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Sports in Kansas: Sub-State Recap/First Look at State

St. Mary's pulled off three upsets this weekend.
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Mar 8, 2020

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The sub-states were marked by a number of rematches from the regular season. Notably 5A Andover Central boys pulled an upset versus No. 1 Bishop Carroll after a 22-point loss in the regular season. In 3A girls, Halstead beat Haven after a pair of losses. In 3A boys, Haven defeated Hesston and earned its first trip to state in 32 years.

As well, 6A Campus required a third matchup with Derby, and 3A Scott City girls had to face Goodland for a fourth time. Additionally, 5A Hays High boys played rival Great Bend for a third occasion, and 2A WaKeeney girls had a third meeting against Oakley. Undefeated Nemaha Central girls beat rival Sabetha in a third matchup in 3A. South Central boys had split two previous meetings versus Hodgeman County in 1A.

Additionally, sub-state included a big comeback from 1A St. Francis boys and massive individual performances, notably from Otis-Bison’s Maddie Wiltse. Check back with Sports in Kansas during the week for stat leaders and further breakdowns of the state qualifiers. All state history information from longtime historian Carol Swenson.

6A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Liberal (22-0) Wed. @ 3:00 PM [8] Olathe South (15-7)

[4] Derby (20-2) Wed @ 4:45 PM [5] SM-Northwest (18-4)

[2] Topeka (22-0) Wed @ 6:30 PM [7] Olathe North (16-6)

[3] Wichita-Heights (21-1) Wed @ 8:15 PM [6] Olathe East (17-5)

6A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Campus (22-0) Thurs @ 6:30 PM [8] Manhattan (15-7)

 [4] BV North (19-3) Thurs @ 8:15 PM [5] Lawrence (18-4)

[2] JC Harmon (20-2) Thurs @ 3:00 PM [7] Olathe South (16-6)

[3] BV Northwest (20-2) Thurs @ 4:45 PM [6] Free State (17-5)

5A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Andover (22-0) Wed @ 3:00 PM [8] BV Southwest (9-13)

[4] DeSoto (16-6) Wed @ 4:45 PM [5] Kapaun (16-6)

[2] Basehor-Linwood (20-2) Wed @ 6:30 PM [7] Andover Central (14-8)

[3] Hays (16-6) Wed @ 8:15 PM [6] Highland Park (15-7)

5A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] McPherson (21-1) Thurs @ 3:00 PM [8] Basehor-Linwood (16-6)

[4] Aquinas (18-4) Thurs @ 4:45 PM [5] Maize South (18-4)

[2] Andover Central (21-1) Thurs @ 6:30 PM [7] DeSoto (16-6)

[3] Seaman (19-3) Thurs @ 8:15 PM [6] Maize (16-6)

4A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Nickerson (20-2) Wednesday @ 6:30 PM [8] Buhler (14-8)

[4] Bishop Miege (20-2) Wednesday @ 8:15 PM [5] Chapman (18-4)

[2] Eudora (20-2) Wednesday @ 3:00 PM [7] Clay Center (16-6)

[3] KC Piper (20-2) Wednesday @ 4:45 PM [6] Baldwin (17-5)

4A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Parsons (21-1) Thursday @ 3:00 PM [8] Rose Hill (12-10)

 [4] Augusta (18-4) Thursday @ 4:45 PM [5] Ottawa (16-6)

[2] Kansas City-Piper (21-1) Thursday @ 6:30 PM [7] Buhler (15-7)

[3] Bishop Miege (18-4) Thursday @ 8:15 PM [6] Andale (16-6)

3A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Haven (21-2) Wednesday @ 6:30 PM [8] St. Marys (13-10)

[4] Galena (18-5) Wednesday @ 8:15 PM [5] Burlington (18-5)

[2] Collegiate (20-3) Wednesday @ 3:00 PM [7] Colby (16-7)

[3] Beloit (20-3) Wednesday @ 4:45 PM [6] Nemaha Central (17-6)

3A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Nemaha Central (23-0) Thurs @ 3:00 PM [8] Osage City (13-10)

[4] Phillipsburg (20-3) Thurs @ 4:45 PM [5] Cheney (20-3)

[2] Frontenac (21-2) Thurs @ 6:30 PM [7] Jeff West (15-8)

[3] Halstead (20-3) Thurs @ 8:15 PM [6] Scott City (20-3)

2A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Skyline (21-1) Thurs @ 3:00 PM [8] Hillsboro (13-9)

[4] Erie (19-4) Thurs @ 4:45 PM [5] Sterling (19-4)

[2] Bishop Seabury (21-2) Thurs @ 6:30 PM [7] Garden Plain (18-5)

[3] Hoxie (21-2) Thurs @ 8:15 PM [6] Blue Rapids-Valley Hts. (18-6)

2A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Spearville (23-0) Wed @ 6:30 PM [8] St. Marys Colgan (14-9)

[4] Valley Hts. (21-2) Wed @ 8:15 PM [5] Wabaunsee (20-3)

[2] Trego Comm. (22-1) Wed @ 3:00 PM [7] Bennington (16-7)

[3] Sterling (21-2) Wed @ 4:45 PM [6] Garden Plain (18-5)

1A Girls Bracket from KSHSAA

[1] Central Plains (25-0) Thursday @ 6:30 PM [8] Ingalls (16-8)

[4] Hanover (23-1) Thursday @ 8:15 PM [5] Otis-Bison (23-2)

[2] Cunningham (25-0) Thursday @ 3:00 PM [7] Centralia (18-8)

[3] Olpe (25-0) Thursday @ 4:45 PM [6] Norwich (22-3)

1A Boys Bracket from KSHSAA

[1]Berean Academy (25-0) Wed @ 6:30 PM [8] Stockton (14-11)

[4] Lebo (22-3) Wed @ 8:15 PM [5] South Central (20-5)

[2] Little River (22-3) Wed @ 3:00 PM [7] St. Francis (16-7)

[3] St. John (22-3) Wed @ 4:45 PM [6] Frankfort (20-6)

Class 6A


No. 1 Haysville-Campus (22-0) – Campus, the No. 1 boys team the majority of the winter, defeated rival Derby, 69-58, in the sub-state title game. This marked the third time this season the Colts beat Derby. The Colts defeated the Panthers, 56-53, on Jan. 14, and a 62-54 road win Feb. 21.

No. 8 Manhattan (15-7) – Manhattan had a seven-win improvement from last year. Manhattan and Campus earned third and first, respectively, in the Dodge City Tournament of Champions. Manhattan played Miege close for three quarters and then lost 58-45 in the TOC semifinals Jan. 24. Then, Campus defeated Miege in overtime in the TOC championship. The Indians have won three in a row.

No. 5 Lawrence (18-4) – Lawrence beat Wichita Southeast and Jackie Johnson, one of the state’s leading scorers, in a 63-55 sub-state title game. Lawrence has reached state six straight years.

No. 6 Lawrence Free State (17-5) – Free State defeated Topeka High, 58-48, and qualified for state for the fourth consecutive winter.

No.  2 Kansas City Harmon (20-2) – Harmon reached state for the second straight year and the sixth time in school history. Harmon has one loss to a Kansas school (4A Augusta) and has won nine in a row. Lonnel Lane is one of the top juniors in Kansas while Walzel Evans is also one of the top 6A players in the state. 

No. 1 Liberal (22-0) – Liberal has posted back-to-back perfect regular seasons and is into the state tournament for the third straight year. Two winters ago, the Redskins took third in 5A. Last year, Liberal lost in the first round of 6A state. Liberal had no trouble with a 58-23 victory versus Junction City, and 53-33 against Manhattan in sub-state. Katie Horyna and Machia Mullens have signed with Division I schools Abilene Christian and Kansas City, respectively. Mullens cleared 1,000 career points earlier this winter. Horyna scored 14 in the final and went over 1,000 career points. This is the first time Liberal has reached state three straight years since ’90-92.

No. 8 Olathe South (15-7) – From ’05-’18, Olathe South reached the state tournament every year. OS, which won its lone title in 2010, was the No. 7 East seed. OS beat No. 2 seed Blue Valley North, 50-40, in a slight upset. BVN was ranked eighth, and OS was unranked. The Falcons feature Dani Winslow, a Missouri State commit. After the regular season, Winslow led the team with 10.2 points and 9.5 rebounds, according to league statistics from Sunflower Smack, a media entity that regularly covers the Sunflower League.

No. 4 Derby (20-2) – Derby graduated the first KSHSAA McDonald’s All-American in Kennedy Brown (Oregon State) and her best friend, point guard Tor’e Alford (Hutchinson CC), though returned plenty of depth, added two impactful freshmen and two key transfers. Derby easily beat Dodge City, 43-24, in the sub-state final. The Panthers are second, first and third at state the last three years. Derby has reached five consecutive state tournaments.

No. 2 Topeka (22-0) – Topeka, the defending state runner-up to Washburn Rural, rolled over Wichita North, 94-25, and Hutchinson, 74-40, in sub-state.

No. 7 Olathe North (16-6) – Olathe North defeated Olathe West, 71-51, in the sub-state title game. OW had won the Sunflower League regular season title. ON also beat Olathe West, 56-45, in Feb. 27. North qualified for state in ’19 and ’20, the program’s first berths since ’97.

No. 3 Wichita Heights (21-1) – Heights took a 60-49 loss to Bishop Carroll in the regular season finale after star sophomore Zyanna Walker suffered a season-ending knee injury. Heights beat defending state champion Washburn Rural, 41-30, in the sub-state title.

No. 6 Olathe East (17-5) – East has reached the state tournament four straight seasons. OE beat Shawnee Mission West, 35-32, in the sub-state title. OE also had 29-28 road win against SM West on Jan. 14.

Class 5A


No. 1 Andover (22-0) – Andover qualified for state for the first time since ’13. The Trojans have doubled their victory total from last winter. Andover was ranked second in 5A throughout the season behind Bishop Carroll. BC took an upset loss to Andover Central. Andover held off Emporia, 49-45, in the sub-state title game.

No. 3 Hays (16-6) – Hays High has enjoyed a seven-win improvement from last winter. Hays High had split its two meetings against rival Great Bend and also shared the Western Athletic Conference title against GB. Both teams won on its home floor. On Friday, HHS traveled to Great Bend and earned a 43-36 victory. It ended the Panthers’ 12-game winning streak.

No. 7 Andover Central (14-8) – In a big upset, Andover Central beat Bishop Carroll, 61-59, on a last-second 3-pointer form Jerome Washington. AC trailed by seven with 36 seconds left. Senior Xavier Bell, a Drexel signee, had 32 points, and Washington tallied 19. AC is the defending 5A state champion, though returned only Bell from its three 1,000-point scorers off last year’s squad. Carroll was ranked No. 1 in 5A the majority of the winter. Notably, Carroll beat AC, 68-46, on Dec. 13 in the AVCTL/City League crossover challenge. AC has eight seniors. Seven of them missed 12 practices at the start of the year, because of the Jaguars’ run to the Class 4A state football championship game. AC has earned 12 trips to state in its 19 years as a school and is 19-0 in first round sub-state games.


No. 1 McPherson (21-1) - McPherson will face No. 8 Basehor-Linwood (16-6) in the first round. McPherson and Aquinas have been considered the top-two teams in some order all season and could meet in the state semifinals for the second straight year.

No. 4 Aquinas (18-4) – Just like ’18-19, Aquinas will face Maize South in the first round. Last year, Aquinas beat Maize South, 47-29. Aquinas has reached state 26 straight years and has won four consecutive state titles.

No. 6 Maize (16-6) – Maize beat Bishop Carroll, 41-39, in a slight upset. Maize was ranked seventh in 5A, Carroll sixth. Maize opened the season 1-3 and is 15-3 since, including a 53-33 win versus Maize South on Feb. 7.

Class 4A


No. 7 Buhler (15-7) – Buhler held off Abilene, 56-54, and completed a big turnaround after a 6-14 season last winter. Juniors Myles Thompson and Max Alexander transferred from Valley Center and McPherson, respectively.

Chalk held throughout 4A boys as seven of the top-eight seeds all advanced: Buhler, Parsons (21-1), KC Piper (21-1), Bishop Miege (18-4), Ottawa (16-6), Augusta (18-4), Andale (16-6). The final rankings went: Piper, Parsons, Miege, Augusta, Andale and Ottawa. Abilene was ranked seventh and Buhler eighth.

No. 1 Parsons (21-1): Parsons went through the sub-state without star point guard Dariq Williams as they return for their third straight state trip. He will be re-evaluated this week to check the status on if he will play or not play. Williams leads the state of Kansas in assists and is soon to be a three-time all-state selections. They did miss eight games without him last year and have the returning 4A player of the year, Daquan Johnson, on the squad, to go along with 1,000 point scorer Zeke Lyons. Parsons also has 6-foot-7 big-man Pierce Thomas. 

Major Recruits. Tamar Bates of Piper and Mark Mitchell of Miege are two of the top recruits nationally in the Class of 2021 and 2022 respectively. In addition to these two, the Parsons trio of Johnson, Williams and Lyons highlight some of the top players in the state. 


No. 1 Nickerson (20-2) – Nickerson, the Central Kansas League champions, rolled over Augusta, 64-12, and Holton, 53-34, to advance to state. There are four 20-2 teams at the state tournament. Nickerson has reached the state tournament three straight years.

No. 8 Buhler (14-8) – Buhler pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the sub-state finals with a 45-38 victory against Towanda-Circle. In the final 4A coaches’ poll, Circle ranked fifth, the highest team to not qualify for state. Buhler will face Nickerson in the first round. The two teams are located 20 miles apart on Hwy 82, though did not play this year.

No. 4 Bishop Miege (20-2) – Miege holds all-time records for championships (21), title game appearances (27) and state tournament appearances (37). The Stags have not lost to a Kansas school in ’19-20. Miege is the defending state champion and features the Verhulst sisters: senior Ashton and junior Payton. Ashton has signed with Central Florida, and Payton was recently named Gatorade Player of the Year.

No. 5 Chapman (18-4) – Chapman qualified for state for the fifth time in school history, first since ’06. Chapman defeated Andale, 47-41, in the sub-state title game.

No. 2 Eudora (20-2) – Eudora is at state for the fourth time in school annals, the first occasion with back-to-back trips. Eudora also qualified in ’92 and ’09. Eudora beat Paola, 33-28. The Cardinals had also beaten Paola, 41-36, on Feb. 14. Both of Eudora’s losses came against K.C. Piper, which is also 20-2 and qualified for state.

Class 3A


No. 1 Haven (21-2) – Hesston was ranked first in 3A, and Haven fifth. The two Central Kansas League rivals met for the second time this season after Hesston earned a 42-36 victory on Feb. 4. This time, Haven won at Hesston, 55-46, in the sub-state title. Haven boys qualified for state for the first time since 1988. Darby Roper scored 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.

No. 4 Galena (18-5) – Galena will make the seventh state trip in school history and first since ’17. The Bulldogs defeated CNC rival Frontenac, 46-40, in the sub-state title game. Galena was picked sixth in the preseason in the CNC, though won the league outright. Galena had split two meetings versus Frontenac this year, including a 58-39 loss on Feb. 11. Galena is led by sophomore guard Brett Sarwinski. Sarwinski had 17 in the sub-state final while teammate Deacon Henson had 10 and Tyler Little had eight. Little is a 6-foot-5 freshman that has shined all season. 

No. 7 Colby (16-7) – In a wild Cimarron sub-state, Colby beat Hugoton, 49-48, and then knocked off Lakin, 48-47, on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of key by Ryan Meyers. Coach Parker McKee has led both Colby girls and boys to the state tournament in this career. Colby had lost twice to Hugoton this season, 62-60 on Feb. 8, and 56-48 on Feb. 21.

No. 3 Beloit (20-3) – Last year, Beloit finished second in 3A and Thomas More Prep-Marian was fourth in 3A. On Saturday, Beloit beat TMP, 65-43. Bryce Mason had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Vincent Palen tallied 17.

No. 8 St. Marys - St. Mary's put together three upsets in a row to capture the 3A sub-state title with wins over ranked Riley County, ranked Rock Creek and one loss Royal Valley. St. Mary's entered sub-state with just 10 wins and now has 13 on the season. They have been one of the hottest teams in the postseason, throw the records out. St. Mary's is coached by former KSU guard Will Spradling. 


No. 1 Nemaha Central (23-0) – Nemaha Central, ranked first in 3A, defeated Big 7 rival Sabetha, 42-34, in sub-state. Sabetha was ranked third in 3A. The Thunder also won at Sabetha, 50-43, and defeated Sabetha, 42-21, on Feb. 25. This is the fourth straight year NC has qualified for state.

No. 4 Phillipsburg (20-3) – Phillipsburg, paced by freshman Taryn Sides, beat rival Norton, 40-36, in the Beloit sub-state title game. The Panthers are at state for the first time in school history. Phillipsburg also won the Mid-Continent League crown for the first time in more than 40 years.

No. 2 Frontenac (21-2) – Frontenac has made 18 state berths, including ’10, ’14 and ’18. The Raiders have won 14 in a row, including a 46-26 sub-state win versus Cherryvale. Frontenac has not lost to a Kansas team this season. Karma Fields and Heather Arnett both scored in double-figure points for FHS. Frontenac was 8-13 last season. 

No. 3 Halstead (20-3) – Halstead, led by Karenna Gerber, qualified for state for the first time in school history. The Dragons defeated Central Kansas League rival Haven, 40-35. In the final 3A poll, Haven was fifth, and Halstead seventh. Halstead lost, 37-30, to Haven on Jan. 14, and a 34-27 defeat to Haven on Jan. 31.

No. 6 Scott City (20-3) – In the Cimarron sub-state, Scott City, Colby and Hugoton were ranked in Class 3A for all or part of the year. Colby, sixth in the final poll, and Hugoton both were upset in sub-state. Scott City, ranked fourth in the final poll, qualified for state for the fourth straight year under coach Sarah McCormick – the only four state berths in state history. Scott City beat Goodland in overtime, 49-46, the fourth meeting versus the Cowgirls this winter. As well, it marked the fourth OT contest for Scott City this season. Emporia State signee Emily Weathers led Scott City with 19 points, and SC, one of the state’s best free throw shooting teams, was 19 of 24 from the foul line and was plus-9 on free throws made, according to Western Kansas News. Scott City defeated Goodland, 54-48, on Jan. 7 and 51-37 on Jan. 24. However, Goodland beat SC, 49-46, in overtime in the regular season finale. SC is 2-2 in OT contests.

Class 2A


No. 1 Pratt-Skyline (21-1) – Skyline is back in the state tournament for the first time in five years. Bishop Seabury is the only team back from last year’s state tournament. Skyline beat Syracuse, 45-40, in the sub-state finals.

No. 4 Erie (19-4) – Erie is into the state tournament for the first time since ‘93 after a 65-44 victory against Northeast-Arma. Erie has a five-win improvement from last year. The Red Devils feature 14.2 points per game from senior Matt Vail, and 13.8 points a contest from junior Mark Bogner. Vail is the only senior in the rotation.

No. 6 Garden Plain (18-5) – The Sedan sub-state featured significant upsets in the top half of the bracket. No. 8 seed Wichita Independent defeated top-seeded Cedar Vale-Dexter (57-55 in overtime) and then beat West Elk (67-53). On the bottom half, Garden Plain, ranked eighth in 2A, again defeated Belle Plaine, 76-61. BP was ranked fifth. In the championship, GP rolled over Independent, 76-49. Garden Plain also won at Independent, 64-37, on Jan. 28.


No. 1 Spearville (23-0) – Spearville opened the season tenth in 2A after it moved up from 1A. The Lancers rolled to a 77-52 victory against host Elkhart in the Elkhart sub-state championship. In the semifinals, Spearville beat Stanton County, 65-34. SC reached the state tournament last winter. Senior Ehlaina Hartman, an Emporia State signee, continues to rank as one of the best players for all classes with 20.6 points, six rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.5 assists a game in the team’s latest statistical release. Junior Alissa Heskamp is at 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and three steals a contest. Spearville has kept improving throughout the year, notably with a 52-43 win at Bucklin on Dec. 14, and then a 52-28 win at Bucklin on Feb. 15. Spearville won both the SPIAA regular season and conference tournament titles.

No. 2 WaKeeney-Trego (22-1) – In Ellis, Trego defeated Oakley for the third time this season and advanced back to the state tournament after a fourth-place finish last winter, the program’s top showing in 42 years. On Dec. 14 and 17, WaKeeney beat Oakley, 50-38, and 36-27, respectively. This time, the Golden Eagles outscored Oakley, 8-2, in the second quarter and 27-10 in the third and won 57-28 to clinch the Ellis sub-state. Junior Lili Shubert had 23, while senior Libby Frost scored 14, and junior Emma Day, whom coach Donnie Shubert calls the team’s best defender, tallied 12. Trego has set or is on the verge of multiple school records, including best scoring defense average.

No. 3 Sterling (21-2) – Sterling, ranked No. 2 in 2A, qualified out of the Inman sub-state with three wins, all by at least 18 points. The Black Bears will face Garden Plain in a premier first round state game. Last winter, Sterling lost in the state final to Garden Plain.

No. 4 Valley Heights (21-2) – In Horton, three teams entered sub-state with two losses: Valley Heights, Jackson Heights and Jefferson County North. JH and JCN are both in the same league and had split two meetings. In the semifinals, JH beat JCN, 44-32. However, in the finals, VH beat Jackson Heights, 40-11.

No. 6 Garden Plain (18-5) – Garden Plain won Class 3A two years ago and 2A last winter. The Owls took significant personnel losses entering this season and did not return its top-three scorers with Abby Gordon, Lauren Danahy and Kara Heimerman. However, GP is back to state after a 51-36 win versus West Elk, 21-1 entering the contest. WE was ranked fifth, GP tenth. Garden Plain outscored WE in every quarter. Notably, Garden Plain limited WE to 34 percent shooting, including 0 of 8 from 1,000-point career scorer Megan McClendon. WE was 2 of 19 on 3s. Senior Kennedy Horacek made three 3s for Garden Plain. As well, GP held junior Madelyne Koop, who averages a double-double, to 15 points and four rebounds.

Class 1A


No. 5 Coldwater-South Central (20-5) – In a highly competitive Pratt sub-state, South Central also had Hodgeman County (15-8) and Meade (18-5). SC won at Hodgeman County, 58-39, on Dec. 20. Then, HC beat a very depleted South Central squad, 42-40, in the semifinals of the SPIAA league tournament Jan. 21. SC missed several players, including key starters Owen Alexander and Xavier Frazier. Both missed the Feb. 1 loss to South Gray. SC has won six in a row, including 45-36 against Hodgeman County and 40-31 in overtime versus Meade in sub-state. SC outscored Meade 11-2 in overtime.

No. 2 Little River (22-3) – In Riley County, Little River defeated Clifton-Clyde, 63-59, and then knocked off Centralia, 60-51. LR, led by Jayden Garrison, is in the state tournament for the first time in 20 years.

No. 7 St. Francis (16-7) – In WaKeeney, St. Francis trailed Sylvan-Lucas, 18-3, after the first quarter and 21-3 early in the second. However, the Indians rallied and took the lead midway through the third. S-L made its first five treys of the game, and then cooled down versus SF’s zone. St. Francis won, 48-40. The Indians have battled sickness all year, including from freshman point guard Ben Busse in sub-state. SF took fourth in 1A-I in ’17.


No. 1 Central Plains (25-0) – In Russell, Central Plains led 61-6 at halftime and rolled to an 89-22 victory against Osborne. The Oilers extended their all-time record winning streak to 135 games. CP senior point guard Emily Ryan is just shy of becoming the fourth player in Kansas girls’ history with 3,000 career points. She can also become the first player in state history with 3,000 points, 700 assists and 600 steals. Central Plains has won six straight state titles.

No. 8 Ingalls (16-8) – In an upset-filled sub-state in Dodge City, Ingalls qualified for state after it graduated 1,000-point scorer Ashlyn Cure, one of the best players in school history. The sub-state entered with South Gray (21-2), St. John (14-9), South Central (16-7) and Ingalls. St. John upset South Gray, 38-32. Then, Ingalls knocked off South Central, 43-41. Ingalls had lost, 35-27, to South Central on Jan. 18. In the finals, Ingalls beat St. John, 42-39.

No. 5 Otis-Bison (23-2) – At the WaKeeney sub-state, Otis-Bison had to defeat two teams with perfect records: Thunder Ridge and Rexford-Golden Plains. For the second straight year, O-B, TR and GP were all in the same sub-state. Last winter, TR beat both teams. This time, the Cougars defeated Thunder Ridge, 33-28, in a game that featured several O-B possessions that lasted longer than a minute. In the championship, the Cougars won 51-37. Senior Maddie Wiltse had 21 points and 11 rebounds against Thunder Ridge, and 29 points and 13 rebounds versus Golden Plains. The Cougars, known for their inside play with Wiltse and senior forward Cora Anderson, did not make a 3-pointer in either of the sub-state contests. Both O-B losses have come against Central Plains, a Central Prairie League foe.

No. 2 Cunningham (25-0) – In nearby Pratt, Cunningham defeated Meade, 46-20, and then held off Kinsley, 35-33. The Wildcats have struggled some in sub-state title games in recent seasons, though is back to state for the first time since a final four run in ’18. Before then, Cunningham girls had not qualified for state in 30 years. Cunningham features coach Eric Meyers, his daughter, junior Morgan Meyers, and senior Holly DeWeese. Morgan Meyers, one of the state’s top scorers, went over 1,000 career points in sub-state. Kinsley (12-12) had played a challenging schedule with games against Central Plains and Otis-Bison.


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