Jack Knust and a strong defense helped the Grain Valley boys soccer team stay in contention for the Suburban Small Seven title.

Knust scored a hat trick and added an assist to lead the Eagles to a 5-0 rout of the host Winnetonka Griffins Tuesday night at Staley High School.

“The guys moved the ball well tonight and created a lot more chances than the first time we played Winnetonka,” Grain Valley coach Tyler Nichol said after his team improved to 7-3-2 overall and 5-2 in the Small Seven. “Our backline played great again and has been our foundation throughout the whole season. We are right in the thick of the conference race. At the beginning of the year our goal was to be in the mix for the conference title come October. Next few games are going to be fun.”

Knust scored on Ryan Maynard and Alex Engram assists in the sixth and 34th minutes to give the Eagles a 2-0 halftime lead.

Engram scored off a Knust assist in the 44th minute and Knust completed his hat trick in the 54th minute on an assist from Kendall Schrader. Nate Booker added a goal in the 67th minute to complete the scoring.

Bryant Madden recorded his sixth shutout of the season with two saves.

On Saturday, the Eagles played Blue Valley (Kan.) to a scoreless tie in the final game of the Belton Tournament.

“Tough game against a very good side,” Nichol said. “I was proud of the way we played and the work rate we brought to the game. Backline and Bryant in goal were solid again in another shutout.”

WILLIAM CHRISMAN 1, OAK PARK 0: Braxton Saye scored in the 31st minute and Chrisman made it stand up in a Suburban Middle Seven victory Tuesday.

Javier Merino and Brandon Kuhlman combined on the shutout in goal as the Bears improved to 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the conference.