8th Grade Girls
The 8th Grade girls teams were both active over the weekend and on Monday night. On Saturday, the A-team beat Hays 45-19. Karter Alvord scored 16 points, and Kaya Lowery nearly matched her with 14. Coach Ellie Wingert struck a positive tone after the game, “The girls had a nice win over Hays tonight. We got into foul trouble right from the start, but that challenged the girls to move their feet more on defense. We did a better job rebounding tonight, and the ladies did a nice job of driving to the hoop…They played aggressive on both sides of the ball, and I was proud of the effort from every player!”.
Kaya Lowery pushes the pace
The B-team also played Hays and lost a tight one 30-19. Gabriele Mason led the team in scoring with 7. The B-team has been beset by injuries, and thus, only had 6 girls to play Saturday. Coach Wingert said after the game, “Although we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, these girls fought hard the entire game. Because of injuries, the girls had a lot of playing time, and they continued to show hustle the entire game. We struggled with passing the ball and running our plays tonight, but the effort they continued to show, even when they were down, was encouraging.”
Myah Davis probes the defense for openings
Monday night the teams were back in action. The A-team blew the doors off of Salina South, 54-19. Karter Alvord (13), Madi Moors (10), and Eva Malm (9) were all instrumental in securing such a large margin of victory. This was a great win, and according to Coach T.J. Jackson, it came in spite of a lack of practice time, “our scheduling is funny and practice has been at a minimum. I told the girls before the game we are going to need to be able to learn on the run some, and tonight they did just that defensively. The girls shot lights out, were very aggressive in most aspects of the game, and our rebounding was light years better than last week.”. Coach Jackson noted that this was a complete team effort, but acknowledged his team could improve on defense, “Defensively is the one spot where I would like to see a bit more urgency. We knew they were short playmakers, but I don’t care if they have 3 good players or 0, we need to take pride in moving aggressively on defense.”.
Reanna Eilrich surveys her options
The B-team lost a heartbreaker to Salina South, 29-28. Kyndall Sandbo (6) and Alex Romero (5) led the scoring. This was a back and forth game that changed momentum after halftime; Coach Wingert on what changed, “The girls had a nice lead at half time, but struggled to adjust to a press after half. Once we calmed down and made better passes, the girls continued to play a close, aggressive game. Towards the end of the game, we started running through our offenses and were able to get the ball inside to our posts. We struggled with making smart passes, but we can continue to grow in this area.”.
8th Grade Boys
The 8th Grade Boys’ teams were also in action against Salina South Monday night. The A-team beat them handily, 49-32. Coach Jay Crawford was unimpressed with the defensive effort in the first quarter, “Defensively we were not locked in the first quarter and gave up 14 points. The players know we are a better defensive team than what we showed in that quarter…”. Coach Crawford named Jayvn Alexander as the catalyst for a defense that held Salina South to 18 points the rest of the way, “Alexander really got us going on the defensive end of the court. he was very active and really applied great on-ball pressure. He really enjoys locking people up. Because of his aggressiveness, it got others going and we made it difficult for them to score.”. Alexander also led the team in scoring with 13 points, Gavin Wedel chipped in 11 more.
The B-team also won Monday night, beating Salina South 32-29. Leyton Witte (8) and Riley Newboles (7) led the team in scoring. Coach Crawford said after the game, “Our B-Team has gotten so much better since our first game. They got off to a great start and held on but their effort has made them improved, To see them get after it on the defensive side of the ball was nice, They ran their offense well. Coach Barrett has done a great job with them and did a great job during this game as well.”.