By Staff

            GOESSEL – On Saturday in a hard fought thriller, the Elyria Christian boys rallied in the second half of their sub-state finals to score a four-point, 49-35 win over Canton/Galva and earn themselves a trip to next weeks Class 1A Division I state tournament.

            “We had multiply guys step up and make plays at the right time tonight,” noted Elyria head coach Zach Goodrich. “Both teams left everything on the floor and gave their best team effort.”

            Now 20-3 for the season, the Eagles will be the fifth seed at the state tournament in Dodge City and will open play against fourth seed Wichita Classical (21-2) on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.  If they win they would play on Friday against the winner of top seed Olpe (21-2) and eighth seed Centralia (15-8). The other state tournament first round matchups include second seed Macksville (21-2) playing seventh seed LaCrosse (18-5) and third seed Clifton/Clyde (21-2) against sixth seen Montezuma/South Gray (20-3).

            Elyria trailed by five, 14-9, at the end of the first quarter before pulling within one at 23-22 when the teams headed to the halftime break. Coming out of the intermission the Eagles took a six-point, 36-30, lead into the fourth quarter where they held off a couple of Canton/Galva rallies to score the final four-point victory.

            Looking at the stat sheet, Elyria won the game at the three-point line and the free throw line as they hit for four more three-pointers and ten more free throws than Canton/Galva did.

(Johnny Unruh)

            Speaking of Canton/Galva, coach Goodrich said, “Jett (Vincent) is a special talent and I enjoyed watching him compete this season. It took a team effort to slow him down, because I don’t think you ever can completely stop him. He was great for our league, and I wish him the best next year in his football career.”

            Both Ty Romero and Johnny Unruh led the Elyria Eagles in scoring with 14 points each while Romero and Landon Schneider shared the team highs in rebounds with six and steals with four. Caleb Laney went six-for-seven at the free throw line with most of those being key makes in the fourth quarter.

            Talking about his team, his guys, Goodrich concluded his post-game, post-substate reflections by adding, “Jonny (Unruh) and Ty (Romero) carried us offensively for the second game in a row. Both made timely shots and kept us within striking distance when Canton/Galva went on first half runs. One of the bigger moments came when Andrew Huxman putt in a near half-court three pointer right at the buzzer at the end of the third period. Caleb (Laney) and Ty (Romero) were big from the free throw line in a game where we struggled to take advantage of our free throw trips. Landon (Schneider), James (Schott), and Andrew (Huxman) all had the responsibility of guarding Canton/Galva’s primary offensive options and they did a solid job contesting shots and providing good defensive help. I was very proud of the team’s effort and discipline in a very challenging contest. The boys are excited to get back to the state tournament and hoping we can take a few days to heal up and prepare for it.”

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES vs. Canton/Galva in Sub-State Finals

SCORING: ELYRIA > 9-13-14-13 = 49;  Canton/Galva > 14-9-7-15 = 45.

TEAM STATS: ELYRIA CHRISTIAN > 2-FGs – 9/15; 3-PTs – 5/13; FTs – 16/25; AT – 11; REBs – 21; TO – 14; STLs – 15; BLKs – 2; FLs – 17.  Canton/Galva > 2-FGs – 18/33; 3-PTs – 1/9; FTs – 6/14; AST – 10; REBs – 27; TO – 17; STLs – 9; BLKs – 2; FLs – 20.

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES INDIVIDUAL STATS: Scoring > Ty Romero – 14; Johnny Unruh – 14; James Schott – 6; Caleb Laney – 6; Andrew Huxman – 5; Landon Schneider – 4.  3-Pointers Made > Romero, Unruh – 2; Huxman – 1.  Assists > Schneider, Unruh – 3; Romero, Schott – 2; Huxman – 1.  Rebounds > Romero, Schneider – 6; Unruh, Schott – 3; Laney – 2; Alex Robertson – 1.  Steals > Romero, Schneider – 4; Unruh, Schott, Laney, A. Robertson, Silas Redenbaugh – 1.  Blocked Shots > Romero, A. Robertson – 1.

(The Staff covering events for the MAC AREA SPORTS NEW can be reached by email at crossdovewriter@gmail.com)