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GOESSEL – Two schools located maybe 20-25 minutes apart, Little River and Elyria Christian, went to Goessel on Monday for the Bluebird Basketball Tournament and battled out in the first round with the Eagles of Elyria Christian holding on in the final few minutes of the game to beat the Redskins of Little River, currently ranked number two in the state, 42-40.

The Eagles jumped all over the Redskins in the first quarter by using a hot offense and a stifling defense to surge out to an early 14-point, 16-2 lead.

Little River then outscored Elyria 14-9 in the second quarter to pull within nine points heading into the halftime break at 25-16. The Redskins continued to chip away at the Eagles lead throughout the second half, pulling to within six, 34-28, after three quarters of action and then the final two points in which they could not overcome to give Elyria the close 42-40 victory.

“It was a great team effort tonight against a quality opponent,” noted Elyria Christian Head Coach Zach Goodrich. “Anytime you go up against a talent like Jayden Garrison of Little River, you can’t take any breaks defensively and he made us pay when were not sharp. Little River was able to close the gap in the fourth quarter, but we were able to get one last stop as time expired. They (Little River) have a great team and once they get everyone back, they will be a handful. We played two solid teams now in just four days, it will be nice to back to practice and clean up some actions we were not very sharp in this evening.”

Individually, Little River had but one player reach double digits in the scorebook and that was Jayden Garrison who finished with a team and game high 19 points, which included three three-pointers. Garrison also pulled down six rebounds for the Redskins though Trey Rolfs led the team in the paint by hauling in eight rebounds.

For the Eagles, Zach Stucky and Jackson Stone both put double digits by their name in the scorebook with 16 and 13 points respectively, while the three some of Stone, Gage Schneider and Bret Anderson held their ground under the baskets by pulling down 23 of the teams 30 rebounds with nine, eight and six respectively.

Coach Goodrich closed out his post-game reflections by discussing some of the Eagles individual performances, saying, “Jackson Stone took on the primary challenge of putting pressure on the Redskins Garrison throughout the game and I was proud of his effort. Jackson is starting to figure it out on both ends of the floor and we hope he will continue to improve. Zach Stucky and Bret Anderson both brought a focus that helped us find success on both sides of the ball as well. Stucky was steady on the offensive end and kept getting us into our offense. Anderson was getting on the floor for loose balls, rebounding and contesting shots with his long frame. Gage Schneider and Stone had eight and nine rebounds respectively, which was important for us down the stretch.”

In the junior varsity match up, it was anther very close game with Little River coming out on top by three of the Eagles, 30-27.


Little River will be right back on the court on Tuesday for their second game of the Goessel Bluebird Tournament when they are scheduled to tangle with Canton/Galva.

Elyria Christian will have a couple of days to practice as they won’t return to the tournament until Friday when they play Canton/Galva.



LITTLE RIVER               2          14        12        12        = 40

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN       16        9          9          8          = 42


LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Jayden Garrison – 19; Tylan Konen – 7; Braxton Lafferty – 6; Trey Rolfs – 5; Keaton Richardson – 3. Three-pointers Made: Jayden Garrison – 3; Keaton Richardson – 1; Trey Rolfs – 1.


ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Zach Stucky – 16; Jackson Stone – 13; Bret Anderson – 8; Josef Hobson – 3; Gage Schneider – 2. Three-pointers Made: Zach Stucky – 1; Josef Hobson – 1; Jackson Stone – 1.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)