By Mark Schnabel Newton Kansan

HALSTEAD — The Moundridge Wildcat boys got a still challenge from upstart Rose Hill Friday in the semifinals of the 43rd Adolph Rupp Invitational in Halstead, before pulling away for a 53-40 win. Rose Hill, the eighth seed in the tourney, knocked off top-seeded Cheney two nights early and jumped to an early lead against Moundridge. “We got open shots, we got the shots we wanted. They just didn’t go down for us,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “We rushed things a little bit early. We wanted them to play defense. I felt like we could be more disciplined in the half-court offense than they could be in the half-court defense. Eventually, it worked out for us.” Senior Daniel Ratzlaff led the Wildcats with 24 points, overcoming a slow start in the first quarter. Ryan Lorimor added 12 points. “It was different with a couple players getting sick,” Ratzlaff said. “We eventually got comfortable, and our shots started going down. Every team is going to make runs, but the team that wins is going to battle through those.” “We had to overcome some adversity tonight,” Unrau said. “We had a starter sick (Hunter Enyart). Kyle Huxman stepped in and did a great job for us. Garrett Higgins, our sixth man, was home sick too. Antoine Washington, a defensive specialist for us, stepped in and played solid for us. Jaden Schmidt came off the bench and played well for us.” Rose Hill, 3-8, was led by Bret Waddell with 13 points. Alek Santo came off the bench to score eight points. The Wildcats got off to a slow start, falling behind 7-0. Moundridge replied with a 14-2 run that extended into the second quarter. The Wildcats led by as many as eight in the second quarter, but Rose Hill rallied to within one. Moundridge finished the period on a 6-0 run capped by a Ratzlaff trey at the buzzer, putting the Wildcats head 26-19 at half. Moundridge was 11 of 22 shooting in the first half. Rose Hill was eight of 22. Moundridge scored the first basket of the third quarter to lead by nine. The Rockets replied with a 6-0 run. Moundridge replied with a run of its own to lead by 13 late. A Santo trey got Rose Hill back within 10 at the end of the period, 40-30. Moundridge led by as many as 12 early in the fourth quarter, hitting some early free throws.” Moundridge, 8-3, plays Andale at 8 p.m. today in the championship game. Rose Hill plays Garden Plain at 6 p.m. for third place. Andale, 10-1, is ranked eighth in the Class 4A coaches poll. “They’re bigger (than Rose Hill), quicker, more athletic and stronger,” Unrau said. “It’s going to take a great effort on our part to get it done. I told the kids it’s a great opportunity to play for a championship. That’s what you do. You practice hard, and you work hard in the off-season to get an opportunity to play for a title. It’s a rematch from last year. We’re going to have to rebound. We can’t give them second-chance opportunities. With the high-low they run, you have to close out on their shooters, but you also have to get down inside. You have to pick your poison.” “We’re going to have to execute and bring lots of energy,” Ratzlaff said. “As long as we do that, it’s going to be a close game.” Andale 52, Garden Plain 25 — In the opening semifinal, Andale downed Garden Plain 52-25. Andale led 25-13 at the half. Gerard Deaver led Andale with 15 points. Ben Seiler scored 13 points and Jason Hermwreck scored 10. Garden Plain was led by Nick Schumacker with eight points.

MOUNDRIDGE (8-3) — Lorimor 4 4-6 2, 12; Washington 0 0-0 2, 0; Kaufman 4 0-3 2, 8; Ratzlaff 3 (4) 6-7 0, 24; Huxman 1 0-1 1, 2; Frazer 2 3-6 0, 7; Schmidt 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 14 (4) 13-23 8, 53. ROSE HILL (3-8) — Slade 1 1-2 5, 3; Nickel 2 (1) 0-0 4, 7; Clark 2 1-2 3, 5; Randall 0 0-0 0, 0; Sapp 1 0-0 1, 2; B.Waddell 6 1-1 4, 13; Welch 0 0-0 1, 0; A.Waddell 1 0-0 0, 2; A.Santo 1 (2) 0-0 3, 8; TOTALS 14 (3) 3-5 21, 40. Moundridge 9 17 14 13 —53 Rose Hill 9 10 11 10 —40 Technical foul — RH: Slade. Andale 52, Garden Plain 25 ANDALE (11-1) — B.Knoblauch 4, H.Knoblauch 2, Reichenberger 2, Bergkamp 2, Seiler 13, Konda 2, Macari 2, Hermreck 10, Deaver 15. GARDEN PLAIN (5-7) — Milford 5, Schumacher 8, Panek 3, De,Doyle 6, Thimesch 2, Rowold 1. Andale 16 9 17 10 —52 Garden Pl. 4 9 6 6 —25