At Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan
No. 8 Nemaha Valley (14-9)
The Raiders are at state for the third straight season, although their first appearance in 2008 was in Class 3A. Senior 6-1 guard Dane Brinker, playing his third year on varsity, is the fourth-highest scorer in school history with 846 points and needs 41 more to move into second place. Juniors Kevin Burdick (6-2) and Garrett Steinlage (6-0) average 9 and 7 points.
No. 1 Spearville (22-1)
The Lancers' attack is led by 6-3 senior Carson Konrade, who averages 22 points. Their leading rebounder is 6-10 sophomore Willie Cauley (10.2), who has been offered by Kansas State. They have stumbled once this year, to Class 1A qualifier South Gray. Cauley did not play in that game, serving a one-game suspension. The Lancers edged Syracuse 59-58 in overtime.
No. 5 Pittsburg Colgan (20-3)
Don't be fooled by the seed. Colgan is making its ninth straight state trip under 27-year coach Wayne Cichon. The Panthers won 2A titles in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2005, and were second in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Forward Jesse Watt is their leading scorer (12 points) and rebounder (6.4). Junior 5-11 guard Andy Farmer averages 9.6 points and 3.6 assists.
No. 4 Olpe (21-2)
The Lyon County League-champion Eagles have only lost to Osage City (in overtime) and Word of Life. Coach Chris Schmidt calls leading scorer Bradley Argabright, a 6-foot senior, the team's sparkplug. He averages 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4.5 steals. Matt Redeker, a 6-1 senior, averages 9 points and 5 rebounds. Schmidt calls him the Eagles' glue. Olpe is making its fifth straight trip.
No. 7 Lyndon (16-7)
Despite a season of adversity that included injuries and losing a player to transfer, the Tigers managed to defeat sub-state host Lebo 57-43 in Saturday's final. They are led by 6-foot guard Derek Banzhaf, who averages 18.5 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Also averaging in double figures are 6-2 forward Trey Brown (13.5 points, 8 rebounds) and 6-0 guard David Spencer (10 points, 4.5 rebounds).
No. 2 Berean Academy (22-1)
Heart of America League champion Berean, making its third straight appearance at state, uses a balanced scoring attack. Senior 6-foot guard Lonnie Penner averages 11 points, but three others — Josiah Busenitz, Karlin Wiebe and Caleb Hoover — average 9 points. The Warriors' only loss was to Peabody-Burns in a tournament. They avenged that loss with a 68-48 triumph at Peabody.
No. 6 Salina Sacred Heart (19-4)
The Knights' last title was in 1981 as a Class 4A school, but they are making their third consecutive state appearance. They defeated Stockton in the Bennington sub-state 63-49 and were led by Jordan Toogood's 27 points — 12 in the fourth quarter. Toogood and fellow seniors Matt Riordan and Josh Windholz are Sacred Heart's leading scorers and rebounders.
No. 3 Hill City (21-2)
The Ringnecks clinched their first state berth since 1998 and are led by 5-10 junior guard Reggie Jordan (13.3 points) and 6-1 senior forward Corey Lewis (13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds). Their leading rebounder is 5-11 senior Dalton Breinig (5.1). Coach Keith Riley said defense is a strength and is a key to success at state. Hill City has surrendered 40 points a game to opponents.
Colgan-Olpe winner vs. Nemaha Valley-Spearville winner, 4:45 p.m.
Sacred Heart-Hill City winner vs. Lyndon-Berean winner, 8:15
Third-place game, 2 p.m.
The Eagle picks
Joanna Chadwick: Pittsburg Colgan over Berean Academy
Jeffrey Lutz: Berean Academy over Pittsburg Colgan