By Brent Maycock – KSHSAA Covered
Coach: Nick Evans
Sub-state results: beat Marais des Cygnes Valley, 84-20; beat Troy, 40-36; beat Burlingame, 46-45
Quarterfinal game: vs. Olpe (21-2), 2 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Trenton Talley, sr.; Brock Reinecke, sr.; Reese Tanking, jr.; Brock Kramer, sr.
Worth noting: Panthers return to state for first time since 2018 and are making 17th state appearance overall. … Centralia has two state titles, 2002 and 2016. … Evans in first year as head coach. … Talley averages 14.2 points per game. … Tanking averages 9.5 points per game. … Reinecke and Kramer each post 7.2 points per game. … Panthers started season 8-0 and then lost 8 of 12 going into sub-state. … Panthers knocked off top-seeded Burlingame on last-second shot by Talley.
Coach: Justin Steinbrock
Sub-state results: beat Lakeside, 71-31; beat Blue Valley-Randolph, 59-40
Quarterfinal game: vs. South Gray (20-3), 8 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Seth LeClair, sr., F; Trent Long, jr., G; Coy Steinbrock, jr., G; Drayden Reed, jr., F/G; Jack Skocny, so., G.
Worth noting: Eagles return to the state tournament for the 2nd time in the last 3 years. … Trip to state is just fifth overall for program with best finish of fourth in 1981 when they were 2A. … The Eagles were undefeated Twin Valley League champions with 12-0 record and have beaten 1A Division I qualifier Centralia and 1A Division II qualifier Axtell this season. … Four of five starters average at least 11 points per game. … Long averages 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals per game. … LeClair, Reed and Skocny all average over 5 rebounds a game as well. … Four of five starters have scored over 20 points in a game while Payton Fahey and Oliver Nobert have also each had games of 14 or more this year off the bench. … Only losses this season have come to 1A II qualifier Axtell in league tournament and Sacred Heart in season opener.
Coach: Zach Goodrich
Sub-state results: beat Goessel, 47-35; beat Canton-Galva, 49-45
Quarterfinal game: vs. Wichita Classical (21-2), 4 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Johnny Unruh, jr., G; Ty Romero, so., G; Alex Robertson, jr., G; James Schott, jr., G; Landon Schneider, so., G; Caleb Laney, sr., G.
Worth noting: Trip to state is just the third in program history, all coming since 2018. … Elyria finished as state runner-up in 2021 to Hanover and in 2018 to Northern Valley in Class 1A Division II. … Eagles were undefeated Wheat State League champions for first outright league title, and also won Goessel Bluebird Classic and Centre Cougar Classic titles during season. … All three losses came to 2A programs, including one to 2A qualifier Moundridge. … Eagles beat Canton-Galva three times this season. … Only one senior among regulars. … Romero leads team at 17.2 points per game and also adds 6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 steals a contest. … Unruh averages 13 points, 4 assists and 3 steals a game. … Robertson chips in 9.6 points a game. … Schneider adds 6.6 rebounds a contest. … Romero had a 40-point game against Wakefield that was just two away from the school record. … Eagles posted second 20-win season in school history and Goodrich won his 100th career game this season.
Coach: Kyle Schmidt
Sub-state results: beat Ness City, 68-53; beat Quinter, 59-57
Quarterfinal game: vs. Macksville (21-2), 6 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Caden Morgan, jr., G; Chet Irvin, sr.; Gage Burk, jr.; Conner Barriger, jr.; Bryce Conner, sr.; Logan Skillett, jr.; Devyn Braun, sr.
Worth noting: Leopards ended three-decade tournament drought, earning first state berth since 1991 when they finished runner-up in Class 2A. … That team was coached by Rick Schmidt, who was Kyle Schmidt’s head coach at La Crosse. … Leopards have five trips overall and also took second at state in 1980. … Leopards have won 9 straight since last loss to Macksville, a fellow 1A I state qualifier. … Six different players have led team in scoring in a game this season. … Morgan averages 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals per game. … Irvin scored 15 points in the sub-state championship game. … Burk averages 9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while Barriger adds 8.8 points, Conner 8.4 and Skillett 7.7 per game. … Barriger adds 6.9 rebounds per game. … Leopards started season 1-3. … La Crosse trailed Quinter 21-7 at the end of the first quarter of sub-state title game before rallying to win 59-57.
Coach: Jeff Kuckelman
Sub-state results: beat Central Plains, 64-36; beat Little River, 59-47
Quarterfinal game: vs. La Crosse (18-5), 6 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Ryan Kuckelman, sr., C; Alexis Barron, sr., F; Lance Lickiss, sr., F; Diego Esparza, so., PG; Rogelio Ibarra, sr., G; Hector Gomez, so., G; Alvaro Ibarra, sr., G.
Worth noting: Macksville finished third at last year’s 1A Division I state tournament, falling to eventual champion Olpe in semifinals before beating Solomon for third. … Mustangs won state titles in 2006 and 2011 and finished second in 2003. … State berth is 10th overall for Kuckelman and 12th in program history. … Only two losses came to 2A state qualifier Wichita Independent in finals of St. John Midwinter Classic and to Ellinwood in game for Central Prairie League title. … Mustangs have wins over fellow 1A I qualifier La Crosse and 1A II qualifier Bucklin (twice). … Kuckelman averages 10.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists. … Barron adds 10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. … Rogelio Ibarra leads team in scoring at 11.9 points per game and Esparza adds 11.1 per contest. … Kuckelman is program’s career leading rebounder with 811 and is 59 points from 1,000 in his career. … Ibarra is just eight points from 1,000 and Barron has 900 career points. … Kuckelman and Barron have stared every game since their freshman year.
Coach: Chris Schmidt
Sub-state results: beat Flinthills, 80-35; beat Colony-Crest, 57-39
Quarterfinal game: vs. Centralia (15-8), 2 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Blake Redeker, sr., G; Truman Bailey, sr., G; Darren Heins, sr., G; Blake Skalsky, jr., C; Garret Cole, sr., C; Dexton Hoelting, so., G; Ethan Redeker, jr., G; Andrew Foraker, sr., G; Andon Temeyer, sr., C.
Worth noting: Eagles are two-time defending Class 1A Division I state champions, beating South Gray 66-42 in last year’s championship game and South Gray 54-47 in the 2021 title contest. … Eagles have made 14 trips to state overall under Schmidt, who is 477-140 in 26 years. … Olpe was Lyon County League regular season and tournament champion and only losses came to 2A Lyndon and 3A Osage City (OT) by combined 7 points. … Eagles had big graduation losses off title teams, but have filled the holes well. … Bailey leads team in scoring at 15 points per game while Skalsky averages 12 points and 6 rebounds. … Redeker averages 8 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. … Eagles force an average of 24 turnovers per game and have leaned heavily on defense in title runs the past two years. … Hoelting adds 9 points per game and Cole adds 8 points and 6 rebounds per contest.
Coach: Mark Applegate
Sub-state results: beat Kiowa County, 67-39; beat Hodgeman County, 51-39
Quarterfinal game: vs. Clifton-Clyde (21-2), 8 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Joey Dyck, jr.; Jorge Lupercio, sr.; Dominic Martin, jr.; Carter Jantz, sr.
Worth noting: Rebels have finished at 1A Division I state runners-up each of the past two seasons, losing to Olpe in the state championship game both times. … Rebels have qualified for state 18 times since formation of South Gray 31 years ago, playing in 10 state championship games. … South Gray has four state championships and six runner-up finishes. … Four Rebels average double-figure scoring led by Dyck’s 18.2 points per game. … Lupercio averages 14 points per game, Martin 12.4 and Jantz 11.4 … Dyck also leads team in rebounding with 9.4 per game. … Lupercio adds 7.5 per contest and Jantz adds 5.2 per game. … Only losses came to Holcomb and Meade (twice) with the Rebels beating Meade in the semifinals of the SPIAA League Tournament. … Rebels finished 10-1 in league play overall.
Coach: Tim Dolloff
Sub-state results: beat Oxford, 63-40; beat Norwich, 48-42
Quarterfinal game: vs. Elyria Christian (20-3), 4 p.m. Thursday
Key players: Jordy Dolloff, sr., PG; Brett Buckingham, sr., G; Carter Sinclair, sr., F; Daniel Young, jr., G/F.
Worth noting: Classical making just second state appearance in brief existence, the other trip coming in 2021 when the team fell to eventual champion Olpe in the quarterfinals. … Dolloff has also taken Bennington and Little River to state during his coaching career. … Only losses for the Saints came back-to-back at their midseason tournament to Ell-Saline and 2A qualifier Bennington. … Sub-state final win over Norwich avenged sub-state finals loss to Eagles last year. … Sinclair leads team with 12.7 points per game. … Buckingham averages 11.8 points per game and Dolloff is right behind at 11.7 per game. … Dolloff adds 6.1 assists and has a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. … Buckingham adds 5.8 rebounds and 3 steals per game. … Young chips in 9.3 points per game. … Seniors haven’t lost home game since Week 1 of sophomore season. … Dolloff had 907 career points and 305 career assists. … Buckingham 48 points from 900 and Sinclair is 87 away from 900.