Moundridge boys basketball coach Vance Unrau was about as discouraged as he’s been in a long time on Tuesday.
His Wildcats had just been pasted by Sterling, scoring just 38 points in the process.
Then he watched the film on Wednesday and was even more discouraged.
But he never lost belief as he says the pieces are there to be successful. It didn’t figure to get much better for the Wildcats on Friday though when they played at undefeated and state-ranked Berean Academy, which has been difficult on them in recent years.
“We had a very spirited practice on Wednesday after Tuesday's disheartening loss to Sterling,” Unrau said. “I think the kids felt they had something to prove tonight.”
And they did. Moundridge stunned the Warriors 28-25 to perhaps get their season back on track.
“Big defensive battle tonight,” Unrau said. “Both teams contested shots and fought hard on the boards. Neither team led by more than 5 points the entire game. Two patient offenses and although both teams shot poor percentages, it was a well-executed halfcourt game. It was time for us to elevate our game to what I thought we were capable. I thought our kids played hard and played with some toughness tonight.”
The game was tied at 21-all after three quarters and Wildcats held Berean to just 4 points in the fourth quarter.
Lantonio Unruh and Anthony Otte scored 7 points apiece for the Wildcats.
• Berean girls 45, Moundridge 29 — Moundridge went nearly 10 minutes without a point, which doomed its chances.
The Wildcats were on fire early, up 7-0 and ahead 9-4 at first quarter’s end. But Berean clamped down and led 20-12 at the half and the Wildcats could never recover.
Bethany Stucky led MHS with 8 points. Wildcat coach Brian Holloway admitted the Warriors’ size inside was tough to overcome.
• Smoky Valley boys 59, Halstead 40 — Make it five straight for the Vikings.
After starting the year with a pair of losses, Smoky Valley is riding the wave as it’s now 5-2.
Viking coach Doug Schneider said he knew his team might start slow with two tough games out the chute and the fact the school’s football season ran long.
But balance is now a key as Nick Reinert scored 16 points, Brett Heitschmidt added 12 and Jacob Adams chipped in with 10.
• Halstead girls 56, Smoky Valley 43 — Smoky Valley led 26-24 at the half, but it was all Dragons in the second half.
A 14-7 third quarter started the comeback for Halstead and it then doubled the Vikings again in the fourth quarter, 18-9.
Kate Deterding and Katie Bellah tallied 14 points apiece for the Vikings.
• Sedgwick boys 57, Inman 52, OT — Inman boys coach Brett Froese thought this is one his team let get away as it lost for only second time.
“We played pretty well really, just didn't close it out,” Froese said. “Our bigs were in foul trouble most of the night which hurt us. We lost it at foul line. 15 of 26 won't do it.”
Payton Froese led the Teutons with 26, the only Inman player in doubles.
• Sedgwick girls 47, Inman 35 — Sedgwick gradually pulled away from Inman after the game had been close for a half.
Sedgwick outscored the Teutons by 9 in the second half.
Ashtyn Schroeder led Inman with 13 points.
• Little River boys 31, Canton-Galva 24 — In a gritty defensive battle between old rivals, the Redskins outscored the Eagles 17-7 in the fourth quarter to deny C-G its second win.
Canton-Galva led 17-14 after three quarters, but Little River stormed back. Amazingly, the Redskins fouled only three times the entire game.
“We played very well defensively, but simply can't score,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “We got a lot of good looks, but nothing would fall. Not much to say. If you score 24 points in 32 minutes, you’re not going get a tally in the win column. Gotta regroup quickly, we have Goessel at home on Tuesday.”
Clay Zeller led Little River with 10 points, while Jonah Sargent and Reed Wiens scored 8 apiece for the Eagles. Dylan Wood pulled down 11 rebounds for the Eagles.
• Canton-Galva girls 52, Little River 44 — It was close all the way, but the Eagles started fast with a 14-9 first quarter and then massaged the lead the rest of the way. Kelli Nightingale’s 22 points led the winners and Emma Ruddle added 10.
Emma McBride led Little River with 12.
• Wakefield boys 45, Elyria Christian School 43 — A late Wakefield basket broke a 43-all tie and sent the Eagles to a disappointing loss.
“We got down 19-4 and expended a lot of energy trying to recover from that,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. “I thought we played extremely well defensively in the second half and just need to string two halves of solid defense together. We learned that we need to come out ready to go from the tip. I was pleased with Tyler Thiessen's leadership that he showed throughout the game.”
Thiessen led the Eagles with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Caleb Froese supplied 10 points.
• Elyria Christian School girls 26, Wakfield 17 — Sensational defense sparked the Eagles to a second straight win.
“We had another good defensive night,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “Misha Redenbaugh was outstanding on that side of the ball with 9 steals. We changed some defensive looks tonight to try and get more easy baskets in transition, but unfortunately with all of our steals we still struggled to score. We only allowed one field goal in the first three quarters, so I was pleased with the overall defensive effort. Bailey Unruh was more aggressive offensively tonight both taking outside shots and driving to the basket.”
Unruh keyed the Eagles with 12 points.
• Hesston boys 60, Lyons 35 — Hesston coach Greg Raleigh wasn’t pleased with his team’s first-half defense.
He was thrilled with the second half.
Hesston led only 30-23 at the half, but gave up just 3 points in the third quarter and blew the game open.
Zach Vogt fired in 21 points to lead the Swathers and Reese Nebel added 11.
• Hesston girls 56, Lyons 19 — It was all Hesston all the time.
Starting with a 19-2 first quarter, the Swathers dominated from start to finish.
Celbi Richardson and Rylie Schilling led a balanced offense with 12 points apiece.