The defense the Elyria Christian School girls currently are playing is simply suffocating.
After giving up just 8 points on Friday to Solomon, the Eagles continued their strafing ways on Tuesday by shutting down Canton-Galva, 38-11.
ECS held C-G without a point in the second quarter and just 2 points in the third. Canton-Galva was playing its second game in two days.
Kylee Penner led the winners with 14 points.
Here are ECS coach Greg Fields’ thoughts:
“I was happy with consistent defense again tonight. The girls have been working extremely hard since the break on a different press, and they have bought in with a lot of excitement. Olivia Clark led the way for us with 5 steals. KiLynn (Starburg), (Olivia) Peters and Allie (Stone) were all right with her with a lot of steals and deflections. Olivia Peters also led the team in rebounds tonight.
“Canton-Galva really does a nice job with their own defense. Their girls do not give up, and we struggled to finish around the basket against their physical play. We were glad to have Kylee Penner back tonight. She pulled down some great rebounds and she continues to be our steady offensive player as she led in scoring with 14.
“I feel like we are getting better at running offense and being patient to find good looks. We need to continue to improve on finishing shots inside the lane on our halfcourt sets as well as finishing transition layups.”
Fields added the Eagles’ game on Friday has been postponed, so the team doesn’t play again until Tuesday at Sedgwick.
Mimi Craig led Canton-Galva with 4 points and Alexa Bell snagged 7 rebounds.
Canton-Galva boys 51, Elyria Christian School 36 – Elyria Christian was down two starters and Canton-Galva took advantage with one of its best games of the year.
The game was tied at 19 at the half, but C-G rocketed out of the halftime break with a 15-4 sizz and wound up scoring 32 points in the second half.
“We ran out of gas tonight against a high-energy Canton Galva team,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. “We had one bad stretch where we let them score a number of baskets in a row and we just couldn’t recover. Since we are missing two starters, we had guys that played all 32 minutes and so our fatigue plagued us a number of times in the game and I believe caused our high number of turnovers. I was very proud of Zach Stucky and his will to do all in his power to try to help us win. He hit some big 3s and handled Canton-Galva’s pressure well.”
Stucky scored 23 points to lead ECS.
Tyson Struber, whose December was hindered by an ankle injury, had a breakout game with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead C-G. Brayden Collins added 12 points.
Smoky Valley boys 46, Halstead 32 – The Vikings notched their second win of the year, both against Halstead, as the teams have played back-to-back games dating back to December.
This one was much closer as the Dragons had more players involved. Haven Lysell-Stewart was 7 of 8 from the field on his way to 15 points and also pulled down 5 rebounds to pace Smoky Valley. Jake Lucas chipped in with 11 points.
Halstead girls 54, Smoky Valley 25 – Smoky Valley’s girls can attest to Halstead being the No. 2- ranked team in Class 3A.
For the second time this year, the Dragons had the Vikings’ number, led by All-Stater and Pittsburg State signee Karenna Gerber, who poured in 22 points.
Abby Rose led the Vikings with 7 points.
Coach Larry Van Der Wege’s thoughts:
“Halstead is a matchup challenge for any team they play. If you focus on one player, another one will burn you and vice versa. That's a credit to their talent. I thought we actually executed our offense better, but just couldn't put the ball in the hole. Initial stats have us shooting 32 percent from the field but just 3 for 19 (15 percent) from the free throw line. Part of that is credited to Halstead and part of that is just a bad night against a really good team.
“We were without Bre Priddy due to an illness and we had to make game-time adjustments to that. We missed her rebounding, as we gave up too many rebounds on the defensive end, leading to second-chance points. Halstead is tough enough to defend the way it is, when you give up offensive rebounds to them, you won't beat them. Changes in scheduling due to COVID-19 meant that we played Halstead back-to-back. That's a pretty tough stretch and hopefully we can rebound as players and coaches and be ready for Hesston at home on Friday. We have a lot of season to play.”
Trinity Catholic boys 54, Inman 39 – After a competitive first half, the Teutons struggled in the second half as the Celtics wound up winning going away.
“Didn’t show up tonight early,” Inman coach Brett Froese said. “Not sure why, but just didn’t. Got down early and fought back couple times. Had a terrible third quarter. I have to fix it or it won’t be good. We are too talented not to play harder and better than we did tonight. Trinity has a good solid team. (Tanner) Heckel was good again tonight, but we are starting to just rely on him and watch him make plays. Won’t work. We better figure it out in a hurry ‘cause if we don’t, Friday at Sedgwick will be just like tonight.”
Heckel led the Teutons with 14 points and Jace Doerksen added 10.
Inman girls 49, Trinity Catholic 44 – The third quarter turned the tide for Inman, as it outscored the Celtics 20-11 to overcome a 19-14 halftime deficit.
Raegan Neufeld led three Teutons in double figures with 16 points. Hannah Martisko added 11 and Maci Neufeld chipped in with 10. Hayley Hughes scored half of the Celtics’ points with 22.
Coach Bill Mauer’s reflections:
“This was a really well-played game by both teams. Our girls played with tremendous effort on the defensive end all night. Hannah Martisko, Lauren Aden, Maci Neufeld and Kambry Woods did a tremendous job guarding Hammersmith and Hughes. It sounds crazy since Hughes had 22 points, but she had to work hard to get shots and she shot really well from the free throw line.
“Offensively, Raegan Neufeld was really good in the post for us. She knocked down some tough interior shots and when she got fouled she made free throws. (10 for 10 for the game). Hannah Martisko played her best all-around game of the season, defensively her length caused some problems for Hughes and offensively she made 3 big 3-pointers.
“I think our patience on the offensive end in the second half really paid off as we were able to get the ball inside against their 1-3-1 and then knock down some big shots from the perimeter. The four 3-pointers that we made in the third quarter, 1 by Lauren, 1 by Maci and 2 by Hannah really helped us get back into the game after falling behind by 9.
“The play of the game though, was the charge that Kadence (Welch) took in the last few seconds. She stood in there and took it and I am so proud of her for doing it. I couldn't be prouder of our girls and the effort that they gave tonight.”
Moundridge boys 65, Bennington 33 – The Wildcats got back to .500 on the season, exploding for 27 points in the first quarter and wound up leading 45-17 at the half.
Landon Kaufman, coming off a 26-point game, hit for 25 points and also dished for 5 assists and came up with 5 steals. Jon Schlosser made 8 of 11 floor shots and finished with 19 points, along with 8 rebounds.
Kaufman was 5 of 9 from 3-point.
Moundridge girls 30, Bennington 29 – The Wildcats were down going into the fourth quarter, but pulled it out to remain with just one loss on the season.
The Wildcats rode Kate Eichelberger's 23-point, 10-rebound performance.
"Our defense was solid all night, but offensively we couldn't get the ball to go into the baskt," MHS coach Vicky Kessler said. "The Bulldogs could not stop Kate on the inside and that was the key to the game.:
Kindall Elmore added 6 points and 7 rebounds.
Little River boys 83, Peabody 41 – It was an historic first half for the Little River boys.
Class 1A’s No. 1-ranked team went off for 60 points in the first half as it overwhelmed outmatched Peabody.
Little River scored 81 points through the first three quarters.
Jayden Garrison went off for 35 points, making 13 of 21 shots. Trey Rolfs was on fire with 21, while Rylan Konen added 12 and Braxton Lafferty added 10.
Little River girls – No game as Peabody does not field a team this year.
Hesston boys 59, Nickerson 29 – Hesston ran over Nickerson with a 19-2 first quartrer and remained undefeated on the year.
It was 34-14 at the half.
Nine Swathers scored in the game, with Cason Richardson leading the way with 17, 11 in the first half.
Nickerson girls 63, Hesston 36 – State-ranked Nickerson came out white-hot, going for 23 points in the first quarter and 37 for the first half for the easy win.
Ava Jones, who is being recruited by everybody, led the Panthers with 27 points, one of three Panthers in double figures.
Anna Humphreys topped the Swathers with 15 points.