LOST SPRINGS — No. 1-ranked and undefeated Elyria Christian School roared into the finals of the Centre Invitational on Friday with a 49-27 rout of Rural Vista, a team it recently edged at the Eagle Dome.
Elyria will play the host Cougars at 6:30 tonight for the championship.
“We played a really good team tonight and I was pleased how our boys came out to compete,” Elyria Christian coach Zach Goodrich said. “It is never easy to play the same team in less than two weeks, but I felt we were ready to go from the start. They outworked us the first time we played and we discussed if we want to be a great team then we need to be the team outworking our opponents.”
The Eagle sprinted to a 15-4 first-quarter lead and the socked the Heat with 17-6 second quarter.
Tyler Thiessen and Aidan Fields scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, but it was the defense that made Goodrich smile.
“Defensively the first half we were about as sharp as we could be, communicating, getting to our rotations early and forcing them to look for the second and third options in their offense,” Goodrich said. “We have some long players and we have good first steps. I keep telling them we have a chance to be good, but it starts on the defensive end and we got a glimpse of it. We will have a good test in the championship game to see if we can keep up the effort, we will play a solid Centre team, that scored 49 points in the first half tonight (other semifinal) and had a player score 39, so we will see if can stay solid for consecutive nights.”
• Elyria Christian girls 45, Peabody 11 — It was a confidence boost for the Eagles, who play at 2:00 today in the fifth-place game against Solomon.
“We did a much better job tonight being patient on offense and not forcing the ball as much,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “Melea (Redenbaugh) had a good night again on the boards and making her presence felt without getting into foul trouble. Our seniors are all playing at a good level and I'm hoping that some of our younger girls will start taking on a little more of the scoring responsibility.”
Redenbaugh was a force with a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Elyria as a team had a whopping 40 rebounds.