CLAFLIN – The last time Ellinwood’s boys faced the Central Plains basketball team, it didn’t work out so well.
No. 2 seeded Ellinwood earned a rematch with Barton County rival Central Plains with a dominating 65-31 victory over outmanned Lincoln. The Oilers beat the Eagles 52-21 Feb. 24.
Sharp-shooter Tyson Martinez lit a fire for the Eagles with 21 points and five 3-pointers. Leading scorer Marc Waite scored inside and outside for a game high 26 points.
Ellinwood (14-8) will ride some positive momentum after beating Ell-Saline 59-37 and Lincoln by 34 points.
“We played really well Monday and came back and played a solid game again tonight,” said Ellinwood coach Derek Joiner. “I know our seniors realize what an opportunity this is Saturday night. It will take our best basketball game of the season.”
Joiner said the Oilers are physically talented in their man-to-man defense.
“It will take everything we’ve got to compete with Central Plains,” Joiner said. “As long as we’re focused and play our best, I’m going to be satisfied.”
Martinez fired in back-to-back 3-pointers for a 10-2 lead after the teams combined to miss 12 of 13 field goals.
“Once I made that first shot, I knew I’d keep shooting,” Martinez. “It felt good to help our team tonight.”
Waite made an early basket for a 4-0 lead after both teams struggled from the field. But Martinez got the Eagles rolling with two 3-pointers.
“It was great to see Tyson get us going like that,” Waite said. “He lit a fire for us. Once everyone else saw the ball go through the basket, we all started shooting better.”
Waite said Oiler Michael Ryan defends him well, so it will be a terrific challenge.
“It will take all of us contributing and playing our best game of the year,” Waite said.
Joiner likes what he’s seen from his Eagles. The Eagles received two solid performances from its top scorers with everyone else contributing.
“I like the way our intensity has picked us,” Joiner said. “We didn’t handle that first game with Central Plains very well. They got ahead and we didn’t respond.”
The Eagles scored 21 points in the second period and added 24 points in a terrific third quarter. The Eagles showed off some pressure defense that gave Lincoln trouble. Zac Walter led Lincoln with 13 points.
ELLINWOOD 65, LINCOLN 31
Lincoln 5 9 9 8 — 31
Ellinwood 12 21 24 8 — 65
Lincoln—Zac Walter 13, Gulledge 8, Davied 3, Edmundso 2, Luck 1, August Walter 1.
Ellinwood—Waite 26, Martinez 21, Schartz 5, Monday 1, Wondra 2, Vink 4, Wortham 2, Olsen 3, Robl 1.