By William

ELYRIA – Playing without their leading scorer and struggling on offense the Elyria Christian girls’ basketball team still gave it all they had on Saturday before losing at home to the number three ranked team in the state for Class 1A, Rural Vista, 26-15.

It was a close game for the first three quarters as the Lady Eagles were tied with Rural Vista at 5-5 after the first eight minutes of play and only trailed by 2 at 11-9 heading into the halftime break.

Rural Vista pushed their lead out to five at 20-15 by the end of the third quarter before Elyria Christian went scoreless in the final quarter to finish the game with the 11-point loss.

“I was extremely proud of the effort every one of our girls displayed tonight,” noted Lady Eagle Head Coach Greg Fields. “Once again, we were short-handed with our leading scorer out of town for the weekend, but the girls did not let that become a distraction. Rural Vista is the third-ranked team in Class 1A, and they have been averaging over 50 points per game. All week we have been working on being a tougher team, both mentally and physically, and everyone stepped up tonight against a seasoned team to make things difficult for them.”

Neither team shot very well from the field as the Lady Eagles hit on just 25% of their shots while Rural Vista connected on just 28%. Both teams struggled hanging on to the basketball as Rural Vista committed 19 turnovers and Elyria Christian turned it over 28 times. The big difference in the game came in the paint where Rural Vista grabbed 34 rebounds to just 23 for the Lady Eagles.

Only four Lady Eagle scored with Ryland Hawkinson leading the team with six while KiLynn Starburg chipped in with five. Hawkinson had the best overall game as she pulled down nine rebounds dished out a pair of assists while blocking three shots and making six steals on defense.

Talking about his team, Coach Fields continued his post-game reflections by saying, “Ryland (Hawkinson) had a huge game for us. It took her some time to get used to the defensive pressure they bring, but she really settled in and played bigger than she is inside. Olivia (Peters) and Allie (Stone) took turns working defense against their best offensive threat and they both were outstanding on that end of the court. I was also very impressed with freshman Alexus Swenson as she had the responsibility of running the point guard position for a good portion of the game and did not commit a turnover against a lot of pressure while also playing some great team defense as well.”

Coach Fields concluded his reflections by adding, “I feel like we grew as a team tonight, and I’m excited to see how the intensity they played with will translate into this last month of the season.”

The Lady Eagles junior varsity won their match-up with Rural Vista, 30-14.


The loss drops the Lady Eagles to 5-8 for the season as they now prep to make a road trip on Tuesday, February 4 to Goessel.


SCORING:                    1          2          3          4          FINAL

Rural Vista                   5          6          9          6          = 26

ELYRIA LADY EAGLES   5          4          6          0          = 15

TEAM STATS:              Rural Vista       LADY EAGLES

Shooting                      10-36 (28%)     7-28 (25%)

3-Pointers                    0-6 (0%)           1-8 (13%)

Free Throws                6-14 (43%)       0-1 (0%)

Assists                          8                      5

Rebounds                    34                    23

Turnovers                    19                    28

Steals                           11                    15

Blocked Shots              5                      5

Personal Fouls             11                    15

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN LADY EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (15 total points): Ryland Hawkinson – 6; KiLynn Starburg – 5; Olivia Peters – 2; Lauren Aden -2.

Three-Pointers Made (1): KiLynn Starburg – 1.

Assists Leader: Ryland Hawkinson Olivia Peters – 2.

Rebounds Leader: Ryland Hawkinson – 9.

Leader in Steals: Ryland Hawkinson – 6; Lauren Aden – 4.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Ryland Hawkinson – 3.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)