By Mark Schnabel?Newton Kansan

MOUNDRIDGE — The Peabody-Burns boys’ basketball team held on to the Cinderella slippers for about 2 1/2 quarters against the ninth-ranked (KBCA, Class 2A) Moundridge Wildcats Saturday in the Class 2A sub-state finals in Moundridge.?The Wildcats pulled away late in the second quarter to earn a 57-33 win and advance to the state tournament, which begins Wednesday in Manhattan.?Moundridge held a 21-2 advantage in free throws. The Wildcats went 21 of 31 from the line. The Warriors were two of nine.?“Two weeks ago, we played Peabody. We shot the ball well. We played solid defense and we brought the pressure,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “Tonight, we didn’t hit some shots early. We didn’t bring the pressure the way we did the first time. We didn’t bring the pressure until the third quarter. Then we really establish that we wanted to bring the pressure and maintain the intensity.”?“They made a run on us, and we just couldn’t fight back,” Peabody-Burns coach Brian Simmonds said. “We were only down by seven at the half. We were ready to go. They hurt us hard. With about three minutes left (in the third quarter), we were down 15. In the first half, when they made a run, we came right back. I was proud of my guys for keeping it close in the first half. I was hoping we could keep it close going into the fourth quarter. They hit their free throws. They did what they needed to do. Once they got that cushion, they started to relax and hit their shots.”?Daniel Ratzlaff led the Wildcats with 18 points, hitting 10 of 13 from the line. Ryan Lorimor added 12 points.?“It was a physical ballgame,” Ratzlaff said. “It worked out for us at the end. Our season average is pretty good. We had a couple of games where we struggled. We just kept playing hard. We wanted to scramble and create a lot of chaos.”?Austin Savage led Peabody-Burns with 10 points. Braxton Kyle added nine points.?Turnovers and foul trouble early put Peabody-Burns down 15-4. A Savage trey at the buzzer got the Warriors back within eight, 15-7.?The Wildcats struggled shooting early in the second quarter, hitting one of seven. Savage hit a two and a three in the span to get the Warriors within five. The two teams traded baskets the rest if the half, leaving Moundridge up 21-16 at the break.?Moundridge opened the second half with an 12-0 run, broken by a Braxton Kyle trey with 5:27 left in the third quarter. The Warriors came back with an 7-0 run of its own. Moundridge finished with an 11-6 run to lead 41-27 at the end of the quarter.?Moundridge opened the fourth quarter with nine of 11 free throws. Hunter Pickens broke the run with a jumper with five minutes remaining.?“We have to give a lot of credit to Peabody,” Unrau said. “They knocked off the number four seed. They knocked off the number one seed. They made this an exciting tournament. Their coaches, parents and patrons should be proud of their effort.”?“This was a great sub-state run for us,” Simmonds said. “We haven’t been to the sub-state finals since 2005. We were about a five or six seed that year.”?Peabody-Burns, 12-11, lose five seniors.?“I lose all my starters,” Simmonds said. “I’ve got three kids with legitimate varsity time. I’ve got some kids on the bench, JV kids, who are going to have to step up. We’re going to look for a couple more kids. A 12-11 season is a winning season, and we haven’t had that in a couple of years.”?Moundride, 18-5, takes on Heart of America League and cross-county rival Inman at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. Inman also is 18-5. Moundridge went to the Class 3A state tournament last year, falling to Rock Creek 49-41.?“Obviously, these guys were part of a state tournament team last year, and things didn’t work out so well,” Unrau said. “We wanted to get back. Now it’s the 2A state tournament. We’re happy to be back, but we’re not just happy to be there. We’ll do what we need to do. These kids have never been to Manhattan. ... They want to be one of those teams that hangs a banner on the wall.”

MOUNDRIDGE (18-5) — Lorimor 2 (2) 2-5 2, 12; Washington 0 0-0 1, 0; Higgins 1 0-0 1, 2; Wadley 0 0-0 0, 0; Kaufman 3 3-3 1, 9; Ratzlaff 4 10-13 1, 18; Huxman 0 0-0 2, 0; Frazier 2 5-8 2, 9; Schmidt 0 0-0 0, 0; Enyart 3 1-2 1, 7; TOTALS 15 (2) 21-31 11, 57.?PEABODY-BURNS (12-11) — Gard 0 0-3 4, 0; Morris 3 2-4 5, 8; Jabary 0 0-0 1, 0; Kyle 3 (1) 0-0 4, 9; Topham 0 0-0 5, 0; Savage 2 (2) 0-0 0, 10; Pickens 3 0-2 3, 6; Schroeder 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 11 (3) 2-9 23, 33.?Moundridge 15 6 20 16 —57?P-Burns 7 9 11 6 —33