By Staff
            LITTLE RIVER – On Saturday the Little River boys failed to close out the season as they had hoped as they fell behind early and then never caught back up as they lost by 12, 59-47 to Macksville in their sub-state championship game.

            With the loss the Redskins close out the 2022-23 season at 16-6. Macksville is now 21-2 and the second seed for next weeks Class 1A Division I state tournament in Dodge City.

            “I thought our kids played extremely tough,” noted Little River head coach Erik Base. “We talked all week about finishing tough plays, and emphasizing finishing defensive possessions. Macksville does a great job of offensive rebounding and knew we would have to be good on the glass to position ourselves. Proud of how our guys battled in the paint as we wanted to be physical and limit (Ryan) Kuckelman and (Alexis) Barron while trying to limit their touches. Macksville’s two guards did a great job of stepping up for them and made it tough for us to stay in front of them.”

            Little River fell behind by seven, 13-6, by the end of the first quarter but pulled to within three at 29-26 going into the halftime break. Coming out of the break, Macksville pulled ahead by 15, 47-32 by the end of the third quarter before settling in for the final 12-point win over the Redskins.

            Coach Base added, “We battled well in the second quarter to make up for shooting woes in the first quarter as we cut the deficit to three at the half. Unfortunately, we could not overcome another quarter of shooting woes and we could not get the lid off the rim in the third quarter.”

            As a team the Redskins shot just 29% from the field, turned the ball over 16 times to Macksville only having eight while also being whistled for 18 fouls.

            Logan Renken, just a sophomore, had a huge game for Little River as led the team in scoring with 15 points thanks to connecting on five three-pointers, and recorded a double-double by grabbing 12 rebounds. Kayston Cox just missed double digits with nine points while Braxton Lafferty closed out his Redskin career with eight points, six rebounds and leading the team with five assists and three blocked shots.

            Concluding his post-game- post-season reflections, coach Base said, “Overall, this was a very successful season. I am very proud of these guys and very thankful for our time together. These seniors have been a blessing and will be forever grateful for them.”

LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS vs Macksville at Sub-State Finals

SCORING: LITTLE RIVER > 6-20-6-15 = 47;  Macksville > 13-16-18-12 = 59.

TEAM STATS: LITTLE RIVER > 2-FGs – 4/11; 3-PTs – 11/41; FTs – 6/8; AST – 12; REBs – 32; TO – 16; STLs – 4; BLKs – 6; FLs – 18;  Macksville > 2-FGs – 15/35; 3-PTs – 6/17; FTs – 11/18; AST – 12; REBs – 32; TO – 8; STLs – 10; BLKs – 1; FLs – 14.

LITTLE RIVER REDSKIN INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: Scoring > Logan Renken – 15; Kayston Cox – 9; Braxton Lafferty – 8; Dalton Mantz – 5; Andrew Smith – 4; Rylan Konen- 3; Treyton Olander – 3.  3-Pointers Made > Renken – 5; Cox – 3; Konen, Olander, Lafferty – 1.  Assists > Lafferty – 5; Renken, Cox, Smith – 2; Mantz – 1.  Rebounds > Renken – 12; Lafferty – 6; Konen, Smith – 4; Mantz – 3; Olander – 2; Cox – 1.  Steals > Lafferty – 2; Renken, Konen – 1.  Blocked Shots > Lafferty – 3; Renken – 2; Smith – 1.

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