The Ell-Saline Cardinal basketball squads wrapped up the 2019-2020 regular season Tuesday night at Ell-Saline High School. While the Brookville faithful had hoped for a Senior Night celebration, it was not to be as the Moundridge Wildcats scored a Heart of America League sweep.
GIRLS: Moundridge 54, Ell-Saline 39
In the night’s opening varsity matchup, Ell-Saline (3-17, 2-7) came out hot, cashing in on three three-point buckets in the first eight minutes to edge out in front 13-10. Moundridge (9-10, 4-4) answered back in the second quarter, getting ten of its 16 points in the period at the foul line to grab a two-point lead going into halftime.
The Wildcat defense stiffened significantly in the second half, guarding heavily around the perimeter and taking away Cardinal opportunities from beyond the arc while growing the lead to eight points by the end of the third quarter, then outscoring Ell-Saline 13-6 over the final stanza.
While the Wildcats finished with a 15-point victory, the game was much closer than the final score indicated. The overwhelming difference came at the charity stripe. Moundridge went 20-32 from the free throw line in the victory, while Ell-Saline was limited to just five points from the stripe on 11 attempts.
Junior Kourtney Kaufman led the Wildcat charge in the victory, claiming game-high honors with 17 points. Junior Erin Durst added 16 points, while Kate Eichelberger chipped in 13 points.
Ell-Saline was led by a second-consecutive double-digit effort from junior Brynna Rowley, who finished with 16 points in the Cardinal loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Moundridge 10 16 15 13 – 54
Ell-Saline 13 11 9 6 – 39
BOYS: Moundridge 77, Ell-Saline 22
In the nightcap, Moundridge (8-10, 4-3) ended the suspense early on, outscoring Ell-Saline (0-20, 0-9) by 33 points in the first quarter. By halftime, the Wildcat lead had grown to 47.
The second half featured a running clock, limiting the scoring from both sides.
Moundridge senior Brady Helms and junior Jonathan Schlosser shared game-high honors, finishing with 17 points a piece. Junior Corbin Unruh topped double digits as well for the Wildcats, finishing with 16 points.
Ell-Saline juniors Trevor Peterson and Rowan Loder led the Cardinals in the loss, finishing with six points each.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Moundridge 36 22 12 7 – 77
Ell-Saline 3 8 5 6 – 22
Ell-Saline will now wait 13 days before sub-state play begins on March 2nd. The Cardinal boys are locked into the 8th seed and will face Sacred Heart in Salina. Despite dropping a Tuesday night matchup with Beloit, the Knights have already cemented their position as the top seed in the Herington sub-state.
The Cardinal girls can still move up to the 7th seed in sub-state, but would need Marion to lose its final three games of the season to do so. If Marion wins one of their final three games, Ell-Saline will travel to Chase County High School for the sub-state quarterfinal, as the Bulldogs have already secured the top seed in the Herington sub-state field. Four teams are still jostling for the 2nd seed, with Sacred Heart, Herington, Hillsboro and Bennington still in contention as the regular season winds down.