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Tournament schedules for Ellsworth County teams

POSTED: January 19, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Ellsworth’s Josh Bahr (4), makes a shot in the Jan. 16 dismantling of Otis-Bison in the first round of the Cardinal Winter Jam in Hoisington. I/R photo by Mark McCoy.

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HOISINGTON — The Ellsworth Bearcats will play NCAA rivals mighty Minneapolis at 4:45 p.m. Friday at the Hoisington Activity Center in Hoisington. Minneapolis has fallen from the rankings of the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, but still is a good team and is well-coached as everyone in the North Central Activities Association knows.

However, the ‘Cats have learned to play team basketball and have tightened their defense within the paint led by Ben Murrell and Josh Bahr. Jacob Froese has developed into a quality shooter to compliment Clint Glaser and the Ellsworth bench is loaded with talent with Shane Wilson, McGregor Jones, Matthew Keener and Mark Cunningham II all rotating to the game like a revolving door. The ‘Cats destroyed fifth-ranked 1A Division II Otis-Bison in the first round and made it look easy.

The Lady ‘Cats will play in the consolation bracket, following a devastating loss to a good and under-rated Hoisington team in the first round Tuesday, falling to a 4-7 record — their best start in years. The Lady ‘Cats have talent, but are inconsistent. They will play Victoria (7-3) at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Activity Center in Hoisington.

LINCOLN — The Northern Plains League Tournament returns to Lincoln Friday, with Wilson playing in the winner’s brackets. The Dragons will meet Rock Hill at 4:30 p.m. Friday in a semi-final game at Lincoln High School.


The Dragons have developed into a well-balanced team, with Jordan Bess, Creighton Reeves and Marcus Denham improving with each game to complement the talents of Cole Zelenka and double-double king Jake Stoppel. The 1A Division II Dragons are currently ranked third by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.


The Lady Dragons will play Logan at 3 p.m. Friday, also at the high school in a semi-final game on the girls’ side.


Lead by Karlie Steinle, who averages over 20 points per game, the Lady Dragons also field a host of talented players with Sarah and Jenna Lanter, Tanisha and Shania Steinike, Emily Beneda and Dreamer Roberson. They have a deep bench with Tara Gustus, freshman McKenzie Thrasher and transfer student Antjelica Pfannenstiel.  The Lady Dragons continue to be ranked second in the state by the KBCA.


ST. JOHN — The Oilers begin play today in the first round of the St. John’s Lions Club Mid-Winter Classic at 6:30 p.m. against fifth-ranked 1A Division I Central Prairie League Rivals Macksville.


The Oilers are greatly improved from the December start of the season, with their big men Patrick Hubbard, Tim Stueder, Evan Liebl and Joe Barton defending well under the glass and getting a lot of offensive put-backs. Benn Kirmer and Chris Steiner are the lightning-quick point guards for the team and freshman Layne Bieberle is an exciting addition to the team. Central Plains also has a deep bench, with Bryce Straub, Colton Zink, Ty Heitschmidt and Sam Feist able to rotate into the line-up at any given time.

The talent-heavy Lady Oilers are idle this week and will play Jan. 23-27 in the Southeast of Saline tournament in Gypsum.


HAYS — The young and talented Bearcat wrestling team will grapple in the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic Invitational wrestling meet at 3 p.m. Friday at Hays. Wrestling will continue Saturday morning at 9 a.m.


Sophomore Ty Nienke, at 106 pounds, won the Ellsworth Invitational earlier this season and grapplers Marshall Barkow, Zach Martin and Mo Rojas placed high in the tournament.

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