There was state championship atmosphere Tuesday night in Hesston, probably because it was a rematch of last year’s Class 3A state championship game.
And the outcome was just as it was last year as Hesston shook off a slow first half to rally past Lyons, 48-40.
It was all Lions in the first half. They were up 17-10 after a quarter and 24-21 at the half.
Lyons scored only seven points in the third quarter as Hesston took a 34-31 lead, then the Swathers put the game away at the line in the final period, making seven free throws.
Kelsey Unruh made 9 of 10 free throws and scored 15 points to lead the Swathers. Caylee Richardson furnished 12.
• Hesston boys 64, Lyons 38 — The Lions were no match for the Swathers, who scored at least 16 points in three of the four quarters.
Balance was a key, as Tyler McCartney led Hesston with 17 points, Grant Raleigh added 15 and Scott Duerksen tallied 13.
It was 32-15 at halftime.
• Ell-Saline boys 49, Inman 42 — The Inman boys were haunted by a three-point second quarter as the Cardinals constructed a seven-point halftime lead before the teams played on even terms the rest of the way.
“We played hard once again, but just can't find enough ways to put the ball in the hole,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “We get good looks, just can't knock them down. Our effort is still good.”
Blayne Konrade led Inman with 16 points.
• Inman girls 34, Ell-Saline 24 — The stealth-quick Teutons played superb defense, especially in the first half when they allowed only nine points.
Inman delivered a 1-2 punch in the form of Abby Ropp (13 points) and Naomi Williams (12).
• Remington boys 57, Canton-Galva 47 — The Eagles were down 14 at the half, cut into it in the third quarter but the rally ran out of steam.
Tanner Klingensmith was the only Eagle in doubles with 14 points.
“We did not come out ready to play tonight,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “We turned the ball over way too much against their zone in the first half, missed open shots, missed free throws, didn't box out on the defensive end. You name it, we struggled with it. I have to do a better job of making sure we are ready to play from the tip on Friday.”
• Remington girls 50, Canton-Galva 26 — The streaking Eagles suffered a rare clipping as the Broncos won every quarter, doubling C-G 14-7 in the third and 12-6 in the fourth.
Zoe Unruh led the Eagles with 10 points. Remington held C-G standout Cassidy Enns to nine.
• Nickerson boys 50, Smoky Valley 45 — The Vikings had a brief lead in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers rallied for the win.
Viking individual scoring was not available.
• Smoky Valley girls 52, Nickerson 25 — It was a rare laugher for the Vikings, who strafed the Panthers in the first half to the tune of 32-8.
Hannah Hattabaugh dominated on the inside for the Vikings with 17 points. Kelsie Anderson added 10. Allison Rose was a rebounding machine by plucking 12 caroms.
• Little River boys 46, Elyria Christian School 40 — The game was tied at 31-all when the Redskins received a pair of 3-pointers from Grant Harvey to send them on their way.
“We did a much better job with ball security, reducing our turnovers and getting to paint,” ECS coach Ben Starburg said.
Chord Zeller dominated the inside with 22 points to lead Little River. Harvey finished with 19 as they scored all but five of the Redskins’ points.
Freshman Tyler Thiessen continues to polish his future star with 16 points and Spencer Kaufman scored 10, all in the first half.
• Elyria Christian girls 44, Little River 19 — Elyria led 25-4 at the half as its defense was sensational.
“I was very pleased with our defense again tonight,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “We allowed a couple of shots early in the first quarter, made an adjustment and did not allow another point the rest of the first half.”
It was another big night for the Adamyk sisters, with Rachel scoring 18 and Anna adding 17.
• Moundridge boys 52, Marion 30 — A 22-9 second-quarter eruption set the tone for the Wildcats.
“We struggled out of the gate tonight, but got a jump-start when we switched defenses and got some steals for transition baskets,” MHS coach Vance Unrau said. “We finally finished at the basket and continued to pound the ball inside where Colton (Frazer) was able to post up. Kyle Stucky has really been solid defensively and he was again tonight coming up with four steals. Noah Eichelberger and Parker Lange continue to give us solid minutes off the bench.”
Frazer had a monster game with 23 points and seven rebounds.
• Moundridge girls 46, Marion 31 — It was 14-2 after the first quarter and the Wildcats never looked back, though Marion did get as close at seven.
Ashley Holler had her usual great game for Moundridge with 16 points.