MOUNDRIDGE — As far as Moundridge boys basketball coach Vance Unrau is concerned, you can take the “sub” out of sub-state.
The Wildcats, after polishing off Canton-Galva 62-36 Tuesday night in their Class 2A sub-state opener, now advance to Elbing on Friday, where the Final Four there is state-tournament worthy.
“We’re doing the San Diego Chargers approach. Everything is a playoff game from here on out,” Unrau said. “Now we’re here. Any of the four teams left have a chance. Somebody really, really good is going to stay home and I just want to make sure it’s not us.”
The Wildcats will play Hillsboro at 6 p.m. Friday in a matchup of powerhouses, and the winner gets either No. 1 seed Berean Academy or dangerous Inman at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Moundridge certainly enters the weekend playing its best basketball of the year. It was firing on all cylinders against the Eagles, who while improved greatly over last year just didn’t have the firepower to stay with Unrau’s charges.
Hunter Enyart scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half to get the ball rolling, as the Wildcats were up 36-18. Freshman Anthony Otte took over in the second half, scoring 10 of his 17 points.
“I’m hoping we’ll continue to have that inside attack,” said Unrau, whose team will have a paint advantage against Hillsboro while the Trojans rely on a sizzling outside game. “Obviously they have two of the nicest players in the area in (Brett) Weinbrenner and (Tyler) Ratzlaff.”
Canton-Galva was 1-20 last year, but improved to 6-15. Cody Savage led the Eagles with 10 points.
Eagle coach Shane Duncan said the Wildcats played to their strength, which was their inside game.
“We knew that was their strength and it’s our weakness,” Duncan said. “And that’s something the kids can’t control. I thought we played hard, but you really can’t give up that much size against a disciplined team like Moundridge.”
Duncan is trying to build a program that basically had no direction to go but up and it’s evident the process is starting to come along.
“None of us are happy. We’re not going to walk around with our head up in the clouds being 6-15 in a year, but to see the improvement... really our goal coming into the year was to compete and I felt the kids did a really great job of that.”
• Inman boys 52, Little River 48 — There’s a feeling that the Inman boys are the team that nobody wants to play right now.
While the Teutons don’t have the glossy record (12-9), they have been red-hot down the stretch. They repeated a recent road victory over Little River, ending the Redskins’ season at 16-5.
Just like the first meeting, it was a dogfight to the end. Inman was strong in the first half by compiling a 25-15 lead, but the Redskins charged back and closed the gap. Inman, though, converted seven free throws in the fourth quarter to hang on.
The Teutons’ Justin Friesen was on fire with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Barkley Williams added 14 points.
Little River’s Tevin Renken closed his career with a magnificent performance, scoring 29 points, including 8 of 8 at the foul line. He scored 23 of his points in the second half.
The Teutons now play Berean Academy at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a titanic semifinal at Elbing.
• Hesston girls 52, Halstead 27 — The No. 1-ranked Swathers looked every bit the part by demolishing the Dragons.
Hesston more than doubled Halstead in the first half, 27-13, and then struck for 16 third-quarter points.
The Swathers’ size made a difference as Kelsey Unruh powered her way inside to 15 points, while the Richardson sisters — Caylee and Cami — supplied 12 apiece.
The 20-1 Swathers now to go to Marion where they’ll play Hutchinson Trinity Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• Chase boys 43, Elyria Christian School 41, OT — It was a heart-breaking loss for the Eagles, who finished the year 0-21.
Elyria charged back in the fourth quarter to get the game into overtime, but lost on a buzzer-beater.
Matthew Gemmer’s four 3-pointers were good for a team-high 12 points.