At Busch-Gross Coliseum, Hays
No. 8 Pretty Prairie (21-4)
Junior point guard Hunter Pittman averages 16.7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and shoots 54 percent. Senior Joe Lampe (6-8) averages 10 points, 10 rebounds and has 73 blocked shots, at least 10 more than the school record. Pretty Prairie plays a tight man defense, allowing 45 points while averaging 62.
No. 1 Quinter (25-0)
Senior Matt Bird leads three Quinter players in double figures with 19.1 points and averages 40 percent from three-point range. Quinter, which lost to Hanover in the 2009 title game, won the 8-Man I football title with most of the basketball players. Injuries have hurt the Bulldogs — they lost Derek Walt for the season, another for 13 games, another missed two games because of a football injury and Bird missed both regional wins.
No. 5 Macksville (22-3)
Junior Kyle Bunker (6-5) leads Macksville with 13.2 points and 8.1 rebounds; he's one of six players scoring more than 7.3. Derek Bevan (6-5) adds 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. The Mustangs, who average 64.9 points, have won 10 straight and are making their fifth state trip in eight seasons. They lost twice to Pratt, which is in the 4A tournament.
No. 4 South Gray (24-1)
South Gray's making its fifth straight 1A tourney appearance. In its nine times at state since 1993, South Gray has won three times and taken second twice. Chase Clancy averages 25 points, 4 steals and 5 assists, while Ricky Friesen adds 14 points and Bligh Schulte 3 blocks. Junior Garrison Hendricks is South Gray's top defensive player, averaging three steals.
No. 7 Burrton (21-4)
Senior point guard Alex Santiago leads the state in scoring with 27 points and adds 8 rebounds, 5 assists, while shooting 52 percent. Burrton lacks height and depth, but is a relentless team — the Chargers trailed by 14 against Pratt Skyline and won, trailed by seven in regionals and won, trailed by three in the sub-state final and won. The Chargers are in their third trip to state, first since 2003.
No. 2 Hanover (24-1)
Hanover, the defending champ, has height — Chad Alexander (6-5) averages 12 points, 6.1 rebounds and teammate Connor Hynek (6-4) averages 8.8 points, 6.3 rebounds. Senior Jerod Diederich (6-3) leads Hanover with 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. Despite that height, Hanover hasn't played zone defense all season, playing only man because its big players are athletic and mobile. Hanover has been to the tournament nine times in 13 seasons, including the past four.
No. 6 Baileyville (22-3)
Senior Kyle Haverkamp (6-5) is a mobile and versatile player who is strong on the perimeter. He averages 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Senior Ryan Huerter adds 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while junior Logan Haug (6-6) averages 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Two of Baileyville's losses were to Hanover by a total of eight points. Baileyville has won two titles, the last in 1993.
No. 3 Tribune (24-1)
Tribune, which has made four trips to state, all since 2001, is balanced. Three players average double-figure scoring, including junior Stephen Houston (12.0), junior Jonathan Miller (12.0) and senior Isaac Wilson (11.0). Tribune's only loss was to Sunrise Christian at the Scott City tournament.
Macksville-South Gray winner vs. Pretty Prairie-Quinter winner, 4:45 p.m.
Baileyville-Tribune winner vs. Burrton-Hanover winner, 8:15
Third-place game, 3:45 p.m.
The Eagle's picks
Joanna Chadwick: Quinter over Hanover
Jeffrey Lutz: South Gray over Hanover