The biggest early season upset of the year occurred on Tuesday when Smoky Valley’s boys handed Class 3A’s No. 1-ranked team Hesston its first loss of the season, 61-52.
The Vikings were on fire in the second half as they erupted for 37 points.
Brett Heitschmidt came up with his best game of the year with 19 points, while Nick Reinert (15) and Jacob Adams (10) also hit for double figures.
"I was really pleased with our team. I thought we played with a great determination and energy," Smoky Valley coach Doug Schneider said. "We have been constantly improving from Day One and beating a perennial powerhouse like Hesston is another step in that progression. Our players are really starting to believe in one another and that is leading to more open looks and more opportunities for everyone."
Hesston was led by Zach Vogt with 17, Zach Esau scored 12 and Cameron Cox added 11.
• Hesston girls 42, Smoky Valley 25 — Smoky Valley hung around for a half, but then Hesston used a 12-2 third-quarter run to break the game open.
The Vikings’ lack of height was exploited by 6-1 Hesston center Kailey Jo Ince, as she scored 12 points to lead Hesston. Jordan Otto led the Vikings with 8.
• Inman boys 53, Canton-Galva 19 — After Canton-Galva took a 3-2 lead, Inman scored the next 18 points and the rout was on.
The Teutons flexed their defensive might as Canton-Galva had no quarter with more than 7 points. Mason Thiessen scored 17 points for Inman and Payton Froese added 11.
“Same song, different verse. We just didn't handle their pressure, especially early on,” Eagle coach Shane Duncan said. “We settled down in the second half, but couldn't hit the open looks we got. We played hard, but you’re just not going to win any games scoring 19.”
Freshman Nick Pearson led Canton-Galva with 5 points.
• Inman girls 52, Canton-Galva 50 — After three losses to open the season, the Teutons have bounced back with a pair of wins.
The Eagles led 15-10 after a quarter, but Inman came right back and the teams played down to the wire.
MaKayla Michael's 18 points led Inman. Ashtyn Schroeder scored 13, one more than Olivia Clark. Freshman Emma Ruddle paced Canton-Galva with 19 and Kelli Nightingale added 10.
• Central Christian boys 57, Little River 39 — The teams played a double-overtime game on Saturday in the finals of the Goessel Invitational, but the Cougars apparently are much better on their home floor.
Central Christian sped to a 27-16 halftime lead and added on as the game progressed.
Clay Zeller was outstanding in defeat as he scored 24 points and Jace Garrison chipped in with 11. But Levi Swenson was the only other Little River player to score.
• Central Christian girls 53, Little River 30 — A 14-4 second quarter gave the Cougars a 16-point halftime lead and they dominated from there.
Melanie Renken led the Little River scoring with 12 points.
• Moundridge and Elyria Christian School had the night off.