The Ell-Saline Cardinal boys’ basketball squad faced a tall order Thursday afternoon, entering the Canton-Galva Midseason Basketball Tournament as the eight seed, drawing top-seed Wichita Home School in the quarterfinals.
Early on, the Cardinals hung tough with the Warriors. Despite a ten-point effort from Wichita senior post Marcus Hallement in the first quarter, Ell-Saline remained within striking distance, trailing 17-9 after the game’s first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Wichita edged out to a 13-point advantage at 24-11, but the Cardinals continued to fight. Fueled by eight second-quarter points from sophomore guard Taegan Bradley, Ell-Saline pulled back to within eight at 30-22 with two minutes to play before halftime. That’s when the Cardinals flatlined.
The Warriors would go on to score 41 unanswered points, holding Ell-Saline scoreless for more than 12 minutes of game action. Cardinal junior T.J. Morrical hit a free throw with 5:35 remaining in the game to snap the drought, giving Ell-Saline their first points since late in the second quarter. Ell-Saline would score six points in the fourth quarter, all coming from the free throw line. The Cardinals did not make a field goal in the second half as Wichita rolled to a 71-28 victory.
Hallement led the way for Wichita (8-4,) tallying 19 points on the night. Sophomore Seth Peffly added 18 in the Warrior victory.
Bradley paced Ell-Saline (0-9) with 12 points, while junior Carter Underwood chipped in with seven points in the Cardinal loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Ell-Saline 9 13 0 6 – 28
Wichita 17 24 23 7 – 71