It’s been a rare down year for the Inman boys, but Friday night’s 55-47 victory over area counterpart Little River was a cause for celebration.
“We have been playing pretty well here lately and just couldn't seem to get over the hump,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “We lost a game Tuesday that we should have won. I’m proud of my kids for fighting and battling. We just played extremely hard tonight.”
Inman sophomore Keaton Case had his best game of the year with 17 points and took charge of the offense. Another soph, Wyatt Strange, added 10. Inman finished strong with a 19-point fourth quarter.
“Keaton Case had a huge game tonight for us,” Froese said. “He’s really starting to grow up and understand the game here the last six games or so. He made huge free throws down the stretch. He really attacked the paint tonight, which was huge for us. Another sophomore, Walker Strange, had a big game as well. He had 10 and hit two big 3s for us in the fourth quarter. All the seniors played great on Senior Night. I’m very proud of all of them, it was a great team win for us.”
Little River placed three players in double figures with Zach Galyon scoring 14, Chord Zeller 11 and Grant Harvey 10.
• Inman girls 52, Little River 15 — It was a sweep of the night as the Teutons sped to a 14-2 first-quarter lead and were never tested.
Naomi Williams powered her way to 16 points and Abby Ropp scored 10 for the Teutons.
Melanie Renken was much of the Little River offense with nine points.
• Canton-Galva boys 71, Goessel 47 — The Eagles snapped out of their losing ways in a big way.
The disappointment of Tuesday’s close loss to Bennington didn’t stay with the Eagles, who unloaded for 40 second-half points.
Three-point specialist Nick Bray was shooting fish in a barrel, raining five 3-pointers on his way to 23 points. Tanner Klingensmith furnished 11 points, while Zach Snow and Trey Moddelmog added 10. The Eagles need one more win to assure themselves of a .500 regular season, which is a far cry from two years ago when they were 1-20.
“I felt the kids came out and played with great energy on Senior Night,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “The crowd tonight was unbelievable. Standing-room-only on the home side. It's the most fans I've seen here by far in the past three years. It was great for the seniors to go out like this in their final home game.”
• Goessel girls 53, Canton-Galva 41 — The Eagles gave the athletic Bluebirds a push, but they couldn’t recover from giving up 21 points in the first quarter.
The loss spoiled a monstrous game by Cassidy Enns, who was a wrecking ball inside with 25 points, though she did make a couple of 3-pointers.
• Elyria Christian School boys 38, Flint Hills Christian 31 — The Eagles are now 4-4 since the midseason break after starting the year 0-10.
ECS coach Ben Starburg said his team overcame a poor shooting night with some stifling defense.
Matthew Gemmer and freshman Tyler Thiessen led a balanced ECS scoring attack with 10 points apiece.
• Elyria Christian School girls 33, Flint Hills Christian 19 — It was an excellent night for the short-handed Eagles, who take a 12-6 record into the final week.
“This was a great game for a lot of our younger girls as we were missing three starters tonight,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “Addison (Fields) got us off to a great start offensively in the first quarter with four 3-pointers to give us some breathing room. Abbey Rush came off the bench and led the team in rebounding. Christin Vetter was solid inside for us and Bailey Unruh did a great job running the point. This was their first time to start a varsity game, and it didn't take them long to get comfortable.”
Elyria’s airtight defense never gave Flint Hills a chance as it was 13-4 after eight minutes, 19-6 by the half.
Fields’ 12 points was tops for the Eagles.
• Hesston boys 58, Hillsboro 28 — The Trojans hung tough early, but in the end talent differential took over.
The Swathers actually didn’t pull away until the final quarter when they outscored the Trojans, 18-6.
It was a triumvirate of double-figure scorers leading the way, as Grant Raleigh scored 17, Tyler McCartney 16 and Scott Duerksen 12.
• Hesston girls 54, Hillsboro 28 — The Hesston girls continue to cruise along as they have been basically unchallenged nearly the entire season, one reason they are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
It was the usual formula — jump out and attack early. The Swathers had the Trojans down 30-10 at the half.
Caylee Richardson led the Swathers with 15 points and Kaley Jo Ince added 11.
• Pratt boys 76, Smoky Valley 63 — The Vikings had one of their best offensive nights of the season, but unfortunately one of their worst on the defensive end.
Defense wasn’t on the mind of either team as it was 38-31 Pratt at the half. The Vikes trailed by only six going into the final quarter, but again Smoky gave up a huge fourth period as Pratt struck for 24 points.
Freshman Nick Reinert continues to be a star of the future with 21 points to lead Smoky Valley, while Cole Norberg scored 19.
• Pratt girls 55, Smoky Valley 23 — It was a tough second half for Smoky Valley, which was held to six points after being down 33-17 at the half. Kelsie Anderson’s seven points topped the Vikings and she also hauled in seven rebounds.
• Moundridge boys 57, Peabody 43 — The Wildcats are playing their best basketball as the “second season” gets closer.
Colton Frazer had another huge game in the paint with 24 points as he was efficient by sinking 11 of 13 shots, and received perimeter help from Noah Eichelberger with 10. Anthony Otte just missed doubles with nine. Alejandro Jimenez dazzled the Warrior defense with his deft passing, handing out a season-high 12 assists. Moundridge shot 62 percent for the game.
“We got the ball where we wanted it in the halfcourt game and got high-percentage shots,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “We didn't always execute the way I wanted, but we were able to create opportunities when things broke down. I was most disappointed in the second quarter when Peabody got high-percentage shots in transition when we let the ball get ahead of us because we didn't sprint back and stop the ball. This is something that is correctable and we will need to play at our highest level of basketball at both ends of floor as we enter postseason play.”
• Moundridge girls 70, Peabody 21 — There was no letdown for the HOA champion Wildcats, who are now 17-2.
The Wildcats swarmed on the Warriors from the outset, up 19-7 after a quarter and 40-10 at the half.
Ashley Holler and Michelle Schrag scored 14 points apiece, Anna Stucky added 12 and Cassidy Siemens chipped in with 10 as the Wildcats did a great job of sharing the basketball. Ten Wildcats scored in the game.