Eichelberger blazes for 32 in Wildcats' victory

By Steve Sell
December 17, 2017

Noah Eichelberger’s final shot of the night, predictably for the way things went during Moundridge’s 60-26 victory over Douglass, went in.

Eichelberger launched a 3-pointer from about 35 feet to beat the third-quarter buzzer and it was the exclamation point on a career-high 32 points as the Wildcats moved to 4-1 on Saturday at Central Christian College’s Alexander Arena.

The rout was part of the Heart of America-Central Plains League Challenge, which also was contested at McPherson College over two days.

Eichelberger, a 6-4 guard, came out hot and never let up. He hit 3 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 11 points, then added 12 more points in the second period as his 23 for the first 16 minutes sparked MHS to a 38-15 lead.

Eichelberger made 3 more 3-pointers in the third quarter and had 7 for the night. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter as the game went into running clock.

“He gets it up high and he’s got a pretty-looking shot,” a pleased Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “He squares up pretty nice. We’ve seen some junk (defenses) and our other guys are going to have to shoot and score.”

Brady Helms, a strong 6-4 center, added 12 points as he’s starting to emerge. The sophomore center displayed good moves around the basket and used the glass well.

“It was a big boost for him,” Unrau said. “(Assistant coach Courtney) Moddelmog has been working with our bigs (big men) and he (Helms) has a nice, soft touch. He’s had good footwork and we’re hoping he’ll keep improving.”

The Wildcats played most of the second half without standout point guard Dillon Vogts, who became ill just before the game and tried to play through it. But it was evident he was a no-go, but the other Wildcas picked up the slack. He has had a 28-point game this year and has been supremely confident running the offense.

The victory sets up a huge game on Tuesday as the Wildcats close out the December portion of the schedule at Sterling, the HOA preseason favorite.

• Douglass girls 44, Moundridge 36 — In a bit of a surprise, the Bulldogs charged back from a 23-15 halftime deficit to hand the Wildcats the setback.

The third quarter swung the game Douglass’ way as it outscored the Wildcats 19-8 in the period.

Bethany Stucky led MHS with 15 points.

• Belle Plaine boys 55, Inman 37 — Across town at McPherson College, the Teutons struggled from the field in the loss to Belle Plaine.

Scoring was not available. Inman goes to Ell-Saline on Tuesday to finish out December.