Christian Williams had one half to extend his high school basketball career.
The Trinity Academy senior had to sit out the first half of Saturday’s Class 3A sub-state championship game against Cheney because of disciplinary reasons and watched helplessly as his team fell behind by 12 points at halftime. When the star guard finally got his chance to play in the second half, he made the most of it.
Williams scored 16 points after the break to lead Trinity to a come-from-behind 61-57 victory over Cheney to win the sub-state title at Douglass. The Knights (18-3) will travel to Hesston (20-1), which knocked off Haven 50-44 in its sub-state final, in a 3A quarterfinal game on Tuesday.
“Christian was a big turning point for us,” Trinity coach Brett Wiley said. “Not only was he scoring at a high rate, but he was getting guys open. They tried to go box-and-one on him and he was still able to create shots and get good looks for himself.”
Trinity, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, had three other scorers in double-figures in Jevon Hill (12), Bryson Perez (11) and Teagan Charles (10). Cheney was led by a game-high 25 points from Luke Grace, as well as 17 points from Harrison Voth.
“What I like the most about our guys is that they don’t believe they’re ever out of a game,” Wiley said. “I didn’t see any panic at halftime. It was all confidence. We had some guys step up for us and hit some big shots and they just kept believing that we could do it if we took it one possession at a time.”
The Central Plains League also has a 2A team headed to the quarterfinals, as Eli Wiseman scored 37 points to lead Belle Plaine to a 73-53 win at Garden Plain. The Dragons (14-5) will travel to Hillsboro (20-3), which topped Hutchinson Trinity 49-47 in its sub-state title game, for a 2A quarterfinal game on Tuesday.
The other small-class area team to move on was Wichita Classical, which defeated Flinthills 70-51 to advance to its first quarterfinals appearance against Olpe on Tuesday.
Carroll, Maize advance to Tuesday quarterfinal showdown
Two of the most offensively-gifted teams in the state played one another in a Class 5A sub-state final, but it was Bishop Carroll’s defense that won out in a 53-34 victory over the Andover boys.
Holding teams under 40 points is nothing new to Carroll, the City League champions led by seniors Alex Littlejohn, Carter Reid and Enrique Lankford, but limiting a team with the offensive firepower of Andover, which was 42-3 the last two seasons, was an impressive display.
Carroll will play another highly-anticipated game against a high-octane offense in Tuesday’s 5A quarterfinals, as Maize handled Valley Center, 64-46, behind 17 points and a highlight-reel dunk from Avery Johnson. Two of the state’s best will play on Tuesday, as Maize (20-2) will host Carroll (19-2) in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal.
Garden Plain girls win in double OT thriller
A total of 17 missed free throws left a bittersweet taste in the mouth of Garden Plains girls coach Kody Kasselman following his team’s 50-43 double-overtime victory over Independent in Saturday’s sub-state final.
Yes, the Owls found a way to survive and advance — always the goal in March — but they squandered their chances to win the game in regulation and in the first overtime due to a 15-of-32 shooting performance on free throws.
“We had our chances to put it away and we got lucky to win,” Kasselman said. “At this time of the year, we’ve got to finish at the free throw line. We’ve got to handle adversity and step up. We were fortunate to win this one, but we’ll have to be better moving on.”
Garden Plain (16-5) will advance to play in the 2A quarterfinals on Tuesday against Moundridge (18-5), which beat Hillsboro 36-30 in its sub-state final. Another area team advanced to the 2A quarterfinals in Berean Academy, which beat Chase County 35-20 and will play at Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan (17-3) on Tuesday.
Senior Madysen Zoglman led all scorers with 17 points for Garden Plain, while Madelyn Rolfs, Sydney Puetz and Christia Rose Gorges all chipped in eight points. Alli Puetz also added six points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals.
“I told them after the game they can’t play in another double overtime game, I don’t know if my heart can take it again,” Kasselman said. “We’ve just got to focus on the next step and take it one game at a time.”
Both of the area’s top 6A teams cruised in their respective sub-state championships, as Derby topped Southeast, 64-31, and Heights beat East, 60-27. Derby (18-4) will travel to Dodge City (20-1), while Heights (16-6) will travel to Topeka (21-1) for Tuesday’s 6A quarterfinals.
The area 4A winners were highlighted by Clearwater, which made its best run since 2013 with a 34-32 sub-state final victory over Wellington. The Indians (15-6) will play at Andale (17-5) in Tuesday’s quarterfinals after Andale topped Circle in a low-scoring, 20-17 affair. McPherson (19-3) also beat Nickerson handily, 53-35, and will travel to unbeaten Clay Center (21-0) for Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Two of the best players in the state will meet in Tuesday’s 3A quarterfinals, as Kylee Scheer and Cheney (22-0) will host Karenna Gerber and Halstead (20-3). Cheney held off Eureka in a 55-51 sub-state final victory, while Halstead topped Hesston, 40-36, on the road.
In Class 1A, Norwich (18-3) and Flinthills (12-9) both advanced to Tuesday’s 1A-Div. I quarterfinals. Norwich will host South Central after beating Pretty Prairie 46-29 and Flinthills will travel to Olpe after topping Udall 54-42. In 1A-Div. II, Cunningham (21-2) beat Hutchinson Central Christian 36-33 and advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinals and will host Ashland.
Note: All game times are 6 p.m. unless noted
Class 6A boys
Hutchinson (7-13) at Campus (19-2)
Wichita Heights (15-7) at Lawrence Free State (19-3)
Lawrence (19-1) at Blue Valley Northwest (21-1)
Shawnee Mission Northwest (14-6) at Blue Valley North (18-3)
Class 4A boys
McPherson (12-10) at Abilene (13-5)
Rose Hill (15-5) at Augusta (16-5)
Holton (14-7) at Bishop Miege (19-1)
Parsons (12-7) at Louisburg (16-6)
Class 5A girls
Topeka Seaman (8-14) at Salina Central (18-4)
Maize (18-2) at Andover Central (22-0)
St. James Academy (11-8) at St. Thomas Aquinas (17-2)
Bonner Springs (6-12) at Lansing (18-3)
Class 3A girls
Phillipsburg (20-2) at Hugoton (22-1)
Halstead (20-3) at Cheney (22-0)
Silver Lake (13-10) at Sabetha (21-2)
Frontenac (18-3) at Osawatomie (20-2)
Class 2A boys
Sterling (18-5) at Hoxie (23-0)
Belle Plaine (14-5) at Hillsboro (20-3)
Lyndon (18-4) at Erie (21-1)
Wabaunsee (11-12) at Valley Falls (17-4)
Class 1A-Div. I girls
Osborne (17-4) at Hodgeman County (20-4)
South Central (19-5) at Norwich (18-3)
Doniphan West (19-3) at Little River (20-3)
Flinthills (12-9) at Olpe (22-0)
Class 1A-Div. II girls
Ashland (14-7) at Cunningham (21-2)
Dighton (15-9) at Golden Plains (23-0)
Wetmore (17-7) at St. John’s-Tipton (18-1)
St. Paul (15-3) at Central Plains (20-3)
Class 6A girls
Derby (18-4) at Dodge City (20-1)
Wichita Heights (16-6) at Topeka (21-1)
Olathe North (15-6) at Olathe West (14-5)
Blue Valley (16-6) at Shawnee Mission Northwest (20-0)
Class 5A boys
Topeka West (19-2) at Hays (22-0)
Bishop Carroll (19-2) at Maize (20-2)
Pittsburg (15-6) at De Soto (18-3)
Mill Valley (11-11) at Kansas City Washington (9-4)
Class 4A girls
McPherson (19-3) at Clay Center (21-0)
Clearwater (15-6) at Andale (17-5)
Wamego (16-6) at Bishop Miege (20-1)
Louisburg (18-4) at Labette County (19-2)
Class 3A boys
Thomas More Prep (20-4) at Hugoton (21-2)
Wichita Trinity Academy (18-3) at Hesston (20-1)
Royal Valley (20-3) at Rock Creek (21-2)
Wellsville (20-3) at Galena (21-2)
Class 2A girls
WaKeeney-Trego (20-3) at Sterling (22-1)
Garden Plain (16-5) at Moundridge (18-5)
Berean Academy (16-6) at Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan (17-3)
Wabaunsee (9-14) at Valley Heights (20-1)
Class 1A-Div. I boys
Stockton (10-11) at Ness City (16-7)
Pratt Skyline (15-6) at South Gray (22-0)
Clifton-Clyde (20-2) at Little River (21-1)
Olpe (15-3) at Wichita Classical (18-3)
Class 1A-Div. II boys
Pawnee Heights (13-9) at South Haven (15-6)
Northern Valley (13-9) at Wheatland-Grinnell (15-6)
St. John’s-Tipton (12-7) at Hanover (21-1)
Waverly (12-9) at Elyria Christian (14-9)
5A: Bishop Carroll 53, Andover 34
5A: Maize 64, Valley Center 46
3A: Trinity Academy 61, Cheney 57
3A: Hesston 50, Haven 44
2A: Hillsboro 49, Hutchinson Trinity 47
2A: Belle Plaine 73, Garden Plain 53
2A: Lyndon 41, Berean Academy 36
1A-1: Pratt Skyline 41, St. John-Hudson 38
1A-1: Classical 70, Flinthills 51
1A-2: South Haven 42, Attica 27
6A: Derby 64, Southeast 31
6A: Heights 60, East 27
4A: McPherson 53, Nickerson 35
4A: Andale 20, Circle 17
4A: Clearwater 34, Wellington 32
3A: Cheney 55, Eureka 51
3A: Halstead 40, Hesston 36
2A: Moundridge 36, Hillsboro 30
2A: Garden Plain 50, Independent 43 (2 OT)
2A: Berean Academy 35, Chase County 20
1A-1: Norwich 46, Pretty Prairie 29
1A-1: Flinthills 54, Udall 42
1A-2: Cunningham 36, Hutchinson Central Christian 33