Ellinwood boys win battle of unbeatens in Macksville

Ellinwood beats Macksville, 69-56.
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 12:16 AM CST
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MACKSVILLE, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - A pair of No. 3 teams from their respective classifications met for the lead in the Central Prairie League Friday night in Macksville. The host Mustangs, ranked No. 3 in Class 1A, Div. I, had the hot start but it was third-ranked Ellinwood (2A) opening up a lead in the second quarter and holding on to remain unbeaten with a 69-56 win.

“They clearly were ready to put it all on the line,” said Ellinwood coach Derek Joiner. “In years past we’ve kind of jumped on them early. They were certainly not going to allow that to happen. They definitely weren’t going to let us be the more aggressive team. They were more aggressive than us. That was clear from the very beginning. We were sped up, we were playing very uncharacteristic of ourselves.”

Macksville scored six of its first eight points on tip-ins and putbacks. Alek Brack opened a career night with five points in the first quarter for an early 5-4 Ellinwood lead, but the Mustangs pulled back ahead 15-9 by the end of the frame.

Eagle senior Britton Dutton took over in the second quarter with 10 of his game-high 28 points to go with seven rebounds. Macksville senior Rogelio Ibarra cleaned up his own miss for a 19-13 lead midway through the second, but Brack kickstarted a 12-0 run with back-to-back threes and Dutton did the rest. The Eagles pulled ahead 31-24 by halftime.

“Alek scoring the way he did, and also them fouling as much as they were, getting us free throws in the first half, and our defense kept us in the game in the first half as well,” Joiner said.

The second half followed suit as Macksville stayed in the game with stickbacks and tip-ins. Diego Esparza paced the Mustangs with 14 points, followed by 12 points each from Lance Lickiss and Alexis Barron. Hector Gomez and Ryan Kuckelman each scored eight points. Each in the group finished with at least six rebounds.

Dutton and Brack each finished strong for Ellinwood, each scoring nine points in the final quarter. Dutton finished with 28 points and seven boards, and Brack keeps adding to his career high with 22 points and five rebounds. Cooper Hosman added seven points in the win.

“It’s definitely good for both teams,” Joiner said. “I think our guys have learned now, okay, there are people out there ready to compete at a speed other than what we’ve been playing. There’s nothing our guys can do about that. Our schedule’s our schedule right now - there’s nothing changing it. They learned even if you think you’re better than somebody just because you’ve beat them the last few years, they can still smack you in the mouth and make you change the way you play.”

Macksville girls 38, Ellinwood 32

Macksville girls move to 5-4 with a 38-32 win over Ellinwood.

The Lady Mustangs forced 14 turnovers in the first quarter and allowed just three Ellinwood field goals in the first half. After pulling ahead 2-1 with a pair of early free throws from junior Mayce Russell, Macksville never trailed again.

“We like to press most teams at least a little bit,” said Macksville coach Megan Schroeder. “We thought if we could pressure their guards and make them panic a little bit, we could get some turnovers and get some easy buckets.”

Ellinwood cut the gap to 32-29 midway through the fourth on back-to-back baskets from Bella Baker and Brittany Simpson, but Russell provided the final dagger with a slide step through the lane that resulted in a basket and foul.

Neither team shot the ball well all night but the Mustangs had more chances. Russell got to the line often, scoring 10 of her 18 attempts on the way to a game-high 18 points. Junior Kambry Adams added eight points and five rebounds down low, and senior Lupita Galan scored six points from the post.

“Lupita, Logan (Sanders), and Kambry, they all contributed down low,” Schroeder said. “We could get pretty much what we wanted to but just couldn’t finish. That makes a big difference.”

Simpson was held to nine points to lead Ellinwood, and Baker added nine points. Macksville improves to 5-4 on the season.