Written for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

MOUNDRIDGE – It was a tale of two games within one at Moundridge on Friday as the Elyria Christian Lady Eagles and the Moundridge Lady Wildcats battled it out before the Lady Wildcats came out the victor by a score of 46-38 in the 2019-20 season opener for both teams.

The tale of two games came from the fact that if you take the first and fourth quarters, the Lady Eagles won easily 28-17, while the two quarters in between the game was all Lady Wildcats as they outscored Elyria in the second and third quarters 29-10!

In reality, Elyria took a 13-8 first quarter advantage but yet Moundridge held a 23-20 lead going into the halftime break. When the game got to the end of the third quarter, the Lady Wildcats had extended their lead to commanding 14 points at 37-23 after nearly shutting down the Lady Eagle offense.

Elyria gave it everything they could in the fourth quarter but still came up short in losing by eight at 46-38.

“It’s never fun to lose the season opener, but we went into the game hoping to show growth and improvement from last season,” said Lady Eagle Head Coach Greg Fields. “I felt like we accomplished that, and we were able to compete tonight with a very talented Moundridge team.”

For the Lady Eagles of Elyria Christian, they had four players score more than six points with Connie Schott leading the way with 10 while KiLynn Starburg chipped in eight, Olivia Peters hit for seven and Kylee Penner scored 6. Peters had a strong overall game as she tied with freshman Ryland Hawkinson for team lead in rebounds with four while also getting eight steals on defense and hitting a three-pointer.

As for the Lady Wildcats, their game went through Kate Eichelberger who had a huge season opener by getting a double-double in scoring 22 points while pulling down 14 rebounds. Eichelberger also blocked two shots along the way as well. Erin Durst also hit for double digits as she chipped in 14 points on the night.

Coach Fields continued with his post-game reflections by adding, “We got up early in the game with some transition shots while KiLynn (Starburg) gave us a great spark by scoring all eight of her points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, she got into foul trouble and ended up sitting a large portion of the game. I was very pleased with the fight our girls showed in the final quarter when I believe we were down by 17 and then battled our way back to pulling within eight at one point. Katie Eichelberger had an outstanding game against us, even when we were in position and had a solid double team on her, she was still able to score. She not only has great size, but she has a very nice shot around the basket.”

Beyond Starburg, Coach Fields concluded his reflections by talking about his players, saying, “Olivia Peters is becoming much more of an offensive threat for us this season while Connie Schott is a great addition to our team this year as she lead the team in scoring while being very disruptive on defense. I was also excited to see a couple of freshmen get some solid minutes and make an impact. Ryland Hawkinson had four points and four rebounds off the bench, while Alexus Swenson hit a big three for us in the third quarter when we desperately needed a score.”

Coming up next for the Lady Wildcats will be on Tuesday, December 10, when they play host to the Lady 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 Lady 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. The Classic will finish with games on Friday and Saturday as well.

(Moundridge Updated stats from Coach Kessler, Elyria stats from Coach Fields)

MOUNDRIDGE LADY WILDCATS INDIVIDUAL SCORING (46 total points): Kate Eichelberger – 22; Erin Durst – 14; Kourtney Kaufman – 6; Katie Stucky – 2; Kenzie Elmore – 2. Three-pointers Made: Kaufman – 1.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN LADY EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING (38 total points): Connie Schott – 10; KiLynn Starburg – 8; Olivia Peters – 7; Kylee Penner – 6; Ryland Hawkinson – 4; Alexus Swenson – 3. Three-pointers Made: Schott – 2; Starburg – 2; Peters – 1; Swenson – 1.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)