Elyria Christian School’s basketball teams will be playing for championships tonight in the Goessel Bluebird Classic.
The Eagle girls advanced to the finals after defeating Central Christian 37-32 on Friday. Christin Vetter’s 14 points and 12 rebounds propelled the Eagles, who also received 12 points from Bailey Unruh.
Elyria’s defense was stifling, holding the Cougars without a point in the first quarter. But Central came back in the second half to go up by as many as 4, but Elyria had an answer.
“I was really proud of our girls tonight,” Elyria coach Greg Fields said. “They kept their composure when they got down by 4 in the second half. They played great defense to create some points in transition to regain the lead. Christin Vetter had a solid night with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Bailey Unruh was instrumental in getting us back in the lead with steals and layups out of our press. Makenzie Archer sealed the win for us tonight with 2 clutch free throws in the last few seconds to extend our lead to 5. This was definitely a great team win and a confidence booster for our younger girls.”
The Eagles have a big challenge in the 5:30 championship game today against highly athletic Goessel.
• Elyria boys 47, Central Christian 32 — The Elyria Christian boys are certainly living up to their state ranking.
The Eagles played an amazing first half against a highly-regarded Cougar team, going up 30-13, hold Central to just 2 points in the second quarter.
Tyler Thiessen was a handful with 21 points to lead the Eagles and he also had 8 rebounds. Caleb Froese had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Elyria plays Burrton at 7:30 for the title.
“We are learning how to compete every possession,” Elyria coach Zach Goodrich said. “I feel we were able to focus on the little things and force Central Christian into some tough shots. Central is a good-shooting team and you have to guard them once they cross halfcourt. Jackson Stone and Tyler Huxman shared the responsibility of defending him. We wanted to give him different looks to keep him out of rhythm. Tyler Thiessen was solid on the offensive end and is doing a really good job of doing the things we need for that game. Caleb Froese was solid with another double-double.”
• Moundridge boys 59, Lyons 44 — The Wildcats finished their preseason tournament with a 2-1 record and are 3-1 overall.
“Not quite as sharp tonight,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “We played a little tired, both mentally and physically. I still felt like we played hard, but our decision-making was just a bit off. Noah (Eichelberger) moved well without the basketball and put himself in a lot of good scoring opportunities and give credit to the guys who found him when he was open. Brady Helms worked the inside and keeps getting more comfortable in his game. Next week will give us an opportunity to go back to some fundamental work as we don't play until Saturday.”
Eichelberger was in the zone with 30 points, 17 of those in the first half as Moundridge was up 31-22. For the game he also had 8 rebounds and 7 steals
Dillon Vogts was solid as well with 14 and quarterbacked the team with 7 assists.
• Moundridge girls 45, Lyons 31 — The Wildcats bounced back from their loss to Inman with a solid win, again banking on their tough defense.
MHS was up 22-14 at the half.
Bethany Stucky had another big-time game for the Wildcats with 18 points and Kaela Helms continued her solid play with 13.
• Smoky Valley boys 44, Concordia 37 — The Vikings now have won two straight since their opening-game loss.
They had to overcome a sleep-walking start, down 10-0 out of the chute. But they settled down behind Nick Reinert and Jacob Adams, as both finished the game with 18 points.
• Concordia girls 47, Smoky Valley 45 — Much better.
While the Vikings didn’t win, they finally found their offense after struggling the first two games.
Bri Franklin topped Smoky with 13 points, while Jordan Otto furnished 11. The Vikings had two chances at the end for the tie, but they wouldn’t go down.
• Hillsboro sweeps Inman — The Hillsboro boys and girls swept Inman in games played at Moundridge.
The Hillsboro boys were a 60-51 winner and the Trojan girls won 42-34. No game information was turned in.