By William

It was not the prettiest game when it came to offense, but it was a hard-fought defensive matchup on Saturday for the Goessel Bluebird Classic Girls Championship and the Elyria Christian Lady Eagles scored a 25-22 victory over the Little River Lady Redskins to take the title.

Neither team could muster good shooting out of their offenses as the Lady Eagles shot just 16.7% from the field and the Lady Redskins hit just 23.1%, so you give credit where due and that would be the defenses.

“This was a hard-fought defensive struggle against a very good, well coach Littler River team,” explained Elyria Christian Head Coach Greg Fields. “Both teams struggled shooting the ball tonight and we rushed a lot of our shots due to the pressure they put on us. Their girls rotated very well, and we had a hard time getting open looks.”

The Lady Eagles took an early 8-3 lead at the end of the first quarter before Little River bounded back to outscore Elyria 8-2 in the second quarter and take a short lived 11-10 advantage into the halftime break.

Elyria then came out and put up seven and eight points in the final two quarters while holding the Lady Redskins to just 11 points total to gain the low-scoring, three-point win.

“We struggled the whole game offensively,” noted Little River Head Coach Brent Clark. “We had several opportunities to increase the lead when we had it but could not get any shots to fall.”

Alexus Swenson led the Lady Eagles in scoring with nine points, which included two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter. Kylee Penner chipped in with eight points while Ryland Hawkinson played some dominating ball in the paint as she pulled down 13 rebounds while making two steals and blocking four shots. Olivia Peters may have not scored any points, but she also was big under the boards by grabbing eight rebounds.

Talking about his girls during his reflections on the game, Coach Fields added, “Alexus (Swenson) was our fourth quarter hero when we were down by three and she hit two huge three-pointers in a row to get us the lead back. Allie (Stone) was great defensively again tonight, and she hit two free throws at the end of the game to give us the three-point lead with just a few seconds left to play.”

For the Little River Lady Redskins, Lily Boughfman was the player of the game as she scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, blocked three shots, made one steal, and dished out an assist. MeKenzie Renken also worked hard in the paint by grabbing seven rebounds while making three steals.

Coach Clark also talked up his players and team in his game reflections by saying, “I thought we played our best defensive game of the season, but we just could not score. I believe our inexperience and youth played a big part of this championship game as this is an incredibly talented, athletic team and we will only get better.”

Coach Fields concluded his reflections when he said, “This was a complete team win. I really like the fact that all starters, and our girls coming off the bench, are all capable of coming up big in critical moments to make plays needed. We still have a long way to go to become a more disciplined and consistent team, but they are working hard and moving in the right direction. I hope that this tournament will give them more confidence and belief in what they are capable of.”

Both teams return to the competitive hardwood on Tuesday with Elyria Christian traveling down south to play Sedgwick while Little River will also be on the road at Moundridge.


SCORING:                    1          2          3          4          FINAL

LADY REDSKINS           3          8          4          7          22

LADY EAGLES              8          2          7          8          25


FGM-FGA                    9-39                             7-42

3PTM-3PTA                 1-7                               4-22

FTM-FTA                     3-7                               7-11

ASSISTS                       6                                  6

REBOUNDS                  26                                31

TURNOVERS                19                                16

STEALS                        7                                  11       

BLOCKED SHOTS         3                                  5

FOULS                          10                                9


Lily Boughfman = 9 points with 6 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Mea Debaere = 6 points.

MeKenzie Renken = 3 points with 7 rebounds and 3 steals.

Amaya Sneath = 2 points.

Aubrey Olander = 2 points with 3 rebounds.

Alaina Eck = 0 points with 2 steals.


Alexus Swenson = 9 points with 3 3-pointers and 3 rebounds.

Kylee Penner = 8 points with 1 assist.

Allie Stone = 6 points with 4 rebounds, 1 blocked shot and 3 assists.

Ryland Hawkinson = 2 points with 13 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 2 steals.

KiLynn Starburg = 0 points with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

Olivia Peters = 0 points with 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.

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