Cardinals roll to first Rupp title since 2014


By Travis Mounts

After several years finishing as the runner-up, the Cheney Cardinals are finally the champions of the Adolph Rupp Invitational. The Cardinals secured the tournament championship with a 58-43 victory over the top-seeded Haven Wildcats on Saturday night in Halstead. The Cardinals were the No. 2 seed.
The Cardinals put this game away with a strong defensive second half, holding the Wildcats to just 14 points after the break.
It was a close first half. Cheney trailed by as many as 7 points in the second quarter, but Harrison Voth’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Cheney a 31-29 halftime lead as well as momentum. After the break, the Cardinals began working the ball inside to Rylan Doshier and Luke Grace, and the defense held a prodigious Haven offense to just 43 points.
Freshman point guard Jackson Voth had a career night with 22 points, including scoring the Cardinals first 10 points.
“Jack had his best game of the year,” said Cheney head coach Linndy Frieden. “He has the capability, but usually guards the opponent’s best player.”
The Cardinals outscored the Wildcats 27-14 in the second half, including a 15-6 run through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. They finished the game with 10 3-point baskets.
Cheney put four players on the all-tournament team, with Luke Grace being named as the tournament’s MVP. Grace, Harrison Voth, Jack Voth and Middleton all were named as all-tourney players. Additionally, Marcus Peintner and Logan Bartlett made the all-academic team.
The Cardinals’ win over the Wildcats avenged last year’s championship loss. The Cardinals lost to Andale in the previous two years’ title games. Cheney beat Andale 60-40 last week on Monday in the opening round.
Cheney’s last Rupp title came in 2014.
The Cardinals have a pair of games on this week’s schedule. On Tuesday, they went to Sterling to make up a non-league game from December. On Friday, Cheney will host Independent at 7:30 p.m.
The Cheney boys and girls return to regular Central Plains League games next Tuesday at home against Medicine Lodge.
Cheney: J. Voth 22, H. Voth 13, Grace 10, Rylan Doshier 7, Middleton 6.

Following a 20-point win over Andale, Cheney notched an even bigger win last Friday over Minneapolis, the tournament’s No. 3 team, with a 65-26 win in the semifinal. The Cardinals came out hot and put this game away early.
“That was the best half of any team I’ve ever coached,” head coach Linndy Frieden said about the first half. He said Minneapolis is a good squad that beat Winfield with a running clock in the first round.
The Cardinals sank a season high 12 3-pointers.
It was Harrison Middleton’s best game of the season. He scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, and he did not play in the fourth quarter as Frieden emptied the bench.
Cheney: Middleton 22, H. Voth 15, Grace 15, Doshier 4, Quincy Thomas 3, Trenton Reitmayer 3, Keegan O’Shea 2, J. Voth 1.