The Beloit Trojan boys’ basketball team lived up to its No. 1 seed in the Hoisington Class 3A sub-state tournament Monday night as they rolled to a 76-46 victory over No. 8 seeded Ellsworth.
The Trojans, who improved to 20-1 on the season, scored the game’s first 7 points and never trailed in the opening round contest.
Payton Vetter led Beloit, which is currently ranked No. 5 in Class 3A according to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, with 25 points.
Beloit opened the game with a 7-0 run then closed the first quarter outscoring Ellsworth 11-6 and took an 18-8 lead into the second quarter.
The Trojans outscored the Bearcats 13-8 in the second quarter and took a 31-16 lead into the locker room at intermission.
“We came out and played well defensively,” Beloit coach Ryan Eilert said. “We limited them on what they wanted to do. I felt like we were the more aggressive team and just came out and made some shots.”
The Trojans did not turn back the pressure in the second half. The two teams did score more points in the second half, but Beloit was in control of the contest throughout as it outscored Ellsworth 22-16 in the third quarter and sealed up the sub-state victory outscoring the Bearcats 23-14 in the final period for the 30-point victory.
“Any time you can win in that fashion it is a good game,” Eilert said. “You get some kids in the game. It is a good feeling to walk away from a game like that.”
The Trojans now advance to the semifinals on Thursday where they will play Lyons, who won their sub-state quarterfinal 66-49 over Phillipsburg.
Thomas More Prep, which defeated Norton 58-37, will play Minneapolis, who knocked off Hoisinton 75-44 in the other quarterfinal, in the other semifinal in Hoisington on Thursday.
Ellsworth, which finishes the season 7-14, was led in scoring by Matthew Keener, who finished with 19 points and was the lone Bearcat to score in double figures. Beloit was led by Vetter while teammate Colson Reames added 18 for the Trojans.