By Staff

            GOESSEL – The Canton/Galva boys and girls basketball teams opened their play in the Goessel Bluebird Classic on Monday with a split of games with Central Christian as the Eagle boys scored an eight-point, 54-46 win while the Lady Eagles lost 55-31.

            Both the Eagle boys and Lady Eagles were scheduled to play host Goessel on Tuesday in round two of the Bluebird Classic.

            A summary of the two games:


            In the boys game, the Eagles took an early seven-point, 19-12 lead at the end of the first quarter only to see Central Christian pull back to within six at 32-26 heading into the halftime break.

            After Central Christian shaved another point off the lead by the end of the third quarter, Canton/Galva bounced back and closed out the game with their final eight-point, 54-46 victory.

            “We played hard against a very good and well coached Central Christian team,” noted Eagle head coach Larry O’Connor in his post-game thoughts. “Our press bothered them early, but we got into some foul trouble and could not put the type of full court pressure on that we like to do.”

            Garrett Maltbie returned to the lineup after missing the first game of the season on Friday and led the team in scoring with 14 points while Jose Beltz and Jett Vincent pitched in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

            Coach O’Connor concluded his post-game thoughts by adding, “Sophomore Jase Beltz got us off to a quick start. It was good to get Garrett (Maltbie), Cason (Mastre) and Jory (Ratzlaff) back tonight and all three played very well. Only having had just four practices, we just have a long way to go but excited to see where this team will be by mid-January.”

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE BOYS vs. Central Christian at Bluebird Classic

SCORING: EAGLES 19-13-11-11=54; Central Christian 12-14-12-8=46

EAGLE LEADING SCORERS: Garrett Maltbie – 14; Jase Beltz – 11; Jett Vincent – 10; Cason Mastre – 7; Lane McMannis – 5; Walker Nightingale – 3; Watt Collins – 2.

3-Pointers Made: Beltz – 3; Maltbie, Vincent – 2; McMannis, Nightingale – 1.


            For the Lady Eagles, they only trailed by three at 7-4 at the end of the first quarter before Central Christian doubled up the Canton/Galva score and took a 12-point, 24-12 advantage into the halftime break.

            In the second half, Central Christian outscored the Lady Eagles 31-19 to get the final 24-point, 55-31 win.

            “We shot better from the free throw line,” noted Lady Eagle head coach Brad Willems. “We actually got some good shots, but still need to knock them down. Our defense was really good at times, but then our rotation would give up an open shot which they would knock down. Again, we played hard and gave great effort, we just need to trust ourselves and things will start to work out! We did get better tonight and that is what I am looking for. Central Christian was a very good team we played and if we could have knocked down some shots, we are in it.”

            Trinity Espinoza led the Lady Eagles in scoring with eight while Brecken Pearson chipped in with six and Sage Toews, Lili Espinoza, and Mimi Craig all had four.

CANTON/GALVA LADY EAGLES vs. Central Christian at Bluebird Classic

SCORING: LADY EAGLES 4-8-12-7=31; Central Christian 7-17-16-15=55.

LADY EAGLE SCORING LEADERS: Trinity Espinoza – 8; Brecken Pearson – 6; Sage Toews – 4; Lili Espinoza – 4; Mimi Craig – 4; Makinlee Hoppes – 3; Adi Alcala – 2.

(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at