The Berean Academy girls’ basketball team took control early, claiming a 61-31 win over the Burrton Chargers Monday in the opening game of the 43rd Eli J. Walter Invitational in Elbing.


The Berean Academy girls’ basketball team took control early, claiming a 61-31 win over the Burrton Chargers Monday in the opening game of the 43rd Eli J. Walter Invitational in Elbing.

“The defensive pressure we put on got them down a bit,” Berean Academy coach Kristen Wiebe said. “We went on from there. My posts really shot the ball well. We had a really good night of shooting.”

“We had trouble handling some of that pressure,” Burrton coach Tyler Hoopes said. “It was a matter of taking care of the ball. That hurt. Rebounding-wise, we got killed on the boards. There’s a reason they’re ranked in the state in 2A. When we get in foul trouble, we have to go to freshman.”

Burrton, 7-5, was led by Valerie Wallsten with 17 points. The Chargers had just nine players dressed.

Berean, 9-2, had a balanced effort with nine players scoring. Mallory Zuercher led the Warriors with 13 points. Libby Witte added 11. Both are sophomores.

Berean was 27 of 47 from the field. Burrton was 12 of 35.

“We had to rely on the three,” Hoopes said. “We have some girls who can shoot it. We try to go inside against teams more our size. Against bigger teams, we have to shoot from the outside.”

Berean hit its first four shots to take an 8-3 lead. The Warriors finished the quarter 10 of 15 to lead 23-5.

The Warriors took their foot off the pedal a little in the second quarter with both teams struggling with turnovers. Berean led 33-14 at the break.

The Warriors cooled from the field in the third quarter, but did enough with defense and rebounding to make a 13-4 run to start the period.

Berean played its reserves in the fourth quarter with a running clock.

“That will help us,” Wiebe said. “We’ll have fresh legs for Tuesday. Some more girls get varsity experience, which will help us.”

Burrton plays Wichita Trinity Academy at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Berean’s old gym. Berean plays Hutchinson Central Christian at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals.

“I know more about Central Christian because I have scouting reports on them,” Wiebe said. “They have the Patrick girls (Laura and Jamie), the coach’s daughters. It will be interesting to see how Trinity plays. They are in a real tough league. Their record may not be indicative of how they are.”

“We’re young,” Hoopes said. “This will give us some good experience.”

In the nightcap, Hutchinson Central Christian dressed just six players, downing Wichita Trinity Academy 62-22. Central Christian led 40-13 at the half. Jamie Patrick scored 29 points while Laura Patrick added 20 points for Central, 12-0. No Trinity Academy player scored more than four points.

BURRTON (7-5) — Navarro 0 0-0 3, 0; Leonard 0 0-0 0, 0; Woodworth 0 0-0 0, 0; Gardner 1 0-2 1, 2; Terry 0 0-0 0, 0; Wallsten 4 (2) 3-6 2, 17; Davis 3 0-3 4, 6; Friesen 0 (2) 0-0 4, 6; Pearce 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 8 (4) 3-11 17, 31.

BEREAN ACADEMY (9-2) — M.Wiebe 1 0-0 2, 2; Wilgers 2 0-0 1, 4; Ladwig 3 0-0 2, 6; Rust 3 3-4 3, 9; Zuercher 6 1-2 1, 13; C.Wiebe 0 0-0 2, 0; Witte 5 1-2 1, 11; Khosravipour 3 0-0 1, 6; Entz 3 2-5 0, 8; Sommerfeld 0 0-0 0, 0; Burkhart 1 0-0 0, 2; TOTALS 27 7-13 13, 61.

Burrton 5 9 7 10 —31

Berean Acad. 23 10 24 4 —61

Hutchinson Central Christian 62,

Wichita Trinity Academy 22

WICHITA TRINITY ACADEMY (1-9) — Coleman 1 0-0 0, 2; Johnson 1 0-0 5, 2; Schwertfeger 2 0-0 0, 4; Manning 1 2-2 1, 4; Crew 0 0-0 1, 0; Lewallen 2 0-0 0, 4; Blakenship 0 0-0 0, 0; Waller 0 0-0 1, 0; Harder 1 1-4 2, 3; Ruesser 0 0-2 0, 0; Lewis 0 1-2 2, 1; Hollinger 1 0-0 3, 2; TOTALS 9 4-10 15, 22.

HUTCHINSON CENTRAL CHRISTIAN (12-0) — L.Patrick 4 (3) 2-2 2, 20; Hagen 0 0-0 0, 0; J.Patrick 10 (2) 3-6 1, 29; Ensz 2 1-2 2, 5; Alderson 3 2-4 2, 8; Belton 0 0-2 1, 0; TOTALS 19 (5) 9-17 8, 62.

W.Trin.Acad. 6 7 4 5 —22

H.Cent.Chr. 29 11 20 2 —62