Dave Switzer
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Edgerton Boys ventured out of the EKL and down Interstate 35 to compete in the El Dorado tourney last week.  GE accorded themselves well, winning the third place trophy with two impressive wins.
The ‘Blazers got off to a great start  by defeating Great Bend 61-53 in a first round game on Jan. 20.  Facing a Panther team that was once coached by current GEHS coach Jeff Langrehr, the ‘Blazers used 24 points from Bubba Starling to key a 61-53 victory.
The ‘Blazers trailed after one period and had a narrow two point margin at intermission before using a strong second half to post the victory over Great Bend-a traditional .state power.
Besides Starling’s 24 points, Dilon Dodson added seven, Dan Mauszycki and Kyle Huppe each had six, Tanner Webb had five, Zack Hickman and CJ Hall had four each, Matt Plank added three and Tommy Brady had two in the victory.
That win landed the ‘Blazers in a semi-final contest with Wichita Collegiate-one of the state’s top ranked 3A teams.
In another competitive match, GE fell 68-62.
The ‘Blazers led 14-12 after one period before falling behind at half 28-26.
Collegiate increased that advantage to seven entering the fourth period before GE rallied to retake the lead before falling 68-62.
Starling scored 22 points to lead the club.  Webb added 19, hitting four three-pointers.  Brady, Hickman, and Mauszycki each had five while Plank and Hall added two each.
After that disappointing loss, GE was back on the hardwoods the next night against Trinity.  Playing perhaps their best game of the year, the ‘Blazers triumphed 66-44.
Webb led the team in scoring  with 23 points- sinking six three-pointers in the process.
Starling was also in double digits with ten while Mauszycki was right behind him with nine tallies.  Hickaman added six, Brady and Huppe each had four, Austin Gruber had three and Caleb Clarke rounded out the scoring effort with two.
“We played a pretty solid tournament overall.  I thought we managed the game well and hit key free throws late in the game vs. Great Bend, but then failed to hit big ft’s and had too many turnovers vs. Collegiate.  The kids bounced back with an exceptional performance in the third place game.  I was proud of the character we showed in that game, bouncing back from an emotional loss the night before, “ said Coach Langrehr about his team’s efforts.Now 6-5 on the year, GE returns to action this week with a game at home against  Blue Valley on Jan. 27.