Heights coach Joe Auer doesn't have to worry about his basketball team getting overconfident following its 55-33 win Wednesday night over an overmatched Blue Valley West team in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
The No. 1 Falcons are led by a group of seniors that won't let that happen.
"How do we shift gears? Experience," Auer said. "We've played teams in the early rounds that play like that. We're going to continue to defend, get rebounds and push the basketball. We're going to determine the outcome."
Heights (23-0), the two-time defending champion, lengthened its winning streak to 42 games. That surpasses Wichita South's Class 6A record of 41 set from 1992-94.
In what Auer called a boring game, the Falcons were content to sit back and play solid defense while Blue Valley West looked for its right shot.
"We just stayed connected," Heights point guard EJ Dobbins said. "We just had to keep doing what we've been practicing from the start. We tried not to get bored. They had long possessions, so we had to stay connected."
With two minutes left in the game Perry Ellis woke the crowd up with a two-handed alley-oop dunk off a Dobbins pass. The basket put the Falcons 52-33.
"We didn't want them to change what we do," Auer said. "We do what we do. It's just that they were willing to hold the ball while we do what we do. If we needed to, we could have went and got the ball. We just didn't feel like using the energy to do that tonight."
BV West did its best early to keep it close by moving the ball around and using up clock before taking shots.
The Falcons ended the first quarter with a 9-5 lead then pulled away in the second quarter with more lock-down defense.
BV West was limited to 3-of-19 shooting in the first half, and rarely got off an uncontested shot. Heights had an uncharacteristic five first-half turnovers but still managed to get separation thanks to consistent shooting by Ellis, who scored 19 points, and Dreamius Smith. Smith scored eight of his 11 points in the first half, combining with Ellis to score 16 as Heights led 23-9 after the second quarter.
Olathe East 50, Washburn Rural 53 — Olathe East withstood a late run by Washburn Rural to advance to meet Heights in Friday's 8:15 p.m. semifinal.
Washburn Rural led 53-52 with 58 seconds left, but Tyler Kalinoski (19 points) and Cole Cook (15 points) took Olathe East on an 8-0 run to close out the game.
W. Northwest student section
Wichita Heights fans
Dodge City's band and cheerleaders were the halftime show during the Heights-BV West game. I wish I would have taped the whole thing. They were excellent.
BV West fans
Washburn Rural fans
Olathe East fans
BV Northwest student section
Dodge City fans