Varsity Kansas has introduced a new series, Moment of the Year. The series will highlight the top moment or performance from the 2017-18 high school sports season for each of the Wichita-area schools. And now, the Eisenhower Tigers.
Eisenhower have put together a run of regular-season dominance few other schools in Kansas can boast.
The Tigers boys basketball team clinched its third straight No. 1 seed in the Class 5A state tournament in 2018. They won the AVCTL II, their sub-state tournament and went 16-2 in the regular season.
Eisenhower coach Steve Blue has ramped a remarkable run of regular-season success in the past three years, with a combined 63-7 record, three league titles and three sub-state championships. Eisenhower has placed a player on the Eagle's All-Metro team each of the past three seasons, including senior guard Dylan Vincent this season.
But despite the consistency, Eisenhower's 2018 season was different.
The Tigers were flawless in the record book against all but one team: Arkansas City. The Bulldogs weren't pegged as league-title contenders before the season but proved their worth, sweeping Eisenhower for the first time in school history. The second loss came on the final night of the regular season.
Eisenhower had to regroup before hosting its sub-state tournament.
The Tigers started with crosstown rival Goddard, a 4-17 team that took them to overtime. Eisenhower won that game 72-71 before the winter holiday break. The sub-state game had the same feel. Goddard's posts gave Eisenhower fits, but the Tigers pushed through for a 52-47 win.
They faced a hot Andover team to go to state.
The Trojans were coming off an impressive opening round win against Kapaun on the road and carried that momentum into the final. But Eisenhower's guards wore Andover down for a 57-44 win.
The Tigers lost to No. 8 Mill Valley 68-64 in the first round of the 5A tournament but finished the season with some outstanding wins and stats on their resume.
Eisenhower finished the season with the Wichita area's leading scorer, Vincent, with 25.8 points per game. The Tigers got wins against Salina Central (5A runner-up), Andover Central (4A-Division I fourth-place finisher) and Maize (AVCTL I champion).
Other Key Moments
- Eisenhower clinches regional championship with a 20-6 win over Salina South. The Tigers lose to Goddard in the Class 5A sectional and finish the season 5-7, second in AVCTL II.
- Tiger softball team wins regional tournament, qualifies for 5A quarterfinals before losing to eventual runner-up Carroll.
- Eisenhower senior Ryleigh Jackson finishes second in the girls 5A pole vault at J10-feet-6. Carroll's Taylor Linn won at the same height with fewer attempts.
- Eisenhower's Cauy Lindsay comes runner-up in the boys 5A javelin at 184-8. He finishes fewer than 10 feet behind Salina South's Isaac Mitchell after winning at the AVCTL II meet.
- Tiger boys soccer team wins AVCTL II and qualifies into its regional tournament as the No. 1 seed in 5A at 15-1. Eisenhower lost to Maize in the regional final.
- Eisenhower junior Tyler Trudo earns the Eagle's All-Metro honors after averaging 73.7 strokes and being ranked No. 3 in 5A. He finishes second at his regional tournament.
- Tigers Kwame Parry finishes fourth in the boys 5A 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200. He was also named to the Eagle's All-Metro boys soccer team.
- Eisenhower boys tennis pairing Nathan Watson/Tyler McGreevey finishes fourth at the 5A tournament.
- Tiger senior Jeff Wake takes fifth in the boys 5A triple jump at 42-8.