By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
ELYRIA – Going up against a tough, top five ranked opponent, the Elyria boys opened the 2022 side of their basketball schedule with a well-earned, tough eight-point, 45-37, win over Solomon at home on Friday.
“We knew this was going to be a tough, physical, athletic contest,” noted Eagle head coach Zach Goodrich. “Solomon is ranked in the top-five of Class 1A Division 1, and they are very scrappy with a lot of different weapons. I was proud of our guys for the grind it out win. Some games are not pretty, and this one was not at times. We committed 17 turnovers and will have to cut that number down going forward.”
Solomon opened the game strong and took a four-point, 18-14 lead into the second quarter before the Eagles defense held them to just two points while putting 11 on the board as the Eagles took a five-point, 25-20 advantage into the halftime break.
After Elyria pulled out to a nine-point lead at the end of the third, Solomon bounced back and played the Eagles even in the final eight minutes as Elyria gained the final eight-point victory.
Neither team shot lights out as Elyria hit on 38% of their shots from the field and Solomon made just 34%. The Eagles did hold a sizable advantage in the paint by out rebounding Solomon 34-21.
Freshman Ty Romero used four three-pointers to lead Elyria in scoring with 12 points while Caleb Laney chipped in with eight and Keyan Wiggers had six. Ben Unruh flexed his muscles on his way to lead the Eagles in rebounds with nine. The Eagles recorded 10 assists on their 14 made field goals, with Ben Unruh dishing out five of them.
Coach Goodrich concluded his post-game reflections by saying, “We didn’t start as well as we hoped, but freshman Ty Romero gave us a spark early off the bench by hitting back-to-back-to-back three-pointers. Those came at a key point in the first half and helped us get out of the hole we had made for ourselves. Another moment that stands out was the way we finished the first half as Silas Redenbaugh put a shot in the basket close to the buzzer that gave us good momentum entering the second half. Ben Unruh showed great leadership for us tonight by playing tough on the boards.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR the ELYRIA CHRISTINA EAGLES?
The win raises the season record for the Eagles to 5-1 as they now prep for a road trip on Tuesday to Canton/Galva.
Solomon at ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Solomon 18 2 4 13 37
EAGLES 14 11 8 12 45
TEAM STATS: Solomon EAGLES
Shooting 14/41 (34%) 14/37 (38%)
3-Pointers 2/11 (18%) 6/19 (32%)
Free Throws 7/10 (70%) 11/18 (61%)
Rebounds (Off/Def) 21 (7/14) 34 (10/20)
Assists 6 10
Turnovers 10 17
Steals 1 7
Blocked Shots 0 1
Personal Fouls 13 9
ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS:
Scoring (45 Total Points): Ty Romero – 12; Caleb Laney – 8; Keyan Wiggers – 6; Ben Unruh – 5; Johnny Unruh – 4; Josh Allen – 4; Andrew Huxman – 4; Silas Redenbaugh – 2.
Three-Pointers Made (6): Ty Romero – 4; Caleb Laney, Andrew Huxman – 1.
Rebound Leaders: Ben Unruh – 9; Josh Allen – 5; Keyan Wiggers – 4; Andrew Huxman – 3; Caleb Laney, Ty Romero, Silas Redenbaugh – 2.
Assist Leader: Ben Unruh – 5; Andrew Huxman – 2.
Leader in Steals: Johnny Unruh – 3.
Leader in Blocked Shots: Silas Redenbaugh – 1.