The Elyria Christian School boys are going to be dangerous come sub-state time.
The Eagles continued their recent excellent play with a 47-23 rout of Herington on Friday.
The Eagles had their customary slow start and while the offense came and went, the defense was a constant all night.
"We had a slow start, which seems to be a theme of our team so far and something we're trying to work through," ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. "We got some steals that led to easy layups which got us going. I thought we played solid defense and had a good team effort which led to our win."
It was a big night for Tyler Thiessen as he scored 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Tyler Huxman had his best game of the year with 9 points.
• Herington girls 41, Elyria Christian School 37 — Close losses seem to be the norm lately for the Eagles as they had two overtime losses last week and couldn't hang on against Herington after getting the lead.
"Our girls battled back in the second half, but Herington made tough shots in the fourth quarter to get the lead back," ECS coach Greg Fields said. "We did a nice job of not allowing open shots, but we still struggled hitting our own open looks."
Misha Redenbaugh was strong inside with 12 points to lead the Eagles.
• Macksville girls 49, Little River 32 — At the Great Bend Hilltop Classic, a stupendous game by Melanie Renken wasn’t enough for Little River in the seventh-place game.
Renken had 19 points and a monster 19 rebounds to keep Little River within shouting distance.
The game would have been close if not for an 18-3 rip by Macksville in the second quarter.
“The girls came out ready to play in the first quarter, but turnovers is what hurt us throughout the game,” Little River coach Trey Look said. “Melanie Renken had a great game with a double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds. This team is young, but we’ve got to learn to limit our turnovers the rest of the season.”
• Moundridge girls 48, St. John 36 — Also in the Hilltop Classic, the Wildcats secured third place.
Bethany Stucky had a big game with 17 points to lead the Wildcats and she also pulled down 6 rebounds. Natalie Kaufman was 6 of 8 from the field and contributed 13 points, while Lexi Lorimor knocked down a trio of 3-pointers for 9 points.
• Moundridge boys 48, Goessel 34 — In a boys-only game, the Wildcats gave up just 4 points in the second quarter to construct a lead and went to for their second straight win.
"I thought our energy level was really good in the first half, but we had some trouble finishing around the basket," Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. "We also had some trouble securing possession of loose balls after deflections or on rebounds. Extended the lead out to 15 on numerous possessions but could never put them away. A lot of credit to Goessel for hanging tough. We are going to have to finish plays and not be distracted around the basket or let contact contribute to missed opportunities."
Anthony Otte fired in 17 points to lead the Wildcats and Noah Eichelberger chipped in with 14.
• Smoky Valley boys 53, Clay Center 33 — Nick Reinert was back for Smoky Valley and the Vikings were back in the win column.
Reinert, who missed Tuesday's game with illness, led the way with 15 points, and Smoky Valley coach Doug Schneider said he was especially pleased with the work of Ben Weldy (12) and Jacob Adams (10).
Down one after a quarter, Smoky Valley came alive with a 13-4 second quarter and then put the game away in the third.
• Clay Center girls 47, Smoky Valley 21 — Viking coach John Bellah said while the score didn't indicate it, his team gave good effort.
Clay Center is one of the odds-on favorites to win Class 4A Division II.
The Vikes buckled down in the second half as they were outscored only 17-14. Katie Bellah scored 9 points for Smoky, one more than Kate Deterding.