Trego outlasts Ellis to reach MCL final

Rick Peterson Jr.
Hays Daily News

ELLIS — After surrendering a 16-point lead, the WaKeeney-Trego boys answered a rally from Ellis and used clutch plays down the stretch to pull out a 56-50 win on Friday and advance to the Mid-Continent League Tournament final against Hoxie. 

WaKeeney-Trego's Cole Feldt celebrates after making a key steal in Trego's 56-50 win over Ellis in the MCL Tournament semis on Friday in Ellis.

The Golden Eagles raced out to leads of 9-0 and 19-3, but Ellis chipped away and took a 38-35 advantage with just over two minutes left. 

A bucket from Kobi Shubert put the Golden Eagles up 51-50 with 1:25 left, and Trego (9-2) came up with two big defensive stops down the stretch to keep the Railroaders (8-2) at bay. 

"That was a nice to way to (win it) — battle back from adversity, getting defensive stops," Trego coach Sean Dreiling said. 

After Shubert's bucket put Trego in front late, the Eagles got a stop and Charlie Russell hit two free throws to push the lead to three with 19 seconds left. 

Trego's Cole Feldt then swiped the ball away from Ellis at the top of key and was fouled. A Railer player received a technical following the play, and the Golden Eagles put the game away at the foul line. 

“What a steal by Cole Feldt,” Dreiling said. “Having the courage to reach in like that and knock the ball away, and then go steal it."

Sophomore Owen Day hit one of the biggest shots of the game, canning a 3 to put Trego up 49-48 with three minutes left. 

Ellis coach Mark Eck credited his players for digging out of the early hole, but said the Railers didn't execute well down the stretch. 

“They came out and pretty much punched us in the mouth, and it took us a quarter to wake up,” Ellis coach Mark Eck said. “We still gave ourselves a chance to win, but at the end of the day, the last minute, multiple mistakes. Not only by some of the kids, but me as a coach."

“If we don’t get ourselves in a 19-3 hole, it’s probably maybe a little different outcome for us,” Eck added. “But you look back, and you can’t really make excuses. They deserve a lot of credit, because they are a darn good team.”

Russell led Trego with 17 points, while Shubert, Feldt and Day finished with nine each. Ellis standout Brady Frickey scored a game-high 21 points. 

Ellis was set to meet TMP in the third-place game at 4 p.m. Saturday. 

On the girls' side on Friday, Norton knocked off Phillipsburg 52-45 in the semifinals, and Smith Center also moved to the title game with a 40-27 win over Hoxie. 

Check for Saturday's results.