By William

LOST SPRINGS – A flurry of second quarter points and steady tight defense propelled the Elyria Christian boys’ basketball team to a 46-33 victory over Solomon on Saturday which also meant they bring home the championship trophy for the 2020 Centre Cougar Basketball Classic.

The Eagles held but a one point, 9-8, lead at the end of the first quarter before throwing down a flurry of 24 points in the second period while holding Solomon to just six points in eight minutes. The flurry of points gave Elyria Christian a highly comfortable, 19-point, 33-14 advantage as the two teams headed to the locker rooms for the halftime break.

Solomon was able to come out in the third quarter and shave a pair of points of the lead though the Eagles still had a sizable, 41-24 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of the championship. In the final quarter the closest Solomon could get was the 13-point, 46-33, final score giving the Eagles the tournament championship.

“It was good for our team to see we can play well in this type of contest,” noted Eagle Head Coach Zach Goodrich. “It’s always interesting the first few minutes to see how the team starts out, but from the get-go we knew the boys were ready to play.”

Ben Unruh had a huge game for the Eagles as he hit three three-pointers on his way to a team high 18 points while Zach Stucky also reached double digits with 11. Both Stucky and Unruh also had strong defensive games as they each recorded three steals. The team effort showed in the paint as four different Eagle players recorded at least three rebounds led by Unruh and Gage Schneider with four each.

Speaking of his players, Coach Goodrich continued his post-game reflections by adding, “Ben (Unruh) was special tonight and we needed every bit of his energy. I was more impressed with his effort and mentality in the championship game than anything, plus we will take his sharp shooting as well, but all-around he got the team going.  We know what Ben can do and I was thrilled to see him grow tonight, and I believe he can that night in and night out as we are hoping there is more to come. Jackson (Stone) continues to be a spark defensively and offensively, while Bret (Anderson), Gage (Schneider) and Keyan (Wiggers) all continue to do a great job on the defensive boards. Zach (Stucky) played well while learning to find the openings against the zone.”

When looking at the team stats, the Eagles held Solomon to hitting just a pair of their nine three-point attempts while forcing them into 19 turnovers.

Coach Goodrich concluded his reflections by looking ahead and saying, “Overall the effort was great, and the team played with a different mindset. Hopefully we can channel that as we get a full week of practice before playing a solid team from Rural Vista.”


With the victory the Elyria Eagles are now 7-5 for the season and will have a full week of prep time before hitting the hardwood on Saturday, February 1 when they will play host to Rural Vista.


SCORING:                    1          2          3          4          FINAL

Solomon                      8          6          10        9          = 33

ELYRIA EAGLES            9          24        8          5          = 46

TEAM STATS:              Solomon          ELYRIA EAGLES

Shooting                      11-30 (37%)     15-40 (38%)

3-Pointers                    2-9 (22%)         7-19 (37%)

Free Throws                9-14 (64%)       9-20 (45%)

Assists                          2                      8

Rebounds (Off/Def)    31 (6/25)         23 (6/17)

Turnovers                    19                    6

Steals                           3                      12

Blocked Shots              4                      3

Personal Fouls             20                    17

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (46 total points): Ben Unruh – 18; Zach Stucky – 11; Jackson Stone – 7; Bret Anderson – 6; Gage Schneider – 3; Josef Hobson – 1.

Three-Pointers Made (7): Ben Unruh – 3; Zach Stucky, Jackson Stone – 2.

Assist Leader: Keyan Wiggers, Ben Unruh – 2.

Rebound Leaders (Off/Def): Gage Schneider – 4 (1/3); Ben Unruh – 4 (2/2); Zach Stucky – 3 (2/1); Jackson Stone – 3 (0/3).

Leader in Steals: Zach Stucky, Ben Unruh – 3; Bret Anderson – 2.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Gage Schneider – 2.

(Follow us at www.mcpherson-county-ks.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/)

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)