ELYRIA – The Moundridge boys basketball team got their 2022-23 season off to a solid start on Friday as they traveled up the road north to Elyria and put a humbling on Elyria Christian with a 31-point, 61-30 win.
“First games of the season are always difficult to prepare for because both teams have new personnel and different strengths,” noted Wildcat head coach Vance Unrau. “So, you try to do what you think will be most effective and then hope that if things are not working, guys will be able to adjust on the fly.”
“It is always good to play an opponent like Moundridge in the first contest of the season,” explained Elyria Christian head coach Zach Goodrich. “They are well coached and make you play honest on both sides of the ball.”
The Wildcats held a five-point, 16-11 advantage by the end of the first quarter and took an eight point, 25-17, lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of the break, Moundridge put some distance between them and Elyria Christian, taking a 20-point, 43-23 lead by the end of the third quarter before cruising in for the final 31-point victory.
It was a Wildcat advantage in shooting for the evening as they hit on 48% of their shots from the field including hitting on eight-of-thirteen beyond the three-point line while the defense held the Eagles to just 29% from the field on 58 shots taken. The Wildcats also dominated the boards and paint as they pulled down 28 rebounds compared to just eight for Elyria.
Coach Unrau continued his post-game reflections by adding, “Elyria is so well coached, I know that coach Zach Goodrich would have his guys ready, and he has a team of really good shooters, so we had to defend a little further out on the perimeter tonight. We played hard defensively which gave me about as much satisfaction as anything we did tonight.”
Individually, Barrett Moddelmog had a huge night in leading Moundridge in scoring with 24 points that included hitting on six three pointers. Logan Churchill also reached double digits with 10 while Henry Hecox just missed with nine.
Moddelmog and Hecox worked the paint hard as each pulled down seven rebounds and Landon Kaufman directed the offense by dishing out seven assists.
Concluding his first game thoughts, coach Unrau said, “(Barrett) Moddelmog shot the ball well tonight. Elyria chose to concentrate on shutting down Landon Kaufman’s penetration to the basket leaving Barrett open for some good looks. Nice win to start the season. Big week of basketball ahead next week.”
For the Elyria Christian Eagles, they were led by Johnny Unruh with 13 points thanks to making four three pointers while Ty Romero chipped in with six points.
Eagle coach Zach Goodrich concluded his first game reflections by saying, “We have been primarily focusing on defense in these first weeks of practice and I was pleased with our efforts on the defensive end of the ball. Our offense will come along as the season progresses and I am confident the boys will find their groove. We just did not see a lot of shots fall tonight as we learned a lot about our team and hopefully can put two solid halves together in our comes this upcoming week.”
The Wildcats will return to the competitive hardwood on Tuesday when they play host to their preseason Moundridge Tournament by playing Lyons in the first game.
For the Eagles, they will look for their first win of the season on Tuesday when they go on the road to play their first game in the Goessel Bluebird Preseason Tournament.
MOUNRIDGE WILDCATS at ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES
SCORING: WILDCATS > 16-9-18-18=61; ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES > 11-6-6-7=30.
TEAM STATS: WILDCATS > FGs 27/56 (48%); 3-PTs 8/13 (61%); FTs 15/22 (68%); AST 16; RBs 28 (7/21); STLs 4; BLKs 2; TOs 8; FLs 9. EAGLES > FGs 17/58 (29%); FTs 4/7 (57%); AST 8; RBs 8 (1/7); STLs 2; BLKs 3; TOs 9; FLs 15.
WILDCAT INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS:
Scoring: Barrett Moddelmog – 24; Logan Churchill – 10; Henry Hecox – 9; Landon Kaufman – 6; Layton Schmidt – 6; Alec Huddle – 4; Zach Dixon – 1; Braden Den Hartog – 1.
3-Pointers: Moddelmog – 6; Kaufman, Schmidt – 1.
Assists: Kaufman, Huddle – 7; Hecox – 4; Moddelmog – 2.
Rebounds: Moddelmog, Hecox – 7; Churchill, Kaufman – 4.
Steals: Moddelmog, Churchill, Hecox, Kaufman – 1.
Blocked Shots: Moddelmog, Churchill – 1.
ELYRIA EAGLE INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS:
Scoring: Johnny Unruh – 13; Ty Romero – 6; Landon Schneider – 4; Caleb Laney – 4; Alex Robertson – 3.
3-Pointers: Unruh – 4; Romero – 2; Laney, Robertson – 1.
Assists: James Schott – 2; Unruh, Romero, Laney, Robertson – 1.
Rebounds: Schneider – 3; Unruh, Robertson – 2.
Steals: Romero, Laney – 1.
Blocked Shots: Romero, Robertson, Schott – 1.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)