The Ell-Saline Cardinals had lost five straight games on the girl’s side and forty-three straight games on the boy’s side coming into Tuesday’s contests against Hutch Trinity. Those streaks would continue, as the girls lost by a final score of 44-39, and the boys fell in a blowout, 53-26.
The girls had lost five in a row following a conference-opening win against Marion, and Trinity had won two straight after defeating Pratt on Monday night. It was a low-scoring affair in the first quarter, with the Cardinals holding a 6-4 lead. Their offense got going early in the second quarter, jumping out to a 10-4 lead, but a 14-7 run to end the quarter put the Celtics in front going into halftime. It was a high-scoring third quarter, as the Cardinals now led 33-29 going into the final quarter, but Trinity wouldn’t go away, starting the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run. Sadie Bradley hit some clutch shots down the stretch for Ell-Saline, but when she fouled out, the offense couldn’t get any shots to fall, as the Lady Cardinals dropped their sixth straight contest, 44-39. Sadie Bradley was the only Cardinal in double-figures with 14 points. Hayley Hughes led all scorers with 25, but most of her points came from the free-throw line, where she was 14/20.
The boys were faced with a tall task, facing one of the most talented and experienced squads in 2A, led by all-state pick Lucas Hammeke, who went over the 1000-point mark a couple of games ago. It was a tightly contested ballgame for the first two minutes, as the Cardinals trailed just 4-3 with six minutes to play in the first quarter, but Trinity locked in defensively, holding the Cardinals without a bucket for thirteen straight minutes and taking a 28-3. A late three-pointer by Marshall Johnson made it 30-8 at halftime. The third quarter was much of the same, as the Cardinals were outscored 17-5 in the third, leading to a running clock in the fourth. With some young players in the game for Hutch Trinity, the Cardinals played well in the fourth, getting some shots to fall and out-scoring the Celtics 13-6 in the final quarter. It was not nearly enough though to beat a talented Hutch Trinty squad, as the Cardinals dropped their 44th straight contest, dating back to 2019. Marshall Johnson racked up 14 points on the night, but Hammeke of Trinity was in his bag tonight, dropping 25 points in just three quarters.
Ell-Saline moves on to face an equally talented Berean Academy squad.