Vance Unrau had a hunch.
Unrau had watched his Moundridge boys fall behind by as many as 18 points to red-hot Canton-Galva in the first half on Tuesday.
“I told my assistant coach (Courtney) Moddelmog that I thought we had a chance if we could cut it to single digits by half,” Unrau said. “We came close. We were able to cut it to one by the end of the third (quarter) and take the lead early in the fourth.”
When the smoke cleared, the Wildcats had pulled out a 54-46 victory to snap a brief two-game losing streak.
“We played soft at both ends of the floor early and C-G hit some shots early to really put us in the hole,” Unrau said. “That was against our man defense. Switched to 1-3-1 zone and trapped and got into the passing lanes for steals. It disrupted their rhythm and we were able to get the win. C-G is a very good-shooting ballclub. Give them an inside presence and they are they would be even tougher. They played hard and are very well coached.”
The Wildcats had nice balance with Colton Frazer’s 14 points leading the way, followed by Alejandro Jimenez (13) and Kyle Stucky (10).
Trey Moddelmog had an amazing first half for C-G with 19 of his game-high 22 points. The Eagles were up 31-21 at the time, but went cold the rest of the way. Connor Farnham chipped in with 11 points.
It was a disappointing loss for C-G, which is 0-3 in 2015 after a 5-1 start in December.
“We got the looks we wanted down the stretch, but just couldn't get anything to fall,” Eagle coach Shane Duncan said. “Numerous shots rattled off the rim. When we had to foul late in the game, they hit key free throws that kept us at bay. We played a really good half of basketball and they played a really good half of basketball. Credit to Coach Unrau and his team on the win.”
• Moundridge girls 48, Canton-Galva 27 — The once-beaten Wildcats continued their solid play, leading 25-15 at the half and 32-18 after three quarters behind some outstanding defense.
Ashley Holler and Michelle Schrag were a tough tandem to stop with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Holler also came up with six rebounds, four steals and three assists as she continues to put up All-State-type numbers.
No Eagle had more than five points.
• Little River boys 52, Elyria Christian School 41 — A 19-point second quarter broke the game open as the Redskins went from two up to 13 up, 33-20.
Chord Zeller made good use of his height advantage to score 18 points to lead Little River. Zach Galyon added 15.
Spencer Kaufman led the Eagles with 10 points.
“Defensively this was the best game the boys have played all year,” ECS assistant coach Bobby Childs said. “And it was the third away game in the past week. Offensively we dealt with their pressure and height very well, spreading the ball around very unselfishly.”
• Elyria Christian School girls 39, Little River 23 — Defense continues to be a trademark for the Eagles, who stifled Little River from start to finish.
The Adamyk sisters again had big games, with Rachel scoring 17 and Anna 12.
“I was very pleased with our defense tonight,” Elyria coach Greg Fields said. “The girls came to play hard and they got off to a quick start in the first quarter with tough, defensive pressure. Anna Adamyk really started the game well with some steals and layups. Rachel Adamyk had her best game of the year. She played with a lot of confidence on both ends of the court.”
Little River, which won its first game of the season last Friday, was led by Sadie McBride and Melanie Renken with six points apiece.
• Hillsboro boys 52, Smoky Valley 39 — The first quarter basically decided the game.
Hillsboro jumped out to a 12-2 first-quarter lead and it was pretty even the rest of the way.
Cole Norberg led a balanced Smoky Valley offense with eight points.
• Smoky Valley girls 69, Hillsboro 35 — The Vikings played their best game of the season by roaring out to a 19-2 first-quarter lead and also dominated the third quarter, 18-8.
Hannah Hattabaugh was an inside force with 19 points, while Shea Cook and Kelsie Anderson furnished 12 points apiece. The loss spoiled a 25-point outburst by the Trojans’ Alex Ratzlaff.
• Hesston boys 66, Kingman 51 — The once-beaten Swathers meandered through an eight-point first quarter, then caught fire the rest of the way.
Down 12-8, Hesston scored 25 points in the second period, including five 3-pointers, to lead 33-25. The Swathers kept the offensive pressure on in the third quarter.
Balance was a key, as Tyler McCartney scored 15 points to lead the Swathers, while Grant Raleigh scored 14, Scott Duerksen 13 and Justin Smith 11.
• Hesston girls 52, Kingman 31 — An 18-point second quarter by the Swathers turned the game in their favor as they held the Eagles to three points in that period.
Caylee Richardson exploded for 18 points to lead the way, while Kelsey Unruh supplied 13 as the Swathers stayed unbeaten.
• Remington boys 57, Inman 49 — In a wild affair, the Broncos led 30-20 at the half before Inman charged back within 37-36 by the end of the third quarter.
But the Broncos outscored the Teutons 20-13 in the final period.
Blayne Konrade continued his red-hot scoring with 20 points to lead the Teutons.
• Remington girls 48, Inman 25 — The Teutons’ offense was stuck in neutral, as they didn’t score more than seven points in any quarter and trailed 24-12 at the half.
Abby Ropp led the Teutons with seven points.