TMP boys win, girls fall at Ellinwood
By AUSTIN COLBERT
ELLINWOOD -- Three days meant a world of difference for Thomas More Prep-Marian's Max Megaffin.
On Friday in a 55-48 loss to Scott City, the junior guard was held without a point, going 0 for 6 from the field. But on Monday at Ellinwood, Megaffin could do little wrong, matching a season high with 20 points on 6 of 13 shooting.
"I called him out a little bit on the Scott City game, but I didn't have to," TMP boys' basketball coach Joe Hertel said of Megaffin. "He just has that gritty demeanor about him that says, 'I'm better than that. I'm better than that and I'm going to be out of this funk ASAP.' And I just knew he would bounce back and he did in a big way and pretty much carried us tonight, offensively."
Senior Ryan Mayorga joined Megaffin in double figures with 12 points, and the Monarchs got back in the win column with a 63-41 win over Ellinwood. The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 4, but was postponed until Monday due to snow.
The win gave TMP (8-7) the season sweep of Ellinwood (4-13). The Monarchs also defeated the Eagles 74-47 on Dec. 20 in Hays.
"I'm just happy to get out of Ellinwood with a win," Hertel said. "It's hard playing on the road. It's hard to play on a Monday. It's hard to play when you don't have school. There are just a lot of factors. So there was a lot of adversity going along with this game."
Adversity or not, TMP made it look pretty easy most of the night.
The Monarchs led 14-5 after a quarter and 29-18 at halftime. Megaffin had 12 points by the break, including 3-pointers in the final seconds of both the first and second quarters.
Back to back baskets by Ellinwood to open the second half got the Eagles as close as 29-22 before a 13-5 TMP run silenced any comeback hopes.
The Monarchs led 42-30 after three quarters and would eventually run away with the game in the fourth.
"We had a nice, little flurry there mid-fourth quarter," Hertel said. "We actually scored 13 points on six straight possessions. That is pretty nice. That's what you need when the offense is struggling a little bit."
Despite their highest point total since a 79-23 win over Russell on Jan. 17 -- six games ago -- Hertel felt the Monarchs' offense left a lot to be desired outside of Megaffin's play.
TMP shot 46 percent from the field and went 4 of 11 from 3-point range. The Monarchs also committed 14 turnovers, eight in the second half.
"Not real happy with our offensive output. I felt like we missed a ton of short shots," Hertel said. "We cut across the lane and passed to another player, hit the cutter in the head and out of bounds. It was just kind of chaotic at times. And not really because we were out of control, but we had a lot of dropped turnovers."
TMP made up for it by forcing Ellinwood into 21 turnovers and holding the Eagles to 30 percent shooting from the field.
Ellinwood was led by Kaleb Schartz and Marc Waite, each finishing with 11 points.
The Monarchs have no time to rest, as they will get back on the court tonight with a game against Hoisington at Hays Middle School, the second of four games in five days. TMP beat Hoisington 49-31 on Jan. 30 in Hoisington.
"Bottom line is, this week's pretty much a marathon week," Hertel said. "This time of the season we are hopeful that all of the fundamentals that we repetitiously went over day after day after day, that those things are now instinctive enough that we will just react like we should react."
The TMP boys' game with Hoisington will start following the 6 p.m. girls' game.
TMP girls' rally falls short to Ellinwood
In two matchups against Ellinwood this season, the Thomas More Prep-Marian girls' basketball team has learned it can keep pace with the No. 4-ranked team in Class 2A. That is, until the fourth quarter when the Eagles like to take over.
"We fought back last time, too. It was kind of a similar game because we got behind and we fought back," TMP coach Rose McFarland said. "There is no quit in this group. They've done that before. But I'd just rather play from ahead."
TMP (5-10) rallied from 15 points down to get as close as a point in the fourth quarter at Ellinwood (15-2) on Monday, only to have the Eagles pull away for a 58-43 win and the season sweep over the Monarchs. TMP also lost 67-52 to Ellinwood in Hays on Dec. 20 after trailing by only four points entering the fourth quarter.
The Monarchs trailed Ellinwood 39-24 midway through the third quarter on Monday before an 18-4 run got them as close as 43-42 in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. From there, the game belonged to Ellinwood, which finished on a 15-1 run.
TMP was held without a field goal the final seven-plus minutes of the game, it's only point coming via a senior Samantha Younie free throw with 6:13 to play.
"At the start of the fourth quarter I told the girls this was a good gut check for us," Ellinwood coach Kyle Kriegh said. "They stuck together. That's the main thing, that we did it with five players. We didn't have any individuals trying to do it on their own."
Many of Ellinwood's points in the fourth quarter were easy baskets after the Eagles were able to break the Monarchs' press. TMP had plenty of shot opportunities in the fourth quarter, but collectively went just 1 for 13 over the final eight minutes of the game.
"We hit a few of those and it's a whole different story. At the end of the game we wouldn't have been pressing like that," McFarland said. "At the end we were pressing and they capitalized on that a little bit and got some easy buckets. But at that point we had to try and do something."
TMP was led with nine points from both Younie and sophomore Melissa Pfeifer, eight coming from freshman Madyson Koerner. Freshman Megan Koenigsman, fresh off a 24-point game in a 58-25 win over Scott City on Friday, was held to six points and didn't score in the second half.
Ellinwood was led by the 20 points of senior Sophie Hayes, while junior Rachel Doll finished with 19.
TMP trailed 32-22 at the half after leading 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
"We did some nice things early where we really passed it inside. I thought Sam stepped up tonight and got on the boards," McFarland said of Younie, who scored eight of her nine points in the first half.
"I thought that was one of her tougher games she has played in the last two years and she is starting to look for her shot more. Last year at this time she would have passed most of those shots up. So there is improvement. I always look for the good things and I see a lot of improvement in our team."
TMP will face Hoisington, a team it beat 50-45 on Jan. 30 in Hoisington, today at 6 p.m. at Hays Middle School.
TMP 63, Ellinwood 41
Max Megaffin 6-13 6-7 20, Ryan Mayorga 4-9 4-7 12, Schmidt 4-8 0-0 9, Vitztum 3-5 0-0 7, Fouts 3-6 0-0 6, Gottschalk 2-2 1-2 5, Schippers 1-2 0-0 2, Dreher 1-1 0-0 2, Schibi 0-2 0-0 0, Hoffman 0-3 0-0 0, Flax 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 11-16 63.
Kaleb Schartz 3-13 4-5 11, Marc Waite 5-10 0-0 11, Swank 3-9 2-5 8, Vink 2-8 2-3 6, Jenks 1-4 1-1 3, Wondra 1-3 0-0 2, Ney 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 9-14 41.
TMP 14 15 13 21 -- 63
Ellinwood 5 13 12 11 -- 41
3-point goals -- TMP 4-11 (Megaffin 2), Ellinwood 2-8. Rebounds -- TMP 26, Ellinwood 22. Turnovers -- TMP 14, Ellinwood 21. Fouls -- TMP 11, Ellinwood 17. Fouled out -- none.
Ellinwood 58, TMP 43
S. Younie 4-11 1-3 9, Pfeifer 4-13 0-0 9, Koerner 4-10 0-2 8, Gottschalk 2-9 3-3 7, Koenigsman 2-13 0-0 6, Zimmerman 2-4 0-0 4, T. Younie 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 18-64 4-8 43.
Sophie Hayes 8-13 4-9 20, Rachel Doll 8-15 0-1 19, B. Panning 3-5 2-3 9, Ward 3-6 0-0 6, Beckwith 1-2 0-0 2, A. Panning 1-2 0-0 2, Arndt 0-3 0-0 0, Tucker 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-48 6-13 58.
TMP 13 9 18 3 -- 43
Ellinwood 11 21 11 15 -- 58
3-point goals -- TMP 3-17 (Koenigsman 2), Ellinwood 4-8 (Doll 3). Rebounds -- TMP 28, Ellinwood 26. Turnovers -- TMP 10, Ellinwood 15. Fouls -- TMP 12, Ellinwood 11. Fouled out -- none.