The last time Elyria Christian School’s boys and Centre met, the result was an epic four-overtime game that went deep into the night before the Eagles finally prevailed.
In the rematch on Tuesday, the Cougars avenged that defeat by handing the No. 1-ranked Eagles their first loss of the year, 56-44. Elyria is ranked No. 1 in Class 1A Division II and had won 14 straight.
“We did not execute very well tonight and I will take the blame,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. “Some of our passes were not as crisp and our shot selection was not very good. As I have said before, we still have areas we want to improve and this gives us an opportunity to look at ourselves on film and make those corrections. Centre made some timely shots and that made it difficult for us to make a run in the second half. We knew this week was going to be tough, but not playing well on top of being on the road can make it even more difficult. We have another opportunity Friday to get better and for us to have any chance we have to play well.”
Centre jumped on Elyria from the outset, leading 19-13 after a quarter. The Eagles were down by 13 going into the fourth quarter and could never muster the comeback.
Tyler Huxman came off the bench to lead Elyria with 15 points. Tyler Thiessen scored 12 and Caleb Froese added 10. ECS was just 5 of 25 from beyond the arc.
• Elyria Christian girls 34, Centre 30 — A win is a win is a win, but that was about it as far as ECS coach Greg Fields was concerned as his team moved past the .500 mark at 8-7.
“One of the only positive things I can say about this game tonight is that we came away with a win,” Fields said. “We also made 4 3-pointers in the first half, which tied the amount we made in the first 10 games of the season, so that's an improvement. Our guards have been doing a better job connecting on some outside shots, which is helping our posts get better looks inside.”
The game was tied after three quarters before Elyria scored nearly half of its points in the fourth quarter with 15. Christin Vetter scored 12 to lead the Eagles, while Melea Redenbaugh snagged 10 rebounds, half of them offensive.
• Canton-Galva boys 70, Peabody 67 — In an offensive shootout, the Eagles held off the Warriors, scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter.
C-G had nice balance with Nick Pearson leading the way with 20 points, followed by Kinser Colgin with 13, Brayden Collins with 12 and Jonah Sargent with 10. Landon Everett came away with 8 rebounds and Pearson dealt out 7 assists. Colgin also came up with 6 steals.
“Defense seemed to be an afterthought tonight,” Canton-Galva coach Shane Duncan said. “We didn't rotate in our zone and didn't communicate very well in man-to-man. At least our press rotation was solid and gave us some opportunities for points off turnovers. We pushed the ball in transition and attacked the rim, which led to 41 free throw attempts. We needed it, because we didn't shoot the ball especially well tonight.”
Pearson was 9 of 13 at the stripe to lead the way.
• Canton-Galva girls 65, Peabody 13 — It was a breather for the Eagles, who overmatched the Warriors in the first half to lead 31-12. Peabody was held to a single free throw in the second half.
Tia Moddelmog exploded for 25 points to lead C-G, with Kaysha Unruh furnishing 13. Eight Eagles in all scored.
• Inman boys 51, Remington 48, OT — The Teutons outscored the Broncos 8-5 in overtime for the exciting win.
Inman had watched Remington come back from a 6-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force extra basketball.
Payton Froese topped the Teutons with 23 points. Mason Thiessen furnished 12. The recent return of Jaxon Eddy has been a plus as he chipped in with 10 to give Inman that much-needed third option.
• Inman girls 48, Remington 39 — It was a sweep for the Teutons, who took control of the game in the second quarter by outscoring the Broncos, 15-10.
No Teuton scored in double figures as balance was a key. Lauren Maurer’s 9 points were tops, but eight Inman players chipped in with marks in the book.
• Little River boys 60, Solomon 54 — Brothers Jayden and Jace Garrison combined for 35 points to lead the Redskins to yet another victory.
Jayden tallied 21 points, including 7 of 10 at the foul line. Jace added 14, 6 of them free throws.
The second quarter was the difference as Little River sprinted up and down the floor for 20 points while the Gorillas had only 11.
• Little River girls 43, Solomon 40 — Little River fended off a fourth-quarter charge as Solomon tried to overcome a 7-point deficit after three quarters.
Little River led only 26-25 at the half, but outscored Solomon 12-6 in the decisive third quarter.
Emma McBride knocked down 3 3-pointers and scored 13 points to lead the winners, while Melanie Renken just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
• Bennington boys 51, Moundridge 39 — The Bulldogs are one of the most athletic teams in the Heart of America and they turned on the afterburners in the fourth quarter by breaking open a close game with a 19-9 burst.
Dillon Vogts and Noah Eichelberger were much of the Moundridge offense with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
“We played hard and had a chance,” MHS coach Vance Unrau said. “The lead for either team was never more than 5 points until the mid-4th quarter when Bennington hit back-to-back 3s and that was a killer. Dealing with size again tonight in their 6-10 post and a couple of really good guards and a team of athletes. We will get back after it tomorrow. I still believe in this team.”
• Moundridge girls 45, Bennington 17 — The Wildcats were in lockdown mode.
Bennington never had more than 5 points in a single quarter as this was Moundridge’s game from start to finish.
Bethany Stucky fired in 20 points to lead MHS and Kortney Kaufman chipped in with 11.
• Hesston boys 58, Nickerson 43 — Big man Blake Martin had a breakout game by scoring 19 points as the Swathers rolled to a comfortable victory.
Martin had 12 of his points in the second half, 7 in the fourth quarter.
Reliable Reese Nebel furnished 15 points and Cameron Cox added 10. Hesston nearly doubled Nickerson in the first half, 31-16.
• Hesston girls 54, Nickerson 33 — It’s all about defense for the Hesston girls, who held Nickerson to just 4 points in the second quarter while scoring 19 themselves to lead 31-14 at the break.
Nickerson had no answer for the 1-2 punch of Kailey Jo Ince and Elise Kaiser, who scored 17 and 11 points, respectively.
• Smoky Valley was idle.