Eck, Ellis earn running clock in Ellinwood
ELLINWOOD, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Ellis senior Grace Eck entered the night averaging nearly 24 points a game. Eck dropped 28 points against the Lady Eagles as the Railers cruised to a running-clock 63-46 win.
“She’s a great player,” said Ellis coach Elle Stein. “It’s great to be able to coach her. I hope she does very well at Fort Hays. Basketball is what she loves the most so she’s going to give all that she has every minute she’s out there.”
Eck scored eight points in the first quarter but Ellinwood won the glass 10-2. With six points from sophomore Brittany Simpson and a pair of threes from senior Mya Maxwell – including a long one at the horn – the Lady Eagles led 14-10 early.
That began to shift in the second quarter as Ellinwood mustered only two field goals. Eck added 11 more points and four rebounds to her stat sheet as the Railers pulled ahead 31-20 by halftime.
That momentum carried over into the second half. Ellis out-rebounded Ellinwood 21-12 in the middle quarters. Eck added seven more points, but senior Abby North also rejoined the team after being plagued by foul trouble in the first half. She senior scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in the third quarter alone as the Lady Railer lead grew to 54-29.
“We typically struggle in the third quarter,” Stein said. “At halftime we talked about it and we really wanted a big push to start the third quarter. We finally did get a big swing. Our defense stepped up. Abby got to come back in. She was in foul trouble to start the game. She finishes well and brought a little fire for us.
“Our goal was to get up by 15 in the third quarter. Then it was 25. On the bench, they said let’s just push for five. We let them push for five and they got it. I think that’s the first time all year we’ve been able to do that.”
With 4:08 to play in the game, North made a pair of free throws to finish her big second half with 12 points and five rebounds. Her shots also set the clock into motion for good with a 63-32 score.
Simpson finished strong for Ellinwood to end her night with 16 points and seven rebounds. Maxwell also scored 16 points for the Lady Eagles. Senior Daphne Doll grabbed 10 boards to go with her four points, and sophomore Bella Baker finished with four points and seven boards.
Eck, who had scored at least 30 points in two of her first five games this season, also grabbed nine rebounds. All of North’s production came in the final two quarters, and sophomore Emily Eck just missed her average with nine points and five boards.
Ellinwood falls to 3-2 heading into the break. Ellis moves to 5-1 with a lone loss to fourth-ranked Phillipsburg (3A). The Lady Panthers gained state-fame by ending Central Plains’ 138-game win streak.
“That’s probably our best record going into break in my three years here,” Stein said. “It would have been nice to have the Phillipsburg game but they’re a very good team and very well coached.”
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