By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
BURRTON – After waiting a day due to wildland fires, when the Little River boys took to the hardwood on Sunday afternoon it did not go very well for them as they stumbled in their sub-state championship game and lost to top-seed Macksville by 17, 68-51.
With the loss the Redskins close out the season with a final record of 16-7 for the 2021-22 season. Macksville will now take a season mark of 21-2 into the Class 1A Division I state tournament.
“Today was not a great day for the Redskins,” noted Little River head coach Erik Base. “I thought we did a great job of playing extremely hard, but we were not able to finish defensive possessions the way we had worked on. This allowed Macksville to capitalize on the offensive glass. Macksville has a very solid team, I do not want to take anything away from them as Coach Kuckelman has done an excellent job with that group of kids.”
Macksville jumped out to a 10-point, 17-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and held a 14-point, 34-20, advantage over Little River when the two teams went into the halftime break.
While the Redskins did score 31 points in the final two quarters, Macksville put another 34 on the scoreboard, giving Little River their final 17-point loss.
For the game, Little River shot 38% from the field but only hit five-of-twelve at the free throw line while committing 13 turnovers.
Braxton Lafferty had a big game offensively, leading the Redskins with 25 points while Rylan Konen just missed double digits with nine. Lafferty also led the team on the boards with six rebounds as well as in steals with four. Dalton Mantz scored eight points and dished out a team high eight assists.
Speaking of the season, Coach Base added, “I am immensely proud of this group, finishing the season 16-7. I could not ask for a better group to have had the privilege to coach in my first season as head coach. I thought our players came to practice every day with a positive mindset and the willingness to compete and get better daily. It showed as the season went on the development that was happening.”
Coach Base concluded his post-game, post-season reflections by saying, “Entering the season, most of our guys had little to no experience on varsity, other than Braxton (Lafferty) and Rylan (Konen). We graduated 1,027 points from last year’s team, and it was a big bunch to fill. These kids stepped up, trusting the coaching, and delivered daily. I appreciate what our seniors, Allen (Burrola) and Kyle (Bruce), did for us this season. They did an excellent job of laying a foundation for Redskin Basketball as we move forward. I look forward to next season, putting together a good summer, and being ready to get back at it.”
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
REDSKINS 7 13 12 19 51
Macksville 17 17 14 20 68
Macksville Team Stats: None Available.
LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS TEAM STATS: FG 20/53; 3-PTR 6/25; FT 5/12; AST 12; REBS 24; TO 13; STL 11; BLK 1; PF 8.
LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: Scoring (51 total points): Braxton Lafferty – 25; Rylan Konen – 9; Dalton Mantz – 8; Logan Renken – 3; Allen Burrola – 2; Treyton Olander – 2; Kyle Bruce – 2. 3-Pointers Made (6): Mantz, Lafferty – 2; Konen, Renken – 1. Assists: Mantz – 8; Konen – 2; Olander, Bruce – 1. Rebounds: Lafferty – 6; Konen, Bruce – 4; Burrola, Renken – 3; Mantz, Olander – 2. Steals: Lafferty – 4; Mantz – 3; Konen – 2; Olander, Bruce – 1. Blocked Shots: Burrola – 1.
(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)