Moundridge’s girls stormed back with a monster fourth quarter on Friday to defeat area counterpart Little River 43-34 in the third-place game of the Hilltop Hoops Classic at Great Bend.
The Wildcats erupted for 19 points in the fourth quarter and held the Redskins to 7.
Bethany Stucky completed a fine tournament for the Wildcats with 15 points. They were really good on the defensive end, holding Little River to 11 of 37 from the field.
Moundridge coach Brian Holloway said his team started off sluggish in the first half, but gave credit for that to how hard Little River played. He added the Wildcats were able to get the ball to Stucky in the fourth quarter and she went to work.
Melanie Renken led the Redskins with 10 points.
"Very proud of the girls and the way they played tonight," Little River coach Trey Look said. "We didn’t shoot the best, but our defense kept us in the game. We talked about toughness before the game and they showed that tonight. We just let them go on a run in the fourth quarter and couldn’t catch back up."
• Moundridge boys 40, Goessel 29 — While the Wildcat girls were at Great Bend, the boys went to Goessel.
The Wildcats had a Canton-Galva Invitational letdown as they trailed 10-5 after a quarter before finally settling in and dominating the game the rest of the way.
“We had a hard time getting going tonight, which was total opposite of how things went for us at the C-G Tournament,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “No energy in the halfcourt offense or defense early combined with some tough shooting luck put us out of sync and we let some things bother us tonight. Tonight was a trap game for us as we came off of a very successful week. Fortunately we found enough offense and some key stops to get us an ugly win. I have to give a lot of credit to Goessel and their coaching staff for having their kids ready to play. They have a couple of nice players in Lindeman and Griffin who gave their team a chance tonight. We will take it, but it certainly should give us a clue that we aren't where we need and want to be.”
Noah Eichelberger was much of the Moundridge offense with 18 points and also had 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Dillon Vogts scored 8 points and dished for 4 assists.
• Elyria Christian School boys 43, Herington 17 — The Railers must have felt like the undefeated Eagles had 10 defenders on the court as the Elyria defense was relentless.
“We were sharp on the defensive end early in the first half.,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. “We were getting our hands on passes and contesting every shot. There was some communication breakdown, but something we should be able to correct in the next couple practices. I felt our ball pressure was good for most of the game and it allowed us to get out in transition off long misses.”
Goodrich went to what is developing into a deeper bench.
“I thought tonight was a good learning opportunity for us,” Goodrich said. “We have a few players out with injury or illness, so some of our younger players had to step up for us. Zach Stucky, Jacob Nelson and Cross Allen gave us some solid minutes and I believe it will help them down the stretch of the season gaining valuable varsity level time. We feel our bench adds another element to our team and we were able to see some of that tonight.”
Tyler Thiessen led the Eagles with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
• Elyria Christian girls 42, Herington 26 — The Eagles led only 17-12 at the half, but turned on the jets to pull away.
It was the 1-2 punch of Bailey Unruh (14 points) and Melea Redenbaugh (12 points, 11 rebounds) that led the way.
“We did not start the game well tonight,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “I was hoping that after a good week of practice we would be focused and ready to play, especially against a team we just lost to last week. We came into halftime with 15 turnovers and not much to feel good about. I was happy with the way our girls came out aggressively on the offensive side in the second half. Anna Shultz had an outstanding game on both sides of the court. She played great defense and then made good decisions on offense. Bailey was active with the ball and found some holes in their zone to score. Melea was strong tonight around the basket and ended up with a double-double.”
• Smoky Valley boys 66, Clay Center 37 — The band was finally back together.
Brett Heitschmidt is now back for the Vikings and that gave them the much-desired balance as four players hit for double figures.
Ben Weldy led the way with 15, while Zach Able, Nick Reinert and Heitschmidt all scored 12.
The Vikings jumped all over the Tigers in the first quarter, doubling them 20-10. The Vikes also outscored the Tigers 35-18 in the second half
• Clay Center girls 42, Smoky Valley 32 — The Vikings gave Hillsboro Classic champion Clay Center a good test.
The Vikes broke out quickly to an 11-8 lead, but the Tigers — ranked No. 2 in Class 4A Division II, stifled the offense allowing just 4 points in the second period. Smoky also scored just 6 in the third before getting untracked.
Kerington Haxton led the Vikings with 11 points.