A pair of standout sophomores ensured an Ell-Saline sweep on the hardwood at Ellinwood High Tuesday evening, keeping the Cards in command from stem to stern against the Eagles.
It began in the girls’ matchup as sophomore Ashton Travis began the night ripping the nets for 15 first-quarter points as the Ell-Saline girls jumped out to an 18-6 lead, propelling the Cardinal girls to their first victory of the season in a 45-33 road victory.
Following the first quarter offensive explosion, Ell-Saline (1-4) was held to just three second-quarter points, allowing the Eagles back into the ballgame. At the break, The Cards led 21-13.
Travis got back into the scoring act in the second half, scoring 11 of Ell-Saline’s 24 second-half points against Ellinwood (0-5) on her way to a career-high 26 points to lead the Cards into the win column.
Freshman point guard Reece Ditto added eight for Ell-Saline, while senior Lexi Kochanowski chipped in with seven in the winning effort. The young Eagle squad got 25 of its 33 points on the night from a trio of freshman as Rebecca Henderson led the Ellinwood effort with nine, while Joslyn Brown and Ashtin Klepper scored eight a piece.
While it was Travis getting the Cardinal girls off to a hot start in the girls’ matchup, in the boys’ battle, another sophomore’s late blitz ensured a second-consecutive victory for the Ell-Saline boys as Kaden Griffin scored all of his 11 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter, helping to ice a 48-30 Ell-Saline win in the nightcap.
As in the girls’ battle, Ell-Saline (2-3) led throughout the entire ballgame, taking a 12-8 lead after the first quarter, then doubling their advantage from four to eight at the break, taking a 28-20 lead into the locker room.
Trying to salvage of split of the night’s festivities, Ellinwood (1-4) continued to hang around throughout the third quarter, ending the period down 37-27, but there was simply too much Griffin for the Eagles to handle late, as the Cardinal sophomore had eight of Ell-Saline’s 11 points over the final eight minutes, while the Cardinal D wore down an Eagle squad that, due to injuries and illness, went only six deep until emptying the bench with under a minute to play. The Cards held Ellinwood to just three fourth-quarter points while forcing seven turnovers over the final period to pull away for a resounding 48-30 victory.
Senior post Mason Farrell led Ell-Saline in scoring for the third consecutive game, pouring in 15 points, including 11 in the first half. In the second hafl, Griffin picked up where Farrell left off, finishing the night with 11 points, all after intermission. Five additional Cardinals combined for 22 points on the night in a balanced offensive effort.
A quartet of Ellinwood sophomores scored all but three of the 30 Eagle points on the night, with Brandon Carr pacing the Ellinwood effort with eight, while David Hammeke added seven. Tyler Knop and Luke Wondra tallied six points a piece.
The Cardinals return to action this Saturday afternoon in the Central Plains League vs. Heart of America League Challenge, as the Cards will represent the HOA in a boys’ matchup against Medicine Lodge at 1:15pm, followed by the Cardinal girls’ tilt with Belle Plaine at 3:00pm. Both games will be played on a neutral floor at McPherson College.