Ellinwood gets over hump, remains unbeaten with Winter Jam title

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:54 PM CST
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Ellinwood made it all the way to the finals of last year’s Winter Jam tournament only to get beat by a tough Class 4A Pratt team. This year, the Eagles entered flying a little higher with a perfect record and the No. 3 ranking in Class 2A. Snow pushed back the finale, but Ellinwood got it done with a 47-37 win against host Hoisington Monday night.

“I thought we played pretty good defensively,” said Ellinwood coach Derek Joiner. “I thought we made more errors than I thought we would make, but Hoisington runs their 5-out pretty well. They know where they’re going to get. We scouted it and they still did a good job, especially in the first half, of catching it where they wanted to catch it. Credit to them for doing what they did. That’s something we’re pretty good at. (Tony) Moore and (Leyton) Haxton made some hard shots.”

Hoisington was hanging around at 14-10 after one quarter. Junior Mason Moore came off the bench with a big three in the first quarter, then added four more points in the second quarter. Britton Dutton found junior Drew Heinz for a corner trey just before the halftime buzzer to send the Eagles into the break with a 28-19 lead.

“Mason’s one of those guys who is super skilled,” Joiner said. “He’s exactly the kind of guy we want when somebody tries to run a box-and-one or a different kind of zone because he can really shoot the ball. He scores a lot in our JV. For him, it’s always been is this a game he can defend in, and tonight he was able to. He rebounded and played with toughness.

“He gave us good minutes against Pratt Thursday. He didn’t score, but he went over some hurdles to stay in the game defensively and rebounding, what we’re asking him to do first before he ever gets the chance to shoot. He did some of those. He afforded himself some opportunities tonight and made the most of it.”

Parker Scheck and Cooper Hosman opened the second half with quick baskets for Ellinwood, then Dutton took a steal the distance for the biggest Eagle lead of the night at 34-19. Dutton scored 14 points through the first three quarters to keep a comfortable 39-25 lead with a quarter to play.

“He takes over these games,” said Joiner. “It’s nice to have a player, whether it’s by him scoring or by facilitating, or just by playing with the energy he plays with, he can get you from eight to 15 in a hurry. Then you’ve got control of the game. It’s nice when you have someone like that.”

Hoisington got seven fourth-quarter points from Haxton to stay in the game but never seriously threatened with the margin remaining in double-figures for the duration. He finished with 17 points and five rebounds, and Moore added 12 points.

Dutton scored twice in the final eight minutes to finish with a game-high 18 points. Moore scored all seven of his points in the first half, and Brack also scored seven points. Heinz finished with six points, annd Scheck scored five points.