By William

GOESSEL  – Going up against an undefeated team is a challenge and it is more so when you struggle to score and that is what happened on Friday for the Elyria Christian girls basketball team as they struggles in the second and third quarters to put points on the scoreboard and ended up losing to Rural Vista, 46-25, in the Class 1A regional semi-final at Goessel.

The loss finished the season for the Lady Eagles as they close out 2019-20 with an even .500 mark at 11-11.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team and the effort they put out tonight and the entire season,” noted Lady Eagle Head Coach Greg Fields. “We have a lot of very young girls who still have quite a bit to learn, but they are not intimidated by anyone, and they enjoy playing tough basketball. We came out very strong in the first quarter tonight. We knew that Rural Vista would be a little tight to start the game, it’s hard for an undefeated team to not have those post-season jitters, and I felt like our girls came out very aggressive to try and take advantage of those nerves. Rural Vista came out much stronger in the second quarter and forced a lot of turnovers which turned into some easy quick baskets for them.”

The Lady Eagles actually held a five-point, 9-4 advantage over unbeaten Rural Vista at the end of the first quarter before they went stone cold in the second quarter and between that and turnovers only managed to put two points on the board while Rural Vista tacked 17 onto their side to take a 10-point, 21-11 halftime lead.

Coming out after the break it was much the same again for Elyria Christian as they put just two more points in the scorebook, and with Rural Vista scoring 10 it put the Lady Eagles in the hole by 18 points, 31-13 as they headed into the final eight minutes of play. From there Rural Vista cruised in and made their free throws to take the final 21-point victory.

Coach Fields continued his reflections on the game by saying, “I was very happy with the no quit attitude we had and the fight we showed in the fourth quarter. It would have been easy to get frustrated by a lot of missed opportunities, but each girl showed a ton of perseverance.”

Freshman Lady Eagle, Ryland Hawkinson, had another solid performance as she led the team in both scoring with 11 and rebounds with six while also finding moments to make four steals on defense. Kylee Penner chipped in with five while Olivia Peters led the team in steals with five.

As a team, the Lady Eagles only connected on 30% of their shots from the field while Rural Vista hit on 42%. Rural Vista put the game away at the free throw line as they made 10-of-18 while Elyria Christian only hit four-of-nine. Rural Vista also dominated under the boards with 36 rebounds to the Lady Eagles 19. Both teams suffered in the turnover department as Rural Vista gave it up 28 times and the Lady Eagles turned it over 29.

Coach Fields put some praise on his players individually by adding, “Ryland (Hawkinson) was special tonight as she led the team in scoring. She was also very active defensively and had her hands everywhere to cause turnovers. Allie (Stone) and Olivia (Peters) did an outstanding job on defense. They bring so much energy, and the team as a whole makes it difficult for opponents to run the offense they want.”

Concluding his reflections on the final game of the season, Coach Fields talked about the team’s lone senior in commenting, “We will miss our one senior, Claire Adamyk, next year. She has been a steady presence for our team for the last four years and has been a great leader by example. She is one of the most unselfish individuals I have every been around, and she will truly do whatever she can to make the people around her better. She is going to be very successful in whatever she puts her mind to in the future.”


SCORING:        1          2          3          4          FINAL

Rural Vista       4          17        10        15        = 46

LADY EAGLES   9          2          2          12        = 25

TEAM STATS:              Rural Vista       LADY EAGLES

Shooting                      16-38 (42%)     10-33 (30%)

3-Pointers                    4-10 (40%)       1-9 (11%)

Free Throws                10-18 (56%)     4-9 (44%)

Rebounds                    36                    19

Assists                          11                    6

Turnovers                    28                    29

Steals                           17                    19

Blocked Shots              1                      2

Personal Fouls             15                    19

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN LADY EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (25 total points): Ryland Hawkinson – 11; Kylee Penner – 5; KiLynn Starburg – 4; Olivia Peters – 3; Allie Stone – 2.

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

Rebound Leaders: Ryland Hawkinson – 6; Olivia Peters – 3.

Assists Leader: Six Lady Eagles with one.

Leader in Steals: Olivia Peters – 5; Ryland Hawkinson – 4; Kylee Penner, Allie Stone – 3.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Kylee Penner, KiLynn Starburg – 1.

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)

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