The Phillipsburg boys and Smith Center girls will head to the MCL tournament this week with perfect records. Several other MCL teams are also ranked in their respective classes.
Friday night featured two ranked team from two different classes. The No. 6 Panther boys (3A) entered the night with an blemished record against No. 6 Stockton (1A, Div. I). Phillipsburg would stay perfect with a 71-43 win. Tuesday, the Panthers got past Osborne 65-38. In Friday’s win, Phillipsburg (9-0) led only 28-26 at the half before winning the third quarter 23-5 to pull away, then adding 20 more points in the final frame. Senior Sean Newlan led the squad with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tad Thompson added 11 points, and Seth Derr managed eight points despite dishing out nine assists.
The Lady Panthers dropped a 52-44 game to Osborne on Tuesday, then improved to 4-6 with a 34-28 win against Stockton on Friday. Junior Mattison Dusin scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Osborne loss. Madysen Frantz added nine points and Michaela Gower eight points.
The No. 4 Lady Redmen remain perfect on the year following a 56-25 win against Plainville on Friday. In a slow first quarter, Smith Center (8-0) built a 7-1 lead. The girls turned it on from there, outscoring the Cardinals 38-15 over the next two quarters. Senior Sydney Benoit led the Redmen with 17 points, also grabbing seven rebounds. Colbie Decker added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Briana Dietz hit both of her three-point tries, finishing the game with 10 points.
The Smith Center boys played well for two quarters, outscoring Plainville 36-29 in the first and fourth quarters combined. They came up short, however, in the middle quarters, resulting in a 57-46 loss. Senior Payton Buckmaster led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. Zach Linn added nine points, and Taylor Zabel scored eight points and grabbed eight boards.
The Railroader basketball teams had a nice week heading into the MCL tournament this week. The No. 6 girls improved to 9-1 on the season with a 65-32 win against Trego on Tuesday, and a 54-25 win at Hill City on Friday. Friday, the Railroaders came out hot, outscoring the Lady Ringnecks 19-2 in the opening frame. Ellis went on to lead 33-10 by halftime. Freshman Alexcia Deutscher was the lone Ellis player to reach double-figures with 13 points. Sophomore Stephanie Greenway added eight points.
The boys are 6-4 following a 53-48 win against Trego on Tuesday, and a 58-56 loss to Hill City on Friday. The Railroaders were outscored in each of the first three quarters on Friday, trailing 28-26 at the half and 45-40 with one quarter to play. Tyler Walters led Ellis with 16 points, followed by 12 points from senior Cole Pfeifer.
The Tiger boys climbed to No. 6 in the Class 1A, Div. I ranks only to face a tough week six on the schedule. Tuesday, the boys got past No. 10 Victoria 57-51. Friday, Class 3A’s No. 6 team in Phillipsburg was just too much. Stockton lost that game on the road 71-43. Victoria won the second half in that battle, but not before the Tigers built a 20-13 lead after one quarter, and a 33-24 halftime lead. Junior Reed Stephens paced the squad with 18 points. Jaden Williams and Justin Wiltfong each added 12 points.
The Lady Tigers (4-4) pulled off a small upset with a 40-38 win against Victoria on Tuesday. Friday, they couldn’t make it two in-a-row in a 34-28 loss to Phillipsburg. Trailing 18-11 after one quarter against Victoria, Stockton cut the gap to 25-22 by the half, then outscored the Knights 18-13 in the second half for the win. Sophomore Morgan Beougher led all scorers with 17 points. Janassa Swaney finished with 13 points for the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Bulldogs celebrated a move to the No. 10 spot in Class 1A, Div. I with an easy week. Tuesday night, the girls downed Phillipsburg 52-44 to improve to 6-1 on the year. Osborne trailed after the first and third quarters but outscored the Panthers 16-10 in the second quarter and 18-9 in the decisive fourth quarter for the victory. Junior Caitlin Miller had a monster game with 18 points and 21 rebounds. Jessica Princ added another double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Baylee Wolters scored eight points, and Taylor Noel and Rachel St. Clair each chipped in six points. Noel hit two threes for her total.
The Bulldog boys were not as fortunate, facing-off against the unbeaten Panthers in a 65-38 loss. After staying close 10-9 for one quarter, Osborne could not keep up with Phillipsburg, falling behind 34-19 by halftime. Saturday, the boys lost the MCL play-in game to Hill City 53-47. Kenton Ubelaker hit three threes to lead the team with 16 points. Maverick LeRock added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandt Wolters finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Jays can take some momentum into the MCL tournament after posting two wins in week six. The girls survived a fourth-quarter scare to beat Plainville 52-47 on Tuesday, then won a more comfortable 51-40 contest at Trego on Friday to move to 7-3 overall, 4-1 in the MCL. Senior Tawni Griffey scored 14 points in the Trego win, followed by nine points from Johnnye Ruder and eight points apiece from Kamilla Jones and Bailey Ambrosier. Ambrosier hit 6-of-7 shots on Tuesday to finish with 18 points and nine boards. Griffey added 15 points and seven assists.
The boys went in the opposite direction, falling to 4-6 overall, 2-3 MCL with a 37-34 loss to Plainville on Tuesday, and a 62-44 loss to Trego on Friday. Tuesday, the Bluejays led 32-28 after three quarters before the Cardinals won the final frame 9-2 to take the game. Senior Jacob Brooks led the Jays with 10 points and eight rebounds against Plainville. Dalton Miller hit two threes to add nine points.