The Elyria Christian School boys’ undefeated basketball season could have been in trouble on Friday as the Eagles had to play at Goessel without two starters.
But it was no problem.
Even without injured standouts Aidan Fields and Jaden Starburg, the Eagles rolled to a 53-29 rout as the bench stepped up and performed while Tyler Thiessen had a Tyler Thiessen type of night.
Thiessen had 23 points and 9 rebounds to lead the way.
“He attacked the rim hard and got a lot of great looks,” ECS coach Zach Goodrich said of Thiessen. “The rest of the guys all contributed and we had balanced scoring throughout the lineup tonight, which makes us tough to beat. I thought we came out strong from the get-go tonight. We were strong on the glass and got a number of second-chance opportunities off of crashing the offensive boards.”
Tyler Huxman and Zach Stucky stepped up big and freshman Jacob Nelson came off the bench for 8 points.
The Eagles are 8-0 and still ranked No. 1 in Class 1A Division II.
• Goessel girls 45, Elyria Christian 28 — Elyria coach Greg Fields says it’s simple. You can’t win if you can’t put the ball in the basket.
“We had another very slow start offensively,” Fields said. “We need to find a way to capitalize on our looks under the basket. I was hoping that we were better prepared to handle their press, but Goessel did a great job getting our girls sped up. When we did get into our halfcourt sets, Christin Vetter had some nice pick and rolls and I thought Bailey Unruh was very strong taking the ball inside. Anna Shultz and Bailey were very active defensively and created several turnovers.
Vetter and Unruh led Elyria with 8 points apiece. A 2-point first quarter set the tone as the Eagles struggled from the field.
• Solomon boys 65, Canton-Galva 34 — The Eagles were right in it for a half, down just 25-17, but the Gorillas exploded for 40 second-half points.
“The score was a little cosmetic, considering the lineups in the fourth quarter,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “Our younger, smaller team played well against them.”
The Eagles have been beset by injuries and are trying to play through a tough stretch. Kinser Colgin and Conner Koehn topped the Eagles with 8 points apiece.
“I thought Koehn, a freshman, played very well,” Duncan said. “Solomon went 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 across their front line. All seniors and juniors. Pearson was a good floor general tonight 5 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.”
• Canton-Galva girls 57, Solomon 18 — In what was easily the best all-around performance for the Eagles, they dominated the game, highlighted by a 22-point third quarter.
C-G had nice balance with Tia Moddelmog leading the way with 16 points, Alexa Bell scored 12 and Brianna Gough chipped in with 10.
• Little River boys 57, Herington 41 — The Redskins jumped on the Railers to lead 33-21 at the half and cruised from there.
It started in the first quarter as Little River led 18-11.
Levi Swenson stepped up with his best game of the year, pouring in 18 points. He was 6 of 8 from the field, part of a 22-of-34 effort by the Redskins.
Jayden Garrison chipped in with 13.
• Little River girls 50, Herington 32 — Little River continued its strong season despite getting off to a slow start.
The Redskins trailed 9-6 after a quarter, but revved up the offensive engine in the second quarter by exploding for 23 points.
Melanie Renken, who missed several games before Christmas with a foot injury, is all the way back as she poured in 24 points and Emma McBride chipped in with 16.
“Great win for us on the road,” Little River coach Trey Look said. “We started off a little slow, but found our rhythm on offense and picked up the defense in the second and third quarters. We shared the ball pretty good tonight, which helped us get some easy baskets. We were able to get the ball inside to Melanie Renken, who finished with a double-double and it opened things up for our shooters. Emma McBride had a solid night offensively as well with 16 points. I thought Morgan Konen really stepped up her defense tonight with 6 steals and did a great job of controlling Herington’s best player. Another great team effort for us tonight.”
• Kingman boys 67, Smoky Valley 61 —Nick Reinert shot the lights out for the Vikings, but it wasn’t enough.
Reinert drained 7 3-pointers and finished with 31 points, but Kingman’s offense was just too tough to stop.
Ben Weldy chipped in with 16 points for the Vikings.
The Vikings trailed only 27-26 at the half, but both teams picked it up in the second half. They each scored 23 points in the final quarter.
Smoky Valley is still without Brett Heitschmidt because of a knee injury.
• Kingman girls 57, Smoky Valley 31 — The Eagles blitzed the Vikings early by rolling to a 26-8 lead.
Jordan Otto topped the Vikings with 10 points. Smoky struggled from the field by making just 14 of 39 shots.
• Trinity Catholic boys 40, Inman 35 — The Teutons lost more than a game, standout point guard Payton Froese injured an ankle late in the contest.
In the low-scoring game, Inman was up 16-13 at the half and it remained tight all the way.
Froese had 14 points for the Teutons before leaving the game.
• Trinity Catholic girls 44, Inman 40 — After being down 24-19 at the half, the Teutons charged back to take a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but the Celtics held Inman to 6 points in the final period.
Kamryn Herren and MaKayla Michael led the Teutons with 8 points apiece.
• Sedgwick boys 68, Moundridge 52 — The teams are set to meet in the first round of the Canton-Galva Invitational next week, so they got a good look at each other ahead of time.
The Cardinals came out on fire and later scored 43 points over the middle two quarters, during which time MHS managed only 25.
“Game was more to Sedgwick's favor and we allowed too many runouts for quick and easy scores and also got kicked on the glass,” Wildcat coach Vance Unrau said. “That can't happen when you play quick, athletic teams that shoot the ball well. We turn right around and face them in the first round of the Canton-Galva Tournament. Looking for a different outcome. We must do a better job of controlling tempo on Tuesday.”
Noah Eichelberger tallied 19 points to lead MHS and Brady Helms added 17.
• Moundridge girls 53, Sedgwick 48 — It took overtime, but the Wildcats picked up a really nice win against a quality opponent.
MHS outscored Sedgwick 11-6 in the extra session. The Wildcats went up early in the OT, then put the game away with solid free throwing.
MHS coach Brian Holloway said it was one of the better wins for the Wildcats this year. Bethany Stucky had a monster game with 24 points and Kassidy Kaufman added 12, knocking down 3 3-pointers.
• Note — Hesston was idle.