Area teams find success and disappointment in pre-season tournaments

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN

Goessel 60, Bennington 53

The Bluebirds defeated Bennington in the first round of the Bennington Pre-Season Tournament, 60-53.

Josh Schmidt led a balanced Bluebird attack with 13 points, followed by Ryan Janzen and Nicholas Peters (four 3-pointers) with 12 and Jordan Voth 11.

Bennington was paced by Brandon Kierscht, who scored 27, but was the only Bulldog to break double-digit scoring.

Goessel led 26-20 at the half, and had their lead whittled to 38-36 after three quarters. But the Bluebirds converted 10 of 17 fourth-quarter free throws to stave off a Bulldog rally.

Moundridge 58, Canton-Galva 38

The Eagles dropped their first game of the Moundridge Tournament by a 20 point margin.

Trailing just 12-9 after one quarter, Moundridge outscored the Eagles 19-2 in the second quarter to take command of the game.

“We got a lot of good shots in the second quarter, but were only able to make one field goal,” coach Chuck Kern said. “The guys showed a lot of heart finishing the whole game.

“I was pleased with our defensive effort in the fact we came up with 12 steals,” he added. “Our second-half execution and effort was much better than the first two quarters.”

DaWayne Stos led the Eagles with 10 points and Travis Schafer added six.

Moundridge forced 23 Eagle turnovers in the contest while committing 18 of their own.

N. Heights 69, Centre 48

Centre lost to a tough Northern Heights team at the Herington Pre-Season Tournament

Travis Burns was the only Cougar to score in double figures with 20 points.

Centre led 14-7 after one quarter but was outscored 20-8 to trail at halftime 27-22.

The Cougars stayed close in the third quarter but were outscored 21-9 in the final stanza.

Centre hit 36 percent of its shots in the game, including seven of 23 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Justin Garrard led Centre with six rebounds while Bryant Gutsch and Aaron Barney added five each.

Centre attempted just four free throws and made three compared to 12 of 16 charity tosses for Northern Heights.

Hesston 78, Canton-Galva 43

The Hesston Swathers rolled to a 78-43 victory over the Eagles at the Moundridge tournament.

Hesston led 32-23 at the half, but blew the game open in the fourth quarter when they outscored the Eagles 25-7.

“With about four minutes to play, we were only down by 12 points,” coach Chuck Kern said. “The last four minutes I switched us into a more aggressive defense and it resulted in a 15-0 Hesston run.

“We played good basketball with one of the top-ranked 3A teams in the state for 28 minutes,” he added. “It was exciting to watch our kids give everything they had.”

Travis Schafer led Canton-Galva with 11 points and DaWayne Stos added nine.

Travis Regehr led the Eagles with four rebounds.

The Eagles committed 20 turnovers to just eight for the Swathers.

Centre 62, Herington 58

The Cougars held on to defeat the hometown Railers in the Herington Pre-season Tournament.

Herington led 35-31 at halftime, but a 10-4 third quarter by the Cougars propelled them to victory.

Centre won the game from the charity stripe, hitting 21 of 30 attempts while Herington made just two of three.

The Cougars connected on five of 18 3-point attempts while hitting 34 percent of their field goal attempts overall.

Aaron Barney led Centre with 20 points, while Todd Stahlecker added 16 and Travis Burns contributed 11. Stahlecker had 12 rebounds and Barney added 10.

Peabody-Burns 60, Elyria 43

The Warriors jumped out to a 17-9 lead after one quarter and essentially put the game away in the second quarter to take a 31-17 halftime lead.

Caleb Good paced the Warriors with 21 points while Adam Jones added 13 and Adam Carroll 10. Peabody-Burns connected on eight of 11 free throws.

Halstead 76, Canton-Galva 36

Canton-Galva concluded the Moundridge Tournament with a 76-36 loss to Halstead.

With the Eagles playing their third game in as many days, coach Chuck Kern said he was concerned before the game.

“On both levels, mentally and physically, we appeared fatigued,” he said. “This was the first game I honestly felt the other team did things to beat us.”

Canton-Galva trailed 46-20 at halftime and never mounted a serious threat.

Travis Regehr led the Eagles with eight points and four rebounds and DaWayne Stos added six points.

Canton-Galva committed 20 turnovers while Halstead had 11.

“Halstead has a solid press that disrupted our full-court offense,” Kern said.

Kern said the lopsided loss had a silver lining.

“I was able to play some of our players who come to practice everyday and work hard but don’t get the opportunity to participate in the varsity contests,” he said. “Anytime we’re up or down by 30 points going into the fourth quarter, those guys will get to experience varsity competition.”

Peabody-Burns 65, Mankato 44

Peabody-Burns led 21-9 after just one quarter and increased its lead to 37-20 at the half.

Caleb Good paced the Warriors with 19 points and Michael Unruh added 12.

Hope 60, Centre 33

Hope jumped on top 15-6 after one quarter and led 23-16 at the half. Hope continued to stretch its advantage in the second half and wound up with the big victory.

Todd Stahlecker led the Cougars in scoring with nine points while Travis Burns and Justin Garrard each chipped in eight.

Centre shot just 18 percent from the field, including three of 20 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Aaron Barney and Burns each grabbed eight rebounds to led the Cougars.

Quivera Heights 57, Goessel 48

Goessel fell behind early and couldn’t muster enough offense to catch the Thunderbirds, dropping a 65-53 decision.

The Bluebirds scored just 19 first- half points while Quivera Heights poured in 36.

Goessel outscored the Thunderbirds by five points in the second stanza, but was never threatened.

Nicholas Peters led the Bluebirds with 13 points, while Ryan Janzen had 12 and Justin Fensky added 10.

Bennington 53, Goessel 40

The Bluebirds saw their season record fall to 0-2 with a 53-40 loss to the Bennington Bulldogs last week.

Except for a slow start, the Bluebirds played Bennington even. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 23-11 first-quarter lead, and coasted to the victory.

The Bluebirds committed 20 turnovers in the game and hit just three of 10 charity tosses.

Goessel outscored Bennington 21-19 in the second half.

Darla Funk led Goessel with 15 points, including three 3-point baskets.

“Darla got us back into the game,” coach Brian Holloway said. “After a poor start, we recovered well and played even.”

Hope 65, Centre 56

Centre dropped a hard fought game against Hope. The Cougars led 36-29 at halftime. But a 19-8 Hope advantage in the third quarter gave the Lions the momentum they needed to win.

Raschelle Jirak paced the Cougars with 18 points while Laura Klenda contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Jill Fenske had five steals while Klenda added four.

Centre shot just 27 percent from the field for. A total of 43 fouls were called in the contest leading to 54 free throws.

Moundridge 92, Canton-Galva 31

In a game that was never in doubt, the Eagles trailed 50-11 at halftime and eventually dropped a 61-point decision.

Courtney Rump led Canton-Galva with eight points while Shae Steenson and Ashley Unruh both added six. Unruh canning two 3-pointers.

Centre 52, N. Heights 46

Centre jumped on Northern Heights early and grabbed an 18-8 lead after one quarter and still led 24-17 at the half.

The Cougars’ 19-12 third quarter advantage gave them all they needed to nail down the win.

Raschelle Jirak led the Cougars with 14 points while Laura Klenda added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Jirak, Megan Gutsch and Jill Fenske all grabbed six rebounds as Centre out rebounded Northern Heights, 41-28.

Centre hit just six of 15 charity tosses while Northern Heights connected on 13 of 19.

The Cougars hit 33 percent of their shots from the field.

Hesston 92, Canton-Galva 31

Canton-Galva continued its brutal schedule against the state-ranked Hesston Swathers.

Hesston rolled to a 59-14 halftime lead.

Aubrey Koehn and Shae Steenson paced the Eagles with seven points each. Ashley Unruh hit the only 3-point field goal for the Eagles in the contest.

Hesston had five players score in double figures.

Halstead 54, Canton-Galva 34

Canton-Galva dropped its fourth game of the season, this one to Halstead.

The Dragons broke open a close game in the second quarter with a 16-0 run to propel them to a 28-14 halftime lead.

Danni Bair led the Eagles with 12 points and Shae Steenson chipped in 11.

Peabody-Burns 55, Mankato 16

The Warriors found little resistance against Mankato. Peabody-Burns dominated the first half, leading 17-3 after one quarter and 38-7 at intermission.

Marie Unruh and Gretchen Berns led the way for Peabody-Burns by pumping in 17 points apiece.

Centre 49, Herington 35

The Cougars defeated the Railers at the Herington tournament on the strength of a 23-point second quarter to build a 31-13 halftime advantage.

Raschelle Jirak led Centre with 11 points while Laura Klenda chipped in 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Centre out rebounded Herington, 40-27. The Cougars hit 18 of 52 field-goal attempts for 35 percent while hitting just 11 of 22 free-throw attempts.

Jirak and Jill Fenske each collected three of Centre’s 16 steals, and the Cougars caused a total of 28 Herington turnovers.

Quivera Heights 57, Goessel 48

Goessel was unable to get much offense going in the first half and trailed 29-17 at the break.

The Bluebirds did manage to outscore Quivera Heights in both the third and fourth quarters, but it wasn’t enough.

Kory Hiebert was the lone Bluebird to reach double figures, scoring 15 points.

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