The Ell-Saline Cardinals wrapped up the four-team, round-robin Tri-County Classic Friday evening at Mabee Arena on the campus of Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, dropping a pair of matchups against the Bennington Bulldogs.
Bennington 38, Ell-Saline 20
On a night where the Bulldogs didn’t shoot well from the field or the line, Bennington (3-1) got the job defensively to oust the Cardinals and claim second place in the Tri-County Classic. While El-Saline (0-4) kept pace defensively, the Cardinal offense mustered just six first half points while committing 15 turnovers over the first two quarters to fall behind 20-6 at halftime.
Ell-Saline improved a bit offensively in the second half, but not enough to erase the deficit, as Bennington outscored the Cardinal 18-14 in the second half.
The Bulldogs were paced by senior Jordan Murphy and junior Kyla Kind, who tallied seven points a piece. Sophomore Abby Frisbie came off the bench to lead Ell-Saline with five points in the loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Ell-Saline 4 2 6 8 – 20
Bennington 9 11 10 8 – 38
Bennington 60, Ell-Saline 34
In the nightcap, Ell-Saline (0-4) hung tough early, trailing by just a point after the first quarter. After Ell-Saline took a 12-11 lead early in the second quarter, Bulldog senior Javon Allen put Bennington (2-2) on his back, ripping off eight points in the final seven minutes of the first half to help the Bulldogs out to a nine-point halftime advantage.
Bennington poured it on in the third quarter, outscoring Ell-Saline 19-6 in the period to put the game out of reach, helping the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in the tournament.
Allen led all scorers with 15 points in the win, while Bennington sophomore Cayden Bauer add 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Ell-Saline junior Rowan Loder led the Cardinals for the second-consecutive game, finishing with ten points in the loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Ell-Saline 10 9 6 9 – 34
Bennington 11 17 19 13 – 60