Sports

Wed
02
Jan

The Oilers’ humble, hard working dynamo

MIKE COURSON/For the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Central Plains’ Emily Ryan dribbles around an opponent during a game earlier this season.

Emily Ryan does not look like the best basketball player in Kansas. She’s thin, not real tall, and though humble is not a physical attribute, it’s a trait so embodied by Ryan one can almost see it.

But make no mistake about it: no one in Kansas put up numbers like Ryan in the 2017-18 season. Now, the reigning Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year is ready for her junior campaign at Central Plains High School.

“Emily is a very special person and player,” said Lady Oiler coach Pat Stiles.“Her work ethic is second to none. Emily is the ultimate gym rat; she spends countless hours in the gym on top of team practices.”

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Wed
02
Jan

And then there were nine OTs

The grainy black and white photo from the Marion Chronicle of more than a half-century ago doesn’t begin to tell the story of that year’s Liberty Center Lions.

Compared to today’s super-charged teams, the Lions — most of them closer in height to Danny DeVito than Arnold Schwarzenegger — probably wouldn’t qualify to be on a basketball court. Yet there they were — winners of their county sectional for the first time in 20 years, defeating Bluffton, the big guys on the block. Next came regionals. Liberty Center was the smallest school of the 64 still in competition for a State championship.

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Wed
26
Dec

BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL

Photo courtesy of Courtney Wise

Ellsworth High School senior Josiah Bolton signs with Friends University to run cross country next fall. Front row, from left, Steve Bolton, Josiah Bolton and Nancy Bolton. In the back row are, from left, Micah Bolton and two representatives from Friends University.

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County I-R

Wilson Lady Dragon Basketball standout Haleigh Hanzlick signed a letter of intent Nov. 29 to play basketball for the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes in Salina. Haleigh, front row, middle, is shown signing the letter flanked by her parents, Audie Hanzlick, left, and David Hanzlick, right. KWU head basketball coach Ryan Showman is in the back row on the left, along with Haleigh’s sisters, Addison, Kinsley and Macy.

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Wed
26
Dec

Oiler boys pull away from Ellinwood

Few teams have found a way to slow the Central Plains boys — winners of their last 32 games entering the Dec. 18 year-end contest at Ellinwood. The Eagles held Central Plains to just 43 points but the Oilers still cruised to a 43-21 win.

The stall began in the second quarter. By then, Central Plains already led 17-9 thanks to an eightpoint first quarter from Brett Liebl and nine combined points from seniors Devin Ryan and Alex Hickel.

With Ellinwood moving the ball around the perimeter in search of an opening, the teams combined for just 10 points in the second quarter.

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Wed
26
Dec

Holiday Scores

The Lady Oilers are favorites in most ball games they enter. Central Plains made the short trip to Ellinwood Dec. 18 for the 2018 finale. Facing a diminished Lady Eagle squad, the Lady Oilers scored the first 19 points of the game and never looked back in an 86-15 win.

Emily Ryan was again a big factor early on with 15 points in the first quarter. Her basket just over three minutes in made the score 15-0, then she scored on a pass from Avery Hurley 40 seconds later. A Delaney Rugan basket made for the 19-0 score before Ellinwood got on the board at the 3:02 mark.

“(Coach) told us when they run the flex to just jump to the ball,” Rugan said. “We really came through on that and held them to just a few points in the first quarter and half.”

Wed
19
Dec

Lady ‘Oilers start slow, finish strong

MIKE COURSON/For the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Lady Oiler seniors Rylee Cunningham and Avery Hurley battle for a loose ball during Tuesday’s 54-28 win over St. John.

The gap atop the Central Prairie League is a large one. St. John could contend for the No. 2 spot in the league later this season.

A week ago at Claflin, the Lady Tigers slowed Central Plains to just 22 points at the half. The top-ranked Lady Oilers still came up a basket shy of a running clock in a 54-28 win.

“I have some awesome kids,” said Lady Oiler coach Pat Stiles.“They just always come through. They’re really good basketball players and they love playing for each other.”

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Wed
19
Dec

Dragons notch wins

Above, Brady Mermis and Kory Kriley listen to Wilson coach Jake Stoppel in a time out at a game earlier this season.

At left, Macy Hanzlick goes in for a layup.

File photos by Ben Nondorf

Despite a rough start to the season, the Wilson Lady Dragons picked up a win this past week on the road against Palco High School, defeating the Roosters 40-31 on Dec. 11.

Lady Dragon Macy Hanzlick led her team with 18 points, five rebounds, seven steals and three turnovers. She was followed by teammate Kaleigh Hanzlick, who scored 13 points, and had five rebounds and six steals. Kaleigh also had nine turnovers and two blocks.

Other scorers were Kami Thrasher with four points, Bryna Hill with three points and Kaylee Boxberger with two points. Boxberger also had eight rebounds. Lady Dragon Kaitlyn Hoeffner had three rebounds, a steal, five turnovers and a block.

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Wed
19
Dec

Ellsworth’s Walford takes his bracket at Russell wrestling meet

MARK McCOY/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Ellsworth’s Tyler Walford is on his way to a pin Friday in Russell.

Bearcat heavyweight grappler Tyler Walford won his bracket Friday at the Lincoln/Russell Round Robin wrestling tournament in Russell.

Five teams competed in the contest with 6A Hays taking the team title with 219 points. The ‘Cats placed fourth with a total of 70.5 points.

The Bearcat Wrestling Clan was well represented, including many former Bearcat grapplers and their families.

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Wed
12
Dec

Wilson takes on Tescott Invitational

The Wilson Dragons receive some timeout advice during the first game of the season. The Dragons played this past week in the Tescott Invitational. Named to the alltournament teams were Lady Dragons Kaleigh Hanzlick and Macy Hanzlick and Dragon Brady Mermis. Mermis also placed second in the free throw competition with 24 or 30 shots. Mermis and Ethan Dlabal tied for the honor with Mermis winning the tiebreaker with the most consecutive made free throw. He hit 12 in a row, while Dlabal hit seven. Tournament champions were Southern Cloud on the girls’ side and Sylvan-Lucas for the boys. The Southern Cloud girls are coached by Ellsworth High School graduate Tyler Williams.

File photo courtesy of Ben Nondorf

The Wilson High School Lady Dragons lost 36-32 to the Tescott Trojans during the opening round of the Tescott Tip-Off on Monday, Dec. 3.

The Lady Dragons were led by Kaleigh Hanzlick with 15 points, including six rebounds, six assists, eight steals, three turnovers and five blocks.

She was followed by Macy Hanzlick with nine points, six rebounds, one assist, eight steals, five turnovers and one block; Kaitlyn Hoeffner with eight points, seven rebounds, one steal, three turnovers and one block; and Kami Thrasher with three rebounds, two steals, six turnovers and one block.

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Wed
12
Dec

Ellsworth fields disappointment at Russell

At left, The Bearcats defense stiffens as a Russell Bronco drives towards the goal. I-R Photos by Alan Rusch and Mark McCoy

Below, Lady ‘Cat Lakyn Tenbrink (15) battles for the ball Dec. 6 in the Amos Morris Basketball Tournament at Russell.

The third-seeded Ellsworth Lady Bearcats opened the 2018 Amos Morris Classic tournament in Russell this past week against the fourth-ranked Smith Center Lady Reds.

But the meeting didn’t end as Ellsworth hoped as the Bearcats were defeated 51-28 in the first round. The Lady ‘Cats were unable to put points on the board, sinking just 11 of 35 total field goals attempted.

At the line, Ellsworth made four of six free throws. The Lady Bearcats were led by Lakyn Tenbrink, with 13 points, including three free throws.

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