By William /

MARION – In a tournament where one game was cancelled and the other two were moved to another community to be played, the Elyria Christian girls still managed to score a two win, Centre Tournament championship trophy by beating Herington and Smoky Valley Home Educators on Friday and Saturday evening.

After the Lady Eagles first round game was cancelled due to sickness, they went up against Herington on Friday and scored a 47-28 win before putting away Smoky Valley Home Educators 41-25 on Saturday to earn the championship trophy of the 2022 Centre Tournament.

Now 8-4 for the season, the Lady Eagles have 10 days to rest and prep before returning to the court on Tuesday, February 1 with a road trip to Wakefield.

Among the highlights of the two games was Lady Eagle head coach Greg Fields earning his 100th win as the Lady Eagle head coach with the victory over Herington.

Here is a summary of the two games:


On Friday the Elyria girls took a five-point lead into the halftime break before pulling out ahead by 14 by the end of the third quarter after outscoring Herington 14-5 coming out of the intermission. The Lady Eagles then cruised in for the final 19-point win.

“This was a really good win against a quality Herington team,” noted Lady Eagle head coach Greg Fields. “It took us some time to get going on offense today but Herington is a very athletic team and they caused us to rush some things. I was very happy with the way our girls settled down in the second half. I thought if we could hold them to under 30 points, we could come away with a win. I also thought everyone played defense at a higher level today.”

That Lady Eagle defense held Herington to just 25% completion of their shots from the field while out rebounding them 33-21.

Nine Lady Eagles put points in the scorebook with Ryland Hawkinson getting her second straight double double with 12 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Allie Stone and Alexus Swenson just missed double digits with nine and eight points, respectively.

Coach Fields concluded his post-Herington game reflections by adding, “Ryland (Hawkinson) was very strong on the boards today and I wasn’t surprised to see her get another double double. I thought we moved the ball well to find open looks. I like seeing 13 team assists with both Kylee (Penner) and KiLynn (Starburg) leading the effort with four each. Allie (Stone) had a tough assignment guarding their best player and she did a great job getting her sped up while helping us offensively with three three-pointers to start our third quarter scoring. Alexus (Swenson) also had an outstanding game controlling the ball and making an impact scoring.”

SCORING:        1          2          3          4          FINAL

Herington       4          8          5          11        28       

LADY EAGLES  7          10        14        16        47

TEAM STATS:             

Herington = FG 10/40 (25%); 3-PTR 3/21 (14%); FT 5/9 (55%); AST n/a; REBS 21; TO 11; STLS 2; BLKS 3; PF 10.

LADY EAGLES = FG 18/46 (39%); 3-PTR 6/15 (40%); FT 5/12 (42%); AST 13; REBS 33; TO 13; STLS 6; BLKS 2; PF 12.


Scoring (47 Total Points): Ryland Hawkinson – 12; Allie Stone – 9; Alexus Swenson – 8; Kylee Penner – 5; Julia Allen – 3; KiLynn Starburg – 3; Makenna Cass – 3; Mina Aroum – 2; Olivia Clark – 2.  

Three-Pointers Made (6): Allie Stone – 3; Alexus Swenson – 2; Makenna Cass – 1.

Rebound Leaders: Ry. Hawkinson – 14; Stone – 6; Penner – 5; Al. Swenson – 3.

Assist Leader: Stone, Starburg – 4.

Leader in Steals: Allen, Ry. Hawkinson – 2.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Ry. Hawkinson, Hannah Froese – 1.


After the Smoky Valley Home Educators (SVHE) played Elyria close in the first half, the Lady Eagles stepped up the offense and pulled away in the final two quarters to gain the final 16-point, 41-25 win and the Centre Tournament Championship.

After Elyria lead by four, 6-2 at the end of the first quarter, SVHE pulled to within one point at 15-14 heading into the halftime break before the Lady Eagles built their lead back out to nine by the end of the third quarter and then to 16 in the end.

“I was so excited for the way our girls came out in the second half and played with a lot of toughness to win the Centre Tournament,” explained Lady Eagle head coach Greg Fields. “We went into halftime with a one-point lead, and I think we all felt very frustrated. SVHE rally has an excellent team, and they did a great job of getting in the lane and drawing fouls. We started the second half with 10 team fouls and only committed three the rest of the game. We talked about how we would respond to adversity, and these girls came out a played with a lot of self-control and confidence to finish out the game strong.”

As a team the Lady Eagles shot a solid 41% from the field while their defense held SVHE to making just 24%, including zero-for-seven from beyond the three-point line.

For the Lady Eagles individually, Ryland Hawkinson nearly pulled off her third double double in a row as she had a monster night scoring with 21 points by hitting 67% of her shots from the field while pulling down eight rebounds.

Kylee Penner came close to a double double as she scored 13 points and grabbed a team leading nine rebounds.

Coach Fields concluded his post-game reflections by saying, “For the second night in a row, it was a complete team effort to get a win. Ryland (Hawkinson) put together the best game of her career while Kylee (Penner) had another solid night. Both Allie (Stone) and Alexus (Swenson) hit three-pointers at crucial moments to give us some energy. KiLynn (Starburg) led the team in steals and Olivia Clark topped the team in assists without having any turnovers. It took everyone to get this win as it felt a lot closer than the final score looked.”

SCORING:        1          2          3          4          FINAL

SVHE               2          12        7          4          25       

LADY EAGLES  6          9          15        11        41       

TEAM STATS:             

Smoky Valley Home Educators = FG 9/38 (24%); 3-PTR 0/7 (0%); FT 7/9 (78%); AST n/a; REBS 22; TO 19; STLS 5; BLKS 4; PF 14.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN LADY EAGLES = 15/37 (41%); 3-PTR 2/9 (22%); FT 9/13 (69%); AST 11; REBS 27; TO 20; STLS 10; BLKS 1; PF 13.


Scoring (41 Total Points): Ryland Hawkinson – 21; Kylee Penner – 13; Allie Stone – 3; Alexus Swenson – 3; KiLynn Starburg – 1.

Three-Pointers Made (2): Al. Swenson, Stone – 1.

Rebound Leaders: Penner – 9; Ry. Hawkinson – 8; Julia Allen, Starburg – 3.

Assist Leader: Olivia Clark – 3; Starburg, Allen – 2.

Leader in Steals: Starburg – 3; Ry. Hawkinson – 2.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Ry. Hawkinson – 1.