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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Elyria ready to soar into new season

  • As basketball season begins to ramp up in the high school ranks, a lot of the focus will be on McPherson, Moundridge and Inman, all three schools who made appearances in their respective state tournaments.
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  • As basketball season begins to ramp up in the high school ranks, a lot of the focus will be on McPherson, Moundridge and Inman, all three schools who made appearances in their respective state tournaments.
    One program that is flying under the radar is at Elyria Christian School. And the Eagles wouldn’t have it any other way.
    The ECS girls’ basketball team quietly put together a 13-8 record, with a 4-4 mark in the Wheat State League. Though they lost team leaders in Cori Mines and Abby Fields due to graduation, first-year Eagle coach Greg Fields does bring back the two leading scorers in 5-foot-11 sophomore  Rachel Adamyk and 5-9 junior Anna Adamyk.
    The younger Adamyk sister led the Eagles last year with 159 points, while Anna was second with 126 total points scored.
    “It’s funny,” Fields, who was an assistant for two years under brother, Jeff, said, “because they’re sisters, but they are so different in their style of play. Anna brings just a ton of energy and speed and Rachel is, probably, the most offensive-minded player that we have. She wants to bring it to the goal and score. They bring a lot of energy to the team.”
    Fields will boast only two seniors in his lineup when Elryia tips off its season Dec. 6 at Canton-Galva. Emily Thiessen was a huge presence under the glass for Elyria last year, as the 5-11 senior pulled down 81 rebounds. Camille Anderson adds size to the Eagles, as she stands at six foot even.
    Other juniors on the team include 5-8 Addison Fields and 5-9 Micah Redenbaugh. Moriah Redenbaugh, a 5-10 sophomore, is also back from last year’s team.
    Greg Fields does feel like his team is ready to improve upon last year’s outing, where Elyria Christian was one game away from punching their ticket to the state tournament.
    He saw some of that improvement already this past summer, as ECS took part in the Hesston Summer Basketball League, winning the small school division of the tournament against teams like Moundridge, Inman, Hesston and Berean Academy.
    Those efforts carried into the first week-and-a-half of practice.
    “I’ve been really pleased with their attitudes and their efforts,” Fields said. “We’ve seen more improvement in one week than we’ve ever seen. It’s been really obvious to me, and they’ve said this out loud, ‘We want to glorify God, even in practice.’ And it’s been evident.”
    Elyria boys’ basketball coach Ben Starburg is also looking for improvement from his team, which finished last year with a 4-16 record. The second-year coach has two seniors and three juniors back from last year’s team and has seen positive steps forward thus far.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I feel like our young kids that we started last year, I think they are going to be improved,” Starburg said. “Particularly our guards [Matthew Gemmer and Ethan Price]. They should, now that they are juniors, be physically stronger and I feel like they are going to be able to handle the ball better. And if we can reduce our turnovers, that is going to be tremendous for us.”
    Ball handling was a particular focus during the summer workouts for the Eagles.
     Aside from Gemmer and Price, Starburg also feels like 6-foot senior Austin Paulson has taken great leaps forward and will be able to contribute to the Eagles’ successes in 2013-14. Starburg is also high on junior Quentin Pease, who he feels should give ECS an inside presence.
    “He’s a big, strong, physical kid,” Starburg said. “He’s been working really hard. I’m pleased with the progress he’s made.”
    The Eagles will also open their schedule on the road Dec. 6 against Canton-Galva.

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