Moundridge boys coach Vance Unrau looked at Friday's road game with arch-rival Inman as a defining moment of the season.
"I told the guys before the game that this time of year teams go one of two ways. Playing for something or ready to tank it," Unrau said.
Apparently the Wildcats believe they still have plenty to play for.
In arguably the best rivalry West of the Mississippi, the Wildcats outlasted the Teutons 49-40 as the game was the usual intense affair.
"We played soft defensively, giving numerous open looks through three quarters and we gave up too many second-chance points," Unrau said. "But in the end, the defensive pressure helped us become more aggressive offensively and we attacked the basket creating scoring opportunities."
Alejandro Jimenez led the Wildcats with 18 points, while Noah Eichelberger added 11. Unrau said those two and Parker Lange came up with some key plays.
Inman led by three points going into the fourth quarter, but Moundridge summoned up one of its best stretches of the year, outscoring the Teutons 16-4 over the final 8 minutes.
Blayne Konrade fired in 16 points to lead the Teutons, while Wyatt Regehr added 12.
"We made some ill-timed plays down the stretch and they made the plays when they needed to," Inman coach Brett Froese said. "Jimenez got some buckets late on us, and free throws. Our game plan was good, held (Colton) Frazier to six. Hard-fought game, both teams needed a win bad. Hats off to them for making the plays down the stretch. Konrade shot the ball well, (Keaton) Case really handled the ball for us and got us into what we wanted to do. Walker Strange played a good all-around game, so it's encouraging to see your young kids play well. Great game, they usually are."
• Moundridge girls 33, Inman 24 — Moundridge coach Vicky Kessler said her team got away with a cold-shooting night and added that Inman had showed much improvement.
Ashley Holler was the only Wildcat not afflicted with a cold-shooting hand, scoring 16 points. Naomi Williams led Inman with 11.
• Sedgwick boys 60, Canton-Galva 56, OT — The teams needed three overtimes when they met in the Canton-Galva Invitational.
Friday, they needed only one.
Sedgwick outscored C-G 8-4 in the extra period. The Cardinals had scored in the closing seconds on a putback to send the game into extras.
The Eagles had nice balance as Connor Farnham scored 15, Nick Bray added 13 and Travis Unruh scored 11. Tanner Klingensmith pulled down 10 rebounds, but fouled out with 2 minutes to go.
"We turned the ball over twice in the final minute, which led to four points for Sedgwick and we missed two free throws in the final minute also," C-G coach Shane Duncan said. "You can't make those mistakes in a close game against a quality team. We play hard enough to win, but simply made too many mistakes late in the game. I'm proud of the effort we showed throughout the game. Unfortunately it just didn't go our way tonight. We need to refocus and get prepared for next week's games. "
• Canton-Galva girls 37, Sedgwick 33 — The Eagles continued their drive toward a winning season as they are now 9-6.
It was a defensive battle all the way as C-G led only 20-15 going into the fourth quarter when business started to pick up. The Eagles outscored the Cardinals 19-18 in the final period.
It was another big night for Cassidy Enns, who led the Eagles with 13 points, while Zoe Unruh scored nine and Kelli Nightingale eight.
C-G probably could have put it away, but made only 15 of 31 free throws to allow the Cardinals to stay close.
• Hesston boys 64, Smoky Valley 26 — The Vikings had been streaking, winning four in a row.
Then they ran into state-ranked Hesston.
The Swathers outscored the Vikings 34-11 in the second half, including 14-0 in the fourth quarter.
Tyler McCartney scored 17 points for Hesston, one more than Grant Raleigh. Nine Swathers in all scored.
Trey Schneider scored eight to lead Smoky. Nick Reinert, who had been on a tear, was held to six.
• Hesston girls 56, Smoky Valley 33 — The Swathers held the Vikings to a single point in the first quarter and five for the first half.
Kelsey Unruh powered her way to 19 points to lead the Swathers, while Cami Richardson furnished 12. Hannah Hattabaugh sparkled in defeat with 14 points.
• Goessel boys 49, Elyria Christian School 33 — The Eagles, who had won three of their last four, didn’t show up at the start.
They were outscored 12-0 in the first quarter, but showed a lot of grit by cutting it to 20-16 by the half. But another spurt by the Bluebirds, 15-6 in the third quarter, opened up some breathing room.
Matthew Gemmer’s nine points led the Eagles.
• Goessel girls 33, Elyria 24 — The athletic Bluebirds were given a scare, down 10-4 after a quarter and 13-7 at the half in a defensive battle. But an 11-2 third quarter turned the tide.
Anna Adamyk was most of the ECS offense with 13 points.
“Our girls played amazing defense tonight against what could be the best team that we will see all year,” Elyria coach Greg Fields said. “Once again, missed free throws hurt us and our rebounding was nonexistent. We are excited to see what the remainder of the season brings for us from this point on.”
• Little River boys 58, Centre 40 — No game information available.
• No score available on the Little River at Centre girls.