McPherson High’s basketball teams had Tuesday off — and will have Friday as well — but it was a full night of area action, highlighted by a tremendous boys game in Moundridge.
• Moundridge boys 78, Marion 69 — The Wildcats’ Noah Eichelberger went over 1,000 points for his career on a night where defense was an afterthought for both teams as they got up and down the court in racehorse fashion.
Eichelberger burned the nets for 31 points, but amazingly that was only second on the night as teammate Dillon Vogts put on a stunning display with 36 points, making 12 of 15 from the field, 9 of 10 from 3-point.
“I told our kids that Marion was going to be a challenge for us tonight and I was right,” MHS coach Vance Unrau said. “They have size and they are athletic. We had a nice run at the end of the second quarter that gave us a lead and momentum going into halftime. We shot it well tonight and it's a good thing because we made a lot of mistakes defensively that we have to correct for us to be where we want to be in March. We were out-rebounded and I am especially not happy about giving up 10 offensive rebounds. We have to be in better position and we have to be hungrier going after the ball.”
• Marion girls 37, Moundridge 36 — The game was uber-close all night with the Warriors pulling it out.
The Wildcats led 19-17 at the half, but Marion was up 29-27 going into the final quarter.
Bethany Stucky did much of the damage for Moundridge with 17 points.
• Little River boys 59, Goessel 33 — It was a slow start for Little River, trailing 12-8 after the first quarter.
But the Redskins caught fire in the second quarter, exploding for a 25-8 advantage to run away from the Bluebirds.
Levi Swenson topped the Little River scoring with 16 points, one more than Jayden Garrison. Jace Garrison furnished 11. The Indians outscored the Bluebirds 43-17 over the middle two quarters.
• Goessel girls 55, Little River 34 — Athletic Goessel jumped out to a 15-4 lead after 8 minutes and Little River played catch-up all night.
The Redskins had two quarters of 4 points apiece.
Melanie Renken appears to be getting back into form as she scored 15 points to lead Little River. She missed several games earlier in the season with a foot injury.
• Hesston boys 72, Haven 62 — Hesston’s boys showed no effects of a long layoff with an outstanding offensive performance.
The Swathers, though, needed a 23-point fourth quarter to pull away as Haven was pesky throughout the night.
Reese Nebel scored 21 points for the Swathers and made 7 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. He was 9 of 12 at the line overall.
Grady Toews tallied 11 points and Lantonio Unruh added 10 for the Swathers.
• Hesston girls 37, Haven 28 — In a defensive battle, Hesston never gave up a double-digit quarter in stifling the Wildcats.
Point guard Alana Dunlavy is normally the distributor for the Swathers, but she turned scorer on Tuesday with a team-high 10 points, including 4 of 4 at the foul line as the Swathers closed it out. Hesston led only 22-20 going into the final period.
• Elyria Christian School boys 58, Peabody 30 — Class 1A Division II’s undefeated and No. 1-ranked team strolled through the park.
“Tonight was a good game for us, we were able to work on some different looks in our rotations and halfcourt offense,” Elyria coach Zach Goodrich said. “The ball was moving and we were able to see a few shots go in from different guys that have not been shooting it as well. We still have plenty to learn as we begin this final stretch of games, but I do feel we did take a step forward tonight. We have a game Friday (with Canton-Galva) we need to be prepared for and make sure we continue to get better each game.”
Tyler Thiessen scored 21 points, making 9 of 12 shots, while Aidan Fields added 17, making 6 of 10. ECS was 22 of 44 for the game. Thiessen also pulled down 12 rebounds for a double-double.
• Elyria Christian School girls 42, Peabody 17 — As expected, the Eagles had little trouble with rebuilding Peabody.
“It was a fun night to try to do some different things defensively for our girls,” Elyria coach Greg Fields said. “I wanted to keep them focused throughout the game and be ready for changes. I thought they responded well and were very active. Christin Vetter was outstanding with 8 steals. Audra Boerger didn't have a big night looking at stats, but she was incredibly disruptive with a lot of deflections. Bailey Unruh was also great defensively for us and carried a lot of the load on offense. Brekken Anderson did her part to increase our 3-point percentage tonight as she was 2 for 2. We have needed more of an outside presence on offense and our guards are definitely improving there.”
Unruh led the Eagles with 15 points. Vetter was tops in rebounds with 9.
• Sterling boys 63, Inman 57 — The Teutons roared back with 20 fourth-quarter points, but they had trailed by 10 entering the period and the deficit was too much to overcome.
Inman led 25-24 at the half, but the Black Bears erupted for 23 points in the third quarter.
Payton Froese and Mason Thiessen combined for 41 of the 57 Inman points, with Froese scoring 23 and Thiessen 18.
“My kids played really really hard tonight,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “I was so proud of the effort they gave. Sterling has a really nice team and man can they really shoot it. They had one little run on us in the third quarter and that kind of changed it a little. Jaxon Eddy came back tonight for his first game and it really helped us. Sparked our offense a little bit and he was a major contributor on the glass. Proud of him and his effort.”
Thiessen had a double-double as he had 13 rebounds and Payton Froese led in assists with 6.
• Sterling girls 53, Inman 29 — Sterling’s girls clamped down on the Teutons in the second quarter, as a 16-1 run broke the game open.
Inman scored 12 of its points in the final quarter as it couldn’t get going offensively.
Macy DeWitt scored 12 points and Lauren Maurer aded 10.
• Rural Vista boys 68, Canton-Galva 53 — The Eagles showed improvement on offense, even missing top senior Jonah Sargent who was out with the flu.
The Eagles were down 43-21 at the half, but actually won the second half 32-25, which pleased coach Shane Duncan.
“We played a lot of freshman in the second half and they gave us great energy off the bench,” Duncan said. “With Jonah Sargent out sick, it left us with one senior, zero juniors and all sophomores and freshman.”
Conner Koehn led the Eagles with 12 points, one more than Kinser Colgin. Colgin had a nice all-around game with 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
“Kinser and Conner played a great post game against a much-taller and experienced team tonight,” Duncan said. “Brayden Minson and Brandon Huff, both freshmen, gave us some good minutes.”
• Rural Vista girls 58, Canton-Galva 35 — The Heat outscored the Eagles 33-18 over the middle two quarters and steadily built on their lead as the game progressed.
C-G did not have a double-digit quarter, scoring 9 in each of the last three quarters.
Alexa Bell tallied 11 points for the Eagles, one more than Kaysha Unruh.
• Smoky Valley boys 58, Hoisington 48 — The Vikings could never pull away from Hoisington after they led 29-26 at the half.
The Vikings were up 6 after three quarters and finally put the game away.
Nick Reinert led the Vikings with 18 points and Ben Weldy added 14. Brett Heitschmidt nearly hit for doubles with 9.
• Hoisington girls 34, Smoky Valley 29 — After a 13-all tie at the half, Hoisington inched ahead by 4 points after three quarters and then fended off the Vikings.
Jordan Otto knocked down 3 3-pointers for Smoky Valley and finished with a team-leading 13 points.