By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
ELBING – On Tuesday, the Elyria Christian boys and girls took a trip to Elbing to battle with Berean Academy and both returned home with late game losses as the girls lost by 21, 50-29 after stumbling in the final quarter, and the boys lost in overtime by five, 42-37, after leading most of the game.
With the loss the Lady Eagles drops to 12-7 for the season while the Eagle boys are now 13-6. The two will take to the road one last time in the regular season on Saturday with games against Smoky Valley Homeschool in Salina.
Both Elyria teams have byes in the first round of their Class 1A Division II sub-state tournament before the Eagle boys play on Thursday, March 3 against the winner of a game with Pawnee Heights and Hutchinson Central Christian. The Lady Eagles will begin sub-state action on Friday, March 4 against the winner of a game between Pawnee Heights and Stafford.
Summary of the two games:
LADY EAGLES FALTER LATE IN LOSS
For the Lady Eagles, they trailed by just two, 15-13 at the end of the first quarter and by five, 23-18 at the halftime break. After being down by just six, 35-29, heading into the final eight minutes of play, the Elyria girls faltered and were unable to score any points in the fourth quarter, giving them the final 21-point, 50-29 loss.
“The only thing disappointing about this game was that the final score makes it look like our girls didn’t belong on the court with one of the best teams in Class 2A,” explained Lady Eagle head coach Greg Fields. “This was a battle through the first three quarters, and I was extremely proud of how we came out without showing any kind of intimidation. We did have a few girls who have been sick, so we were not 100% by any means and that showed up in the fourth quarter when we just didn’t have our legs and couldn’t keep up on defense in the final eight minutes while our shots were falling short.”
Berean Academy really had their way on the boards as they dominated the boards by out rebounding Elyria 27-14.
Only four Lady Eagles put points in the scorebook for the game and Ryland Hawkinson scored 17 of the team’s 29 points. Hawkinson even dropped out and connected on a pair of three-pointers while leading the team in rebounds with five, blocked shots with two and steals with Kylee Penner as they each had two.
Coach Fields concluded his reflections after the game by adding, “Ryland (Hawkinson) was outstanding tonight as she has elevated her game this year. For her to have that kind of a game, against a team with the height that Berean has, is really remarkable. Alexus (Swenson) also had a great game shooting the ball and handling their pressure defense.”
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
LADY EAGLES 13 5 11 0 29
Berean Academy 15 8 12 15 50
Berean Academy Team Stats: FG 19/45 (42%); 3-PTR 3/8 (38%); FT 9/9 (100%); AST 0; REBS 27; TO 13; STLS 6; BLK 3; PF 7.
ELYRIA LADY EAGLES TEAM STATS: FG 12/36 (33%); 3-PTR 4/15 (27%); FT 1/2 (50%); AST 9; REBS 14; TO 18; STLS 5; BLK 2; PF 12.
ELYRIA LADY EAGLES INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: SCORING (29 total points): Ryland Hawkinson – 17; Alexus Swenson – 8; Kylee Penner – 2; KiLynn Starburg – 2. 3-POINTERS MADE (4): Hawkinson, Swenson – 2. ASSISTS: Penner – 3; Hawkinson, Starburg – 2. REBOUNDS: Hawkinson – 5; Penner – 4; Starburg – 2. STEALS: Hawkinson, Penner – 2. BLOCKED SHOTS: Hawkinson – 2.
EAGLE BOYS GO TO OVERTIME BEFORE LOSING
For the Eagle boys, they took a slim, one-point, 6-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and added a point to it, taking a two-point, 16-14, advantage to the halftime intermission. In the third quarter, Berean pulled back to within a single point, 29-28, before forcing overtime by ending the regulation game with a 37-37 tie with the Eagles. In the overtime, Elyria ran out of gas and could not hit shots and ended up losing by five, 42-37.
“It’s always fun getting to compete against teams from the Heart of America League,” noted Eagle head coach Zach Goodrich. “Berean is a tough place to win a game, especially coming off some team sickness and continuing to work on regaining our conditioning and legs. I was proud of our guys and the effort they gave.”
Like the Elyria girls, the Eagle boys lost the battle of the boards as Berean out rebounded them 33-15, though the Eagle defense forced Berean into making 16 turnovers.
Johnny Unruh led the Eagles in scoring with 12 thanks to connecting on four three-pointers.
Coach Goodrich finished his post-game reflections by saying, “We have not shot the ball well the last two weeks, so it was good to see some of our better shooters see some shots go in heading into substate week. Hopefully we will peak at the right time and be firing on all cylinders next week.”
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 OT FINAL
EAGLES 6 10 13 8 0 37
Berean 5 9 14 9 5 42
Berean Academy Team Stats: FG 14/39 (36%); 3-PTR 7/14 (50%); FT 7/11 (64%); AST 10; REBS 33; TO 16; STLS 6; BLK 1; PF 8.
ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES TEAM STATS: FG 12/33 (36%); 3-PTR 9/20 (45%); FT 4/7 (57%); AST 10; REBS 15; TO 11; STLS 11; BLK 1; PF 15.
ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: SCORING (47 total points): Johnny Unruh – 12; Caleb Laney – 8; Ty Romero – 6; Andrew Huxman – 5; Keyan Wiggers – 4; Josh Allen – 2. 3-POINTERS MADE (9): J. Unruh – 4; Laney, Romero – 2; Huxman – 1. ASSISTS: Ben Unruh – 4; Huxman – 3; Romero – 2. REBOUNDS: Wiggers – 6; B. Unruh, Romero, Huxman – 2. STEALS: B. Unruh – 3; Romero, Huxman, Wiggers – 2; J. Unruh, Laney – 1. BLOCKED SHOTS: Wiggers – 1.