Great night for Elyria Christian cagers

By Steve Sell
January 21, 2017

The Elyria Christian School boys are one victory away from a championship.

The rapidly improving Eagles pounded top-seed and tourney host Centre 67-43 Friday night to advance to today’s title game.

“We came out extremely hot, which propelled us to an early lead that we were able to maintain throughout the game,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. “I thought we took care of the ball and ran our stuff well. We're looking forward to playing for the championship.”

Elyria is matched against Solomon in today’s 6:30 finale.

Aidan Fields had his best game of the year with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Tyler Thiessen just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Elyria blazed to a 21-8 advantage after 8 minutes and bookended its performance with a 24-point explosion in the fourth quarter.

• Elyria Christian School girls 36, Peabody 23 — It was a great night to be an Eagle fan.

The ECS girls also were successful with a solid defensive performance and the offense came alive early.

“The first quarter was our most productive 8 minutes of offense we have had all season,” Eagles coach Greg Fields said. “Bailey Unruh hit her first three 3-pointers in the first quarter and really opened up the game for us. She was outstanding defensively as well with 6 steals.”

Elyria did serious damage in the first 8 minutes by leading 19-5. Unruh was 6 of 9 for the game and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Misha Redenbaugh added 6 rebounds.

Elyria plays today for fifth against Herington, with game time 2 p.m.

• Hesston boys 65, Bennington 34 — At Hillsboro, the Swathers haven’t had much resistance through two rounds as they’ll play for the championship tonight against host Hillsboro at 7:30.

The Swathers were white-hot in the first half as they sped to a 50-21 lead and coach Greg Raleigh put his team on cruise control from there.

Zach Vogt fired in 20 points, Zach Esau had 15 and Cameron Cox chipped in with 12. Hillsboro defeated Republic County to make the finals.

• Hesston girls 45, Riley County 32 — Stifling defense led the Swathers into the title game, where they’ll play Clay Center at 5:45 today for the championship.

It was a painfully slow start for Hesston as it led just 3-2 after a quarter. But 18 points in the second quarter fueled the victory.

The Swathers had great balance with no players in double figures. Olivia Brubacher drained a trio of 3-pointers to score 9 points, which was equaled by Celbi Richardson.

Clay Center defeated Republic County 46-31 to advance.

• Canton-Galva boys 47, St. John’s Military 36 — The Eagles took fifth place in their own tournament by recording their second win of the year.

It was a meandering offensive game for three quarters before both teams caught fire, with C-G outscoring the Muleskinners 21-12 after they had been tied.

It was a great night for Jordan Gagnebin, who had 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steasl. Nick Pearson had 12 points, and Hunter Pearson added 8 points and 8 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

“Our defense was really good tonight through three quarters,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “We forced multiple turnovers with our traps (30).  We missed too many easy buckets to put the game out of reach, but we will take the win and be happy with it.  Jordan Gagnebin played a great game for us tonight. While others were struggling offensively, he came off the bench and gave us a huge boost.  It was nice to see him have a breakout game.”

Sedgwick defeated the Wichita Warriors 62-39 for the championship and Wichita Classical took third with a 76-64 success against Ell-Saline.

•  Moundridge girls 40, Goessel 29 — In a girls-only game, Moundridge outscored Goessel 17-3 in the fourth quarter to break the game open.

Bethany Stucky led the way for the winners with 14 points and Kassidy Kaufman chipped in with 11. The Wildcats were down a point going into the fourth quarter before the rally.