In the annual Heart of America vs. Central Plains League challenge it was the home team Wichita Independent Panthers defeating the visiting Ell-Saline Cardinals by a final score of 69-52.
The Panthers scored the first seven points of the contest before a Treyton Peterson jumper would get the Cardinals on the scoreboard. A 9-4 Ell-Saline run would get them within four points at the end of the first period, trailing 15-11. A 4-0 Cardinal run would tie things up at 15 all with 6:50 to go before the half, Independent would counter with a 7-0 run of their own, retaking the lead 22-17 with 4:40 to go in the quarter. An 8-2 run over the next three minutes gave the Cardinals their first lead of the match-up at 25-24 with one minute to go before the break, but that lead was short lived as Independent took a 29-27 advantage with them to the locker room.
A 7-2 run to begin the third quarter saw the Panthers extend their lead and never look back. Off a mid quarter 10-4 run they would take their largest lead of the contest at 46-33. Ell-Saline would continue to battle, but never quite get over the hump, with Independent winning the inter-league challenge.
Senior Ceddie Payne led the Panthers attack with 15 points, while front court teammate Kobey Fields chipped in 13 points and 8 rebounds. Treyton Peterson of Ell-Saline led all scorers with 20 points while Pat Giersch had a season high 13 points.
The Cardinals wrap up the 2018 portion of their schedule with a Heart of America league showdown on Tuesday at home versus Bennington.