defensive battle all night, and there were a lot of fouls called on both sides. It became a struggle to see who could keep their starters in and we somehow managed to keep four of ours. Jason Hett has done a great job rebuilding the program over at Central Christian. They are a very tough team that makes scoring difficult. I couldn't believe we ended up with 60 points. We definitely took care of business at the free throw line (26 of 37).”
While Rachel Adamyk (28 points, 11 of 14 at the foul line) and Moriah Redenbaugh (eight points, eight rebounds) were dominating as usual, it was Bailey Unruh who was the unsung hero. She scored 13 points and dished off for seven assists.
“Bailey Unruh is one of the toughest girls I have ever coached,” Fields said. “We didn't know if she was going to be able to play tonight because of a foot injury. She never came out of the game and she played almost the entire second half with four fouls. She handled the ball under tremendous pressure, distributed the ball extremely well and she scored in a variety of ways.”