The Eagle boys are headed to state. As the No. 5 seed, Ness City may have been unlikely to emerge out of the Plainville sub-state that featured Rock Hills, Oakley, and Plainville. The Eagles needed overtime to down Hill City 60-57 on Monday. Thursday, the squad handled top-seed Rock Hills 50-35. Saturday, Ness completed the run with a 62-47 win against No. 2 seed Oakley. The Eagles outscored Rock Hills 31-14 in the middle quarters of Thursday’s win. Colin Foos led the team with 21 points in that win an Dalton Gantz added nine points. The Eagles (16-7) will again be an underdog in Manhattan as the No. 7 seed. They open state against No. 2 Lyndon (22-1) on Wednesday.
The Lady Eagles would have had to navigate one of the toughest sub-states in the state to advance. After pulling of a minor upset to down Plainville 65-56 in round one, the girls fell to top-seed Ellis 70-41 in Friday’s semifinal. The girls finish the year at 10-12.
The Lady Oilers played in one of the premiere Class 2A sub-state finals on Saturday in Sterling. After leading for much of the game, a late turnover proved to be too much as the Oilers fell to the host Black Bears 58-54. Central Plains led 46-40 early in the fourth quarter, and still held onto a 54-53 lead when a mistake led to a Sterling basket with 1:08 to play. The Lady Oilers never recovered, ending their season at 20-2. Senior Jennifer Hitschmann ended her career on a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Katie Hipp did the same with 11 points and 14 boards. Senior Janae Hekele scored 11 points.
The Oiler boys cruised to a 45-26 win in the sub-state opener against Medicine Lodge, but dropped a 33-23 semifinal game to the eventual sub-state champs from Inman. Friday’s semifinal featured two teams on a hot streak. The Oilers struggled to score with only four players getting in the book. Michael Lamatsch led the way with eight points and Layne Bieberle scored seven points. Central Plains closes out the year at 13-9.
The Lady Knights needed just win to advance to the sub-state finals in St. John on Saturday. They barely got by that round with a 52-49 win against Kinsley. Saturday, the girls fell to third-ranked St. John 58-24 to end the season at 11-11. Victoria struggled to score against the notorious Lady Tiger defense on Saturday, managing just four points in the first quarter and two points in the final frame. Kristin Huser and Audra Nowak each scored nine points in the loss.
The Victoria boys also reached the semifinals with a first-round bye. There, they fell to Macksville 76-55. The Knights end the year at 12-9.
Both Leopard basketball teams went down with a fight at the St. John sub-state. As No. 5 seeds, both teams pulled off minor upsets to advance to the semis. The boys pounded Kinsley 59-27, then fell to top-ranked St. John 72-37 to end the year at 8-14. In the Kinsley win, LaCrosse already led 33-16 at the half before outscoring the Coyotes 20-4 in third quarter to open a 53-20 gap. Kip Keeley scored 16 points in the win, followed by 11 points from Clayton Basgall and 10 points from Marshall Jay.
The Lady Leopards downed Macksville 47-45 on Wednesday, then fell to third-ranked St. John 57-28 in Thursday’s semifinal. Wednesday, the girls outscored Macksville 26-17 in the middle quarters, then weathered a late Mustang comeback to hold on for the win. Rachel Weigel paced the team with 15 points and Alyssa Oborny added eight points. LaCrosse finishes the year at 5-17.