Though several football teams remain in the playoff race, the Moundridge volleyball squad bowed out early at the Sterling substate on Saturday.
The Lady Wildcat volleyball team made an early exit at the Class 2A substate in Sterling on Saturday. Moundridge entered the close field with a 25-12 record, just two losses more than No. 1 Pratt-Skyline. After an easy 25-15 first set win against Sterling (16-21), the Wildcats dropped the next two sets 27-25, 25-21.
Junior MacKenzie Suderman was big in the first set, using two early kills for a 7-4 lead. Suderman later spiked for three of four points, giving Moundridge a 22-12 lead. Mareike Bergen’s ace for the final point secured the set. The Wildcats played from behind most of the way in set two, leading 2-1 and 6-5 before falling behind. Several times, the girls tied the score but never pulled ahead until a 22-21 lead. Moundridge pushed that gap to 24-22 before dropping the set 27-25. Suderman’s ace midway through the third set gave the Cats a 13-8 lead, but Sterling would not go away, eventually knotting the score at 13. Brooke Holloway’s stuff gave the Cats a 15-13 lead, but the Moundridge hitters struggled to get the ball past the Black Bear blockers. Trailing 23-21, Sterling blocked for a point, then picked up the next point for the third set and upset. Skyline went on to advance to Emporia, downing Ellinwood in two sets for the regional title.
The Warrior runners will all head to state following a successful display at the Class 2A regional in Meade on Saturday. The Lady Warriors easily won a regional title with 31 points, beating second-place Stanton County by 16 placings. The Stanton County boys ran away from the competition with 28 points. Berean finished second with 81 points, edging out Burden Central by a single point.
Junior Wendy Busenitz won an individual title with a time of 16:52, 15 seconds ahead of the next runner. Sophomore Tiffany Wiebe finished fifth in 17:38, senior Emily Wiebe placed seventh in 17:44, and freshman Janet Busenitz ran behind her in 18:00. Freshman Carissa Slabach rounded out the top 10 in 18:13. Seniors Katelyn Entz and Lydia Newby placed 11th and 12th, respectively, in 18:23 and 18.27. Oxford’s Mark Sutton won the boys’ race in 17:16 by nine seconds. Senior Micah Klassen led the Warriors in 15th with a time of 19:18. Junior Harrison Briscoe finished 19th in 19:29, and junior Matthew Wine just missed the top 20 by 12 seconds, finishing 21st in 20:08.
The Teutons controlled their destiny Friday night against Sterling. With No. 1 LaCrosse claiming a district title and Ellinwood and Medicine Lodge struggling, the other playoff spot came down to who could win in Friday’s big Class 2A matchup against Sterling. Despite an 0-4 start to its season, the Black Bears rolled past Inman 40-0 to clinch a playoff berth.
The teams stayed close after one quarter with Sterling taking an 8-0. The Black Bears took over from there to lead 28-0 by halftime and 40-0 after three quarters. Inman (5-3 overall) managed just 131 rushing yards on the night. Senior Josh Miller picked up 92 of those yards on 21 carries, and Logan Hall rushed for 32 yards on five carries. Quarterback Justin Friesen completed 3-of-8 pass tries for 24 yards with an interception. Defensively, Bryce Wenthe led the team with 10 tackles. Treyton Devore had the lone Teuton interception.
The Celtic football team could have bolstered a district title with a win on Friday. Unfortunately, that meant getting through No. 3 Garden Plain. The unbeaten Owls dominated Trinity 33-7 to take the title and leave Trinity in a must-win situation Friday against Haven (4-4).
The Celtics were able to stay close for the first 12 minutes, falling behind 7-0 after one quarter. Garden Plain tacked on three scores in the second quarter to open up a 28-0 lead. Sophomore Michael Doeden scored the lone Trinity touchdown in the third quarter. He threw for 75 yards on 5-of-7 passing, and rushed for 16 yards on seven carries, though one carry accounted for 14 of those yards. Elias Jasso-Cardenas came up well-below his season average of around 80 yards per game with just 37 yards on 11 carries. Eric Banning ran four times for 34 yards. Spencer Truman led the Celtic receivers with 28 yards on one catch.
Though the Cardinals are the favorites at this point for a district title, nothing is guaranteed in Class 3A, District 10. Sedgwick improved to 2-0 in the district, 7-1 overall with a 51-7 win over Bluestem on Friday. Barring a major blunder against Remington (1-7), the Cards can wrap up the title on Thursday.
Friday’s game was lightly contested as Sedgwick led 26-0 after one quarter, and 39-7 by halftime. Nic Johnson’s eight-yard touchdown catch from Logan Thompson but the Cards on the board. Dalton Brandt added a 10-yard run for a score before Thompson, the lineman turned wideout turned quarterback connected with Greer Chandler and Dalyn Anderson for two 45-yard strikes and the 26-0 lead. Brandt scored from five yards out and Johnson added another eight-yard scoring reception in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Michael Liby and Drake Standefer each had touchdown receptions. Thompson finished his night with 203 yards and five touchdowns on 9-of-16 passing. Colby Weber completed 10-of-15 passes for 188 more yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions.
The Cardinals improved to 6-2 overall, 3-1 in district play with a 40-0 thrashing of Washington County on Friday, but the team still has a game to go. With Smith Center wrapping up a district title, Ell-Saline will need to down Bennington (4-4 overall) on Thursday to secure a spot in the playoffs.
The Cardinals led 20-0 at the half, then added 20 more points in the fourth quarter to complete the blowout. Kaleb Whitehair scored in the first minutes of the game from 34 yards out, then Toby Omli’s 14-yard score put Ell-Saline ahead 13-0 late in the opening quarter. Late in the second quarter, Garrett Walker threw an eight-yard strike to Ross Armstrong for the 20-0 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, Walker ran in from 13 yards out, and Justin Schmutz provided the exclamation point with touchdowns of 30 and 5 yards. Ell-Saline used a balanced attack behind 215 passing yards from Walker on 12-of-17 passing. The Cards also ran for 254 yards, led by 88 yards from Schumtz, and 79 yards on 14 carries for Omli. Armstrong, Whitehair, and Keegan Hays each had three catches, and Hays led the pack with 71 yards. Luke Base had the lone interception on defense.
The Warrior football team is still in good position to sneak into the playoffs after a 40-21 loss to unbeaten Hillsboro on Friday. Marion falls to 1-1 in district play and will face 1-7 Moundridge on Thursday. Halstead (1-1) will play Hillsboro (2-0), meaning Hillsboro and Marion wins will send those two teams on to the playoffs.
Hillsboro scored first, but Marion bounced back with the next two touchdowns on runs of one yard and 19 yards from Brody Carroll. After another Hillsboro score, James Jones ran in from five yards out to give the Warriors a 21-20 halftime lead. Marion would not score again as the Trojans took the lead for good with a touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht led the Warriors with 114 yards on just 11 carries, and another 45 yards on 2-of-2 passing. Carroll finished with 106 yards on 24 carries. Jacob Harper caught three passes for 61 yards.
The Bulldogs found out what other teams in Class 2A, District 6 had already found out: Smith Center learned how to win. After a 1-3 start, the Redmen scored a fourth quarter touchdown to down Bennington 22-16, improving to 4-0 to clinch a district title. The Bulldogs fall to 2-2, 4-4 overall, and will need to beat Ell-Saline (3-1, 6-2) on Thursday for a chance to advance to the playoffs.
Both teams scored in the first quarter, and Smith Center added a second quarter score to lead 16-8 at the break. Bennington tied things up in the third quarter before the Redmen score in the final frame secured the win. Quarterback Zach Fief scored both Bulldog touchdowns, finishing with 111 yards on 25 carries, and throwing for another 51 yards and two interceptions on 3-of-12 passing. B.J. Glanton rushed for 86 yards on 19 carries. Heath Thornhill had two catches for 41 yards. Fief and Jake Stewart paced the Bennington defense with six tackles each.