The fifth-ranked Moundridge girls were poised to topple the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A Friday night in the finals of the Great Bend Hilltop Classic.
The Wildcats led top-ranked Central Plains by 17 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Oilers staged one of the all-time comebacks for a 61-59 win.
Central Plains’ Reagan Phelan tied the game at 59, then won it with a basket with 1 second left in the game to deal the Wildcats only their second loss of the year.
Ashley Holler was magnificent in defeat for the Wildcats with 21 points.
• Moundridge boys 47, Goessel 39 — The Wildcats got past Goessel in a non-tournament game behind 15 points by Colton Frazer.
Alejandro Jimenez added 12 and Anthony Otte chipped in with 10 as the Wildcats have been displaying more balance in recent games.
But once again, the Wildcats had a start-stop kind of night.
“A pattern that I am not happy about,” said Moundridge coach Vance Unrau, whose team played well early and then went stagnant. “We came out with good energy and built a nice lead, only to squander the opportunity to put them away. Teams will continue to pack it in against us. Our perimeter game needs to get better or we will continue to see teams challenge us or almost dare us to shoot from the outside. We have kids that can shoot it. We need to step up with confidence and knock those shots down. An ugly win. But we will take it and move on.”
• Smoky Valley boys 56, Clay Center 49 — The Vikings have been playing much better as of late, as 17 points by freshman Nick Reinert paced them to yet another victory, their third in a row and fourth overall.
Cole Norberg added 14 points.
• Clay Center girls 42, Smoky Valleuy 29 — Scoring continues to be a problem for the Vikings, who are playing well enough defensively to win.
Katie Bellah was on fire for Smoky in defeat, making 7 of 13 shots on her way to 18 points.
• Elyria Christian girls 50, Sylvan Lucas 39 — A 20-8 third-quarter eruption led the Elyria girls to the victory, their ninth of the year.
Rachel Adamyk’s 18 points led the Eagles, who were down 26-19 at the half
No Elyria boys score was reported.