And to think, the Inman boys still aren’t at full strength.
The Teutons have soldiered through the basketball season without key players Keaton Case and Walker Strange, but they still have only one loss on their ledger as they opened 2017 successfully on Tuesday with a 54-37 victory over Ell-Saline,
Inman really clamped down on the Cardinals in the second half, allowing just 13 points after leading 30-24 at halftime.
“We played OK tonight,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “Defensively we were pretty good other than the second quarter. We lost their shooter a little and he hurt us. We moved the ball really well at times and other times just shot the ball after the first pass. We have a lot of room for improvement still from this group. We also missed a lot of shots that we will normally make throughout the game.”
The Teutons were able to take advantage of their size inside.
“(Lucas) Barlow and (Mason) Thiessen had nice games inside for us, (Taiten) Winkel was really good again defensively,” Froese said.
Thiessen and Payton Froese scored 16 points apiece to lead the Teutons and Barlow added 12. Froese also dished off for 6 assists.
• Ell-Saline girls 38, Inman 36, OT — This is one that left the Teutons kicking themselves as they let it get away.
Inman was up 31-23 after three quarters, but the Cardinals stormed back and tied the game with 5 seconds left and then outscored the Teutons 4-2 in overtime.
The loss spoiled a terrific game by Inman’s Olivia Clark, who scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 16. MaKayla Michael chipped in with 10.
• Smoky Valley boys 47, Haven 42 — The Vikings constructed a 9-point lead through three quarters and then held off a Wildcat rally.
The Vikings were up 23-18 at the half and pushed it out to 39-30 by third quarter’s end.
Nick Reinert knocked down 14 points to lead the Vikings, while Jacob Adams scored 6 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and they were big as Smoky scored only one other basket.
• Haven girls 33, Smoky Valley 30 — The Vikings waited too long to get going.
Smoky Valley scored just 15 points through three quarters, but then equaled that total in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough. Haven was able to survive after taking an 8-point lead into the final period.
Katie Bellah led the Vikings with 9 points.
• Sterling boys 59, Moundridge 38 — Sterling sprinted to a 20-8 first-quarter lead and never allowed the Wildcats back into the game.
“We got down early and never recovered,” Wildcat coach Vance Unrau said. “Sterling is a very athletic and deep team that can hurt you in a lot of ways, which really puts pressure on our defense and we didn't respond well. I knew coming off the break that we had a big challenge ahead. I'm disappointed that we didn't step up and get after it the way we should and how we have to in order to be successful. Lesson learned. Now it's time to make the adjustments to get better and be what I think we are capable.”
The Wildcats, who shot just 25 percent for the game, were led by Noah Eichelberger with 26 points as the rest of the Wildcats combined for 12.
• Moundridge girls 46, Sterling 43 — The difference in the game was the second quarter as Moundridge went on a 15-2 scoring spree.
It was 21-11 at the half, but Sterling charged back with a 19-point third quarter to make things interesting.
Lexi Lorimor drained four 3-pointers on her way to a team-high 16 points to lead Moundridge. Bethany Stucky added 13.
• Hesston girls 47, Pratt 24 — It was a no-stress start to 2017 for the Swathers once they got past the first quarter.
Hesston led only 5-3 as there seemed to be a lid on the basket for both teams.
But the Swathers outscored the Greenbacks 30-11 over the middle two quarters to break the game open.
Kailey Jo Ince’s 14 points led Hesston.
• Hesston boys 38, Pratt 24 — Zach Esau and Cameron Cox scored 10 points apiece for the Swathers in what turned into a defensive slugfest.
• Note — Canton-Galva, Little River and Elyria Christian did not play.