The McPherson area basketball teams had combined for a 10-2 record in the first round of sub-state action earlier in the week.
But it was a tough night on Thursday with the Smoky Valley boys the only winner in the six games involving the area schools.
• Smoky Valley boys 64, Clay Center 54 — The Vikings had nice balance to advance to the finals of the Concordia Class 4A Division II sub-state.
Brett Heitschmidt was on fire with 22 points, and received nice support from Jacob Adams and Nick Reinert with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Vikings will take on host Concordia at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as they attempt to make state for a second straight year.
• Lyndon boys 59, Inman, 49, OT — In what was a great game throughout, Lyndon outscored Inman 11-1 in overtime to advance to the finals of the Canton-Galva sub-state.
Inman was down by 10 points at halftime, 29-19, but erupted for an 18-8 third quarter to get back into it.
Only four players scored for Inman, with Mason Thiessen leading the way with 17, while Lucas Barlow tallied 14 and Payton Froese added 10. Thiessen scored 9 of his points in the third quarter when Inman made its move to get back into the game.
The Teutons, who have much of their team back next year, finished the season 15-7.
• Hillsboro boys 44, Moundridge 43, OT — After a solid first half put them up 22-15, the Wildcats saw the Trojans charge back in the semifinal game at Canton-Galva and get the game into OT, where they outscored Moundridge, 7-6.
Noah Eichelberger scored 16 points to lead the Wildcats and Anthony Otte closed his career with a 10-point game.
Moundridge coach Vance Unrau, whose team finished the season 13-9, couldn’t have asked for any more from his team against the No. 1 seed.
“Kids played their tails off tonight, especially on the defensive end,” Unrau said. “We executed in the halfcourt and were aggressive to the basket. Going to miss our seniors. Fun to be around and brought a climate and culture to our program that I am proud. Disappointed for them that we couldn't find a way to win tonight. It's always difficult to end the season, but it's rewarding to know that these guys gave everything they had on the floor tonight for their school, community and their teammates.”
• Central Christian girls 41, Elyria Christian School 26 — The Eagles were halfway home to a victory, but Central Christian dominated the second half to advance to the title game at Sylvan Grove.
Elyria led a slow-moving first half 10-9, but Central Christian got untracked with a 17-8 advantage in the third quarter and kept on rolling in the final period.
Melea Redenbaugh led the Eagles with 10 points. They finished the year 10-12.
“Our girls played very good defense in the first half tonight,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “We gave up a couple of shots on the outside in the second half and our turnovers really caused some easy opportunities for the game to get away from us. I was happy with the effort that we gave throughout the game. Even when we couldn't get our shots to fall, and Central's defense was causing us to make mistakes, the girls fought hard.”
Overall, Fields said it was a good season for a young team.
“We will miss our two seniors Misha Redenbaugh and Abbey Rush,” he said. “They both really helped us improve in what we knew would be a rebuilding year. Because of them, this team exceeded a lot of expectations. I truly believe that the remaining girls will build on this year and will accomplish some big things next season. We are also losing Madilynn Allen, another senior who has been an incredible manager for this team for the last three years.”
• Cheney 56, Hesston 55, 2 OT — It was a semifinal game worthy of state championship status in Garden Plain.
The Swathers will be staying home despite a 16-6 record. They made a nice second-half comeback after being down 22-14 at the break.
The Swathers had so many chances. Cheney needed a last-second shot in regulation to force overtime and a Cardinal free throw with 1 second in OT forced another period of extra basketball.
Kailey Jo Ince was immense for Hesston with 26 points. Rylie Schilling added 10.
• Goessel girls 58, Little River 38 — The top-seeded Bluebirds had their hands full with upstart Little River for a half, leading only 25-22.
And it was still a respectable game for three quarters before Goessel unloaded for 20 fourth-quarter points to pull away.
Little River was led by Melanie Renken with 12 points. The Redskins finished the year with an 8-14 record as they are continuing to make progress.