Written for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

MOUNDRIDGE – While it may not have been pretty, the Moundridge boys’ basketball team still managed to open the 2019-20 season at home on Friday with a 10-point, 41-31, win over cross county Elyria Christian.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 11-point lead, 17-6 after just one quarter of play though the Eagles managed to close the gap to just seven at the halftime break. After both teams played it even with eight points each in the third quarter, Moundridge took a three-point advantage in the final quarter of play to earn the 41-31 victory.

“We won’t win any style points tonight but it’s a win,” noted Wildcat Head Coach Vance Unrau. “We were able to get some transition baskets early, but we also missed three or four at the rim opportunities which could’ve built a more comfortable lead. One has to give Elyria a lot of credit for weathering that early storm, they played hard and were solid defenders which I’m not surprised at based on how Coach Goodrich’s teams have played in the past.”

Elyria Christian Head Coach Zach Goodrich felt much the same way, saying, “We had our opportunities and I believe we played better once we got the first game jitters out of our system. Moundridge was solid on the offensive end, and we could not keep them off the boards. They’re a well-coached team, and you learn about your ball club and things you need to improve on after playing them.”

For the Wildcats, they were led by Brady Helms and Jon Schlosser who combined for 34 of the teams 41 points with 18 and 16 points respectively. Schlosser also led the team under the basket by just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Corbin Unruh played a good quarterback for Moundridge by dishing out five assists. Point of note – the Wildcats did not make a single one of their seven three-point shot attempts.

“Brady (Helms) and Jon (Schlosser) gave us a solid inside presence at both ends of the floor,” pointed out Coach Unrau as he concluded his post-game reflections. “Throw in Dan Kaufman and I was pleased how those three got on the glass. Our guards handled the ball well, but we have got to get some outside perimeter scoring going. I think these guys are very capable and hopefully it will materialize. We found out a few things about ourselves tonight. I really like the work ethic of these guys and they are fun to be around.”

As for the Elyria Christian Eagles, they were led by Jackson Stone and Zach Stucky who scored 11 and 10 points each while Bret Anderson pulled down six rebounds. One point of trouble came when Stucky fouled out.

Coach Goodrich looked at the Eagle take-aways from the season’s first game during his post-game reflections by adding, “Defensively we were able to contest their perimeter shots and slow them down on the initial shot but we will have to rebound better the next couple of contests to be more complete on the defensive end. Offensively, we were able to create some opportunities and the boys were able to learn where they can find their shots within the offense. Overall, it was a good first outing and we look forward to getting back after it next week.”

Moundridge also won the junior varsity game by the total of one point, 24-23.

Coming up next for the Wildcats will be on Tuesday, December 10, when they play host to the Wildcat Pre-Season Tournament with a game against cross-county rival Inman. The other two schools in the tournament will be Lyons and Hillsboro.

For the Elyria Christian Eagles, they will back at it on Monday when they begin playing in the Bluebird Classic at Goessel where they will tangle with Little River.

MOUNDRIDGE WILDCAT INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Brady Helms – 18; Jon Schlosser – 16; Corbin Unruh – 4; Korbin Wedel – 2; Daniel Kaufman – 1.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Jackson Stone – 11; Zach Stucky – 10; Bret Anderson – 6; Ben Unruh – 4. Three-Pointers Made: Zach Stucky – 2; Jackson Stone – 2.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)