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Sterling's defense shuts down Ellinwood
tyler stuhlsatz
Ellinwood Eagle Tyler Stuhlsatz (1) defends Sterling’s Cody Oden (21).


SPEARVILLE – Britton Dutton's left-handed half-court hook shot drew nothing but net. But Dutton's ESPN-worthy basket occurred a second after the halftime buzzer.

It was that type of night for the Ellinwood Eagles. Sterling’s defense shut down Ellinwood for the second consecutive year with a 49-30 substate basketball championship Saturday. Sterling also ended Ellinwood’s season last year 43-37 at Inman.

Ellinwood (18-5) came up shy of the school’s first state tournament trip since 1984.

Sterling’s defensive terrier Donivin Hopewell aggressively shadowed Ellinwood standout Britton Dutton and limited him to 6 of 19 shooting and 15 points.

“Donivin is an amazing defender. We told him Dutton was the best athlete he'd see,” said Sterling coach Derek Schneider. “He face-guarded and didn't let him get shots off. Dovinin is athletic and long."

Sterling’s 7-foot high jumper Tyus Wilson defended the interior defense with a double/double of 12 rebounds and 12 points in addition to five blocked shots. The presence of the athletic 6-foot-6 Wilson altered several Ellinwood inside shots.

“We knew it would be difficult to score,” said Ellinwood coach Derek Joiner. “They left Wilson in the lane and that stops you from making lauyps.”

The Black Bears also matched up aggressively against Tyler Stuhlsatz, the Eagles’ second-leading scorer. 

“They played unconventional defense and that caused us to not shoot the basketball very well,” Joiner said. “We don't see level of defense.”

Sterling’s Zach Surface knocked down four first-half 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Sterling had five players hit 3-pointers and converted nine of 19 shots from long range to outscore the Eagles 27-9 from long range.

“We knew about Surface and didn’t do a very good job finding him,” Joiner said. “But overall, their 3-point shooting was an aberration.”

Schneider said the Black Bears took full advantage of the way the game was officiated.

“We played how the game was called. They let us play in the paint,” he said. “We took full advantage.”

Dutton performed with great intensity and converted a pair of 3-pointers. Parker Scheck scored seven points and Tyler Stuhlsatz added six points. The Eagles converted 11 of 41 field goals. The Central Prairie League champions settled for substate runner-up for the second consecutive year.

No. 1 ranked Hoxie downed Sterling 47-34 in Monday's 2A quarterfinal.

Ellinwood 10 2 7 11 – 30

Sterling 17 12 13 17 – 49

ELLINWOOD (18-5)—Dutton 6-19 1-2 15, Scheck 3-9 1-2 7, Stuhlsatz 2-6 1-2 6, Brack 0-3 2-2 2, Behnke 0-3 0-0 0, Totals 11-40 5-8 30

STERLING (18-5)—Surface 5-9 3-5 17, Wilson 4-12 2-2 12, Royer 2-2 3-6 8, Oden 2-3 2-2 7, Comley 1-3 0-0 3, Hopewell 1-1 0-2 2, Riffel 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 15-31 10-17 49

3-pointers—E 3-10 (Dutton 2-4, Stuhlsatz 1-2, Brack 0-1, Behnke 0-3); Sterling 9-19 (Surface 4-8, Wilson 2-6, Royer 1-1, Comley 1-2, Oden 1-2). Rebounds—E 14 (Hosman 4). Assists—E 4 (Behnke 2). Steals—E 1 (Zink 1). TO—E 10