Where to start, where to start. Do I start with Heights getting both boys and girls teams into the Class 6A title games? What about Andover Central beating Bishop Carroll girls to advance to the 5A title game? Or Cheney getting to the 4A girls game, but losing Merissa Quick to a broken foot? Or how about Wichita Collegiate taking a 16-all tie and putting the smackdown, 60-36, on Rossville?
Let’s just do this wrap-up class-by-class:
Boys: The Wichita Heights-Leavenworth semifinal was amazing. Great matchup between two great teams. When Nino Williams fouled out, I was disappointed. I wanted to see this game go to the very last minute. Williams played well, finishing with 29. Perry Ellis and Dreamius Smith each had 23. Ellis only needed nine points to go over 1,000. He surpassed that.
Such an uptempo, fun game to watch. Heights wins 83-78 and will face Blue Valley Northwest, a 69-63 winner over BV North. That was another fun game to see, with Tyler Brashears showing that he’s one of the deadliest shooters in the state. It should be a good final, although I don’t see BV Northwest running with Heights as Leavenworth did. Maybe a zone defense?
Girls: Olathe South did as expected with Dodge City, winning 54-41. Natalie Knight had another good game. That’s just a good team, and it’s going to be a heckuva matchup with Heights on Saturday — a game many of us predicted before the season started.
Heights beat Washburn Rural 63-49. I thought this game would be closer. Washburn Rural has such nice players who can score consistently. But when Tahlia Pope opened the game with a three, it immediately opened up the lane. Jhasmin Bowen took advantage and simply dominated. Washburn Rural tried to stop her, by the end of the first half, all three of its post players had three fouls. Bowen finished with a ridiculous 17 points, 16 rebounds.
Great game by Heights.
And with that, Heights becomes the first team in 6A to play for titles in football and boys and girls basketball in the same school year.
Boys: Bishop Miege handled, I mean, handled Gardner-Edgerton. The one team in 5A that I thought could play with Miege — at least a little closer than this 86-57 loss — was Gardner. I was wrong.
Miege will go undefeated. Topeka West is the surprise of the tournament, getting past McPherson in overtime. But Topeka West will lose on Saturday.
Girls: St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Bishop Miege, the third time they have played. Never easy.
Aquinas will play Andover Central, a 63-54 winner over Bishop Carroll. This went the way it was expected. It really did. It won’t be easy for Andover Central to send Tiffany Bias out with a state title in 5A, but if any team can do it, it’s this one. It’s an undersized team, and yet it doesn’t seem to matter.
Boys: Ottawa 56, Coffeyville 53 — Ottawa wins a very tight game — and will face KC Sumner, a five-point winner over Pratt.
Tough loss for Pratt. Great season, though.
Girls: Cheney will play Concordia, as expected in the finals. But the loss of Merissa Quick will make this a near-impossible win for Cheney. I know that Cheney is not a one-player team. But Concordia isn’t on this huge undefeated streak for nothing. There’s talent there, and I thought only with Quick could Cheney maybe pull it off.
What a tough, tough break. I feel so bad for Quick and her teammates.
Boys: It will be Minneapolis and Collegiate playing for a title. If I was Minneapolis, I’d be concerned after what Collegiate has done the past two games.
But should anyone really be surprised? Collegiate beat Dodge City, beat Andover Central, lost a tight one to Great Bend, beat Kapaun. How many good teams did Collegiate play in its oh-so tough schedule? Collegiate wins big.
Girls:It will be Marion and Thomas More Prep playing for the title. How about Marion? How many of you thought that this team — we know it’s extremely athletic — would be playing for a title. Great season.
Boys: It will be Colgan, again, playing for a state title against Berean Academy. Can Berean win? Sure. I never pick against Colgan, though.
Girls: Olpe will play Hill City in the title game. Not surprised with Olpe, a great pick to win it.
Boys: Hanover beats South Gray. Hanover, Hanover, Hanover. Why did I pick against you? I know better! Don’t pick against Hanover!
Girls: Argonia nearly gave coach Dixie Brewster her title, but lost in overtime to South Gray. Nothing to be ashamed of.
What a great day, great teams, great players. If you want to comment or add more insight to any of these, please do.