Moundridge boys basketball coach Vance Unrau offered no excuses.
In the annual battle for the unofficial Southern McPherson County championship on Tuesday, Inman took control in the third quarter and handed the arch-rival Wildcats a 53-48 setback in the first night of the Moundridge Classic.
“I felt like Inman dictated both ends of the floor tonight,” said Unrau, whose team is now 1-1 on the year. “They were aggressive offensively and we made some fundamental defensive mistakes that gave up easy baskets. I felt like we were indecisive offensively and didn't take advantage what they were giving us. We have to get better. Plain and simple. And I am confident that we will work hard to be where we want to be as a team down the road.”
The third quarter swung the game the Teutons’ way. Up just 23-21 at half, Inman had a strong third quarter to open up a 10-point lead, 40-30, and while the Wildcats made their anticipated charge, the savvy Teutons closed it out.
Payton Froese led Inman, now 2-0, with 15 points and Mason Thiessen furnished 12. Froese had 10 of his points in the decisive second half and Thiessen just missed a double-double as he had 9 rebounds.
Moundridge had a three-pronged attack as Anthony Otte scored 16, Noah Eichelberger tallied 12 and Lantonio Unruh came off the bench for 11.
“It took us little bit to get going and to see how they wanted to defend us,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “Mason got going early with a couple 3s and then Payton was really able to find some guys in their 1-3-1 zone. Ethan DeWitt had a huge first half for us. Really played well. Taiten Winkel really guarded Eichelberger. Really limited his touches, made him work for everything. He only made one 3 and that was really late in the game. Mason had big game all around for us.”
Inman was 20 of 39 from the field while Moundridge was just 17 of 48.
• Moundridge girls 51, Inman 30 — Moundridge reeled off a 14-2 third-quarter run to take charge of the game.
Natalie Kaufman scored 8 points in that determining quarter and finished the game with 23. Lexi Lorimor, who had 7 early points, finished with 12.
Kassidy Kaufman and Bethany Stucky lent strong support with 9 and 8 points, respectively.
Ashtyn Schroeder was Inman’s leading scorer with 9.
Moundridge is now 2-0 and Inman is 0-2.
• Little River boys 50, Burrton 31— At the Goessel Bluebird Classic, Little River’s boys made it two straight wins as they shook off an early 10-6 deficit, outscoring the Chargers 29-12 over the middle two quarters.
Jace Garrison scored 15 points to lead the way, while Clay Zeller was right behind with 14. Dillinger Page had a nice floor game with 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while Peyton Harvey had 8 rebounds.
• Little River girls 49, Burrton 38 — The Little River girls also are 2-0 on the year as they have shown early season signs that maybe they’re turning things around after a couple of lean years.
It was all Little River from the start as the Redskins jumped out to a 15-7 first-quarter lead and stretched it to 34-12 by the half.
Melanie Renken had the hot hand, making 9 of 13 shots on her way to 20 points. Allie Peterson chipped in with 11.
The Little River teams continue pool play Friday with games against Elyria Christian School, set for 4 and 5:30 p.m.
• Southeast of Saline boys 58, Smoky Valley 54 — The Vikings had no answer for Jackson Montgomery, who propelled the Trojans to the victory by pouring in 26 points. He made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Smoky Valley, which fell to 0-2, led 30-29 at the half, but gave up a 17-10 advantage in the third quarter.
Nick Reinert topped the Vikings with 15 points and Ben Weldy furnished 10.
• Smoky Valley girls 43, Southeast of Saline 27 — Smoky Valley evened its record at 1-1 as it doubled the Trojans in the first half, 22-11, and feasted off that lead the rest of the game.
Katie Bellah led a balanced attack with 11 points.
• Hesston boys 43, Garden Plain 42 — The Swathers improved to 2-0 by holding off the Owls in a tight game all the way.
Zach Esau’s 16 points paced the Swathers, while Cole McCreary took care of the inside work with 14.
• Hesston girls 41, Garden Plain 32 — The Swathers knocked down 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to fend off the Owls’ upset bid.
Olivia Brubacher and Celbi Richardson were both 4 of 4 in the fourth quarter as Hesston outscored Garden Plain 18-5 in the final period.
Alaina Dunlavy tossed in 13 points to lead the Swathers, now 2-0.
• Note — Elyria Christian and Canton-Galva had the night off in the Goessel Bluebird Classic. They both play on Friday, with Elyria taking on Little River and Canton-Galva is matched against Goessel.
The finals are Saturday.