By William

CANTON – In a game that was never ended any of the first three periods separated by more than one point, the Elyria Christian boys finally pulled away enough in the final eight minutes to score a 47-41 win over Waverly on Tuesday to send them on a trip to the Final Four of the Class 1A Division II State Tournament.

The Eagles are now 15-9 for the season and will play Rozel/Pawnee Heights at 7:00 p.m. on Friday in Great Bend. Rozel/Pawnee Heights will bring a 14-9 mark into the battle after beating South Haven 48-43 in their quarterfinal matchup.

If Elyria wins, they will then play the winner of the tangle between Almena/Northern Valley and Hanover. Hanover is 22-1 and ranked number one.

“It feels good to be in the semi-finals of the 1A D2 state tournament,” pointed out Eagle head coach Zach Goodrich. “It was not easy tonight by any means as Waverly made us work for this win the entire 32 minutes of play. I felt like we got the looks we wanted to in the first quarter but failed to convert most of them which kept the score close.”

The Eagles came out of the opening quarter with a one-point, 9-8 lead and still held a single point advantage at 19-18 when the two teams took their halftime break. The game continued to be close as Waverly played for a tie at the end for the third quarter before Elyria was able to put some distance ahead of the visitors and score the final six-point victory.

Coach Goodrich explained more of the tightness of the game when he added, “Every time we made a run, Waverly answered with a run of their own. They were a well-coached, never-say-die team and it was a fun game to witness as both teams left it all on the court. We needed to hit our free throws to seal the game in the fourth quarter and Zach (Stucky) was able to go 6-of-6 from the line which was huge.”

Stucky led the Eagles on offense with 14 points while Josef Hobson reached double digits with 10 and both Bret Anderson and Keyan Wiggers chipped in with seven each. Ben Unruh and Stucky led the offense with four and three assists each while Bret Anderson worked the paint and pulled down five rebounds with Wiggers and Hobson each grabbing four.

The Elyria defense forced Waverly into 21 turnovers and most of that came on 14 steals with Hobson swiping five and Stucky taking four.

Concluding his post-game reflections, Coach Goodrich said, “Stucky handled Waverly’s pressure extremely well throughout the game. Each one of our guys stepped up in big ways at different times of the game. I am really happy for them and we look forward to heading to Barton County and Great Bend on Friday.”


SCORING:     Q1      Q2      Q3      Q4      FINAL

Waverly         8          10       11       12       41

EAGLES          9          10       10       18       47

Waverly Team Stats: FG 18-34; 3PT 3-8; FT 2-2; AST 9; RBS 23; TO 21; STL 8; BLK 3; FLS 14.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLE TEAM STATS: FG 17-43; 3PT 5-18; FT 8-11; AST 10; RBS 18; TO 12; STL 14; BLK 0; FLS 12.


Scoring (47): Zach Stucky – 14; Josef Hobson – 10; Bret Anderson – 7; Keyan Wiggers – 7; Ben Unruh – 6; Kaden Aroum – 3.

3-Pointers Made (5): Hobson, B. Unruh – 2; Aroum – 1.

Assists (10): B. Unruh – 4; Stucky – 3; Aroum – 2; Hobson – 1.

Rebounds (18): Anderson – 5; Hobson, Wiggers – 4; Stucky, B. Unruh – 1.

Steals (14): Hobson – 5; Stucky – 4; Anderson, B. Unruh – 2; Johnny Unruh – 1.

{Elyria Christian Eagle Postings are SPONSORED by CrossDove Creations}