By Brent Maycock – KSHSAA Covered
Coach: Brad Willems
Sub-state results: beat Goessel, 44-37; beat Elyria Christian, 51-38; beat Sylvan-Lucas, 52-39
Quarterfinal game: vs. Norwich (21-2), 2 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Lili Espinoza, sr.; Brecken Pearson, sr.; Mimi Craig, sr.; Trinity Espinoza, fr.; Adi Alcala, fr.; Red Craig, so.; Makinlee Hoppes, fr.; Emerson Hoppes, fr.; Jayden Orth, fr., Jordyn Elliot, fr.
Worth noting: Eagles ending 37-year state tournament drought, earning first berth since 1986. … Winning season is just third for the program since 2006. … Willems in first year as head coach of the Eagles after previously coaching at Sharon Springs-Wallace County. … Eagles are young with 6 freshmen among top 11. … Eagles were fourth seed at their sub-state but knocked off top-seeded Elyria Christian in the semifinals and No. 2 seed Sylvan-Lucas in the sub-state finals, both by double digits. … Canton-Galva had been swept by Elyria Christian during regular season. … Two losses came to state qualifiers Wichita Independent (2A) and Central Plains (1A I). … Freshman Trinity Espinoza leads team with 16.4 points and 3.3 steals per game. … No other player averages double figure scoring, but Craig, Alcala and Lily Espinoza all average between 6-8 points per game. … Lily Espinoza is leading rebounder at 5.9 per game, just ahead of Pearson’s 5.5 per contest.
Coach: Pat Stiles
Sub-state results: beat Macksville, 58-30; beat Pretty Prairie, 48-46; beat St. John, 28-23
Quarterfinal game: vs. Doniphan West (18-5), 4 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Brynna Hammeke, sr., G; Marilyn Soeken, so., G; Addy Ogle, jr., G; Kyla Metro, sr., G; Melissa Donecker, jr., C; Reese McGuire, sr., G.
Worth noting: Oilers have won state-record eight straight state championships from 2014-22 and were undefeated in 2020 when the state tournaments were canceled after the quarterfinals. … Oilers captured the 1A Division II championship last year with 50-38 win over Golden Plains, the second straight title at Division II. … Other titles came in Class 1A (2019) and Class 2A (2014-18) as Oilers put together state-record 138-game winning streak. … Oilers have won 25 straight state tournament games and 55 straight postseason games, both state records as well. … Central Plains won 11th straight Central Prairie League championship this season. … Two of four losses came to 3A state qualifier Phillipsburg and 2A qualifier Berean Academy. … Oilers knocked off defending 1A I state champion Pretty Prairie in sub-state semifinals and sub-state championship win over St. John was fourth of season over the Tigers. … Hammeke averages 19.7 points, 3.2 assists and 4.3 steals per game. … Soeken adds 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. … Metro averages 7 points per game. … Ogle averages 6.9 rebounds per game and Donecker 5.1 boards per game. … McGuire was starter last year and missed big part of this season with injury.
Coach: Perry Smith
Sub-state results: beat Seabury Academy, 74-23; beat Troy, 43-19; beat Centralia, 44-39
Quarterfinal game: vs. Central Plains (19-4), 4 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Kyra Johnson, sr., G/F; Avery Weathersbee, sr., F; Claire Cole, sr., G; Brennah Edie, so., G; Malaina Whetstine, jr., G.
Worth noting: Mustangs qualified for state for second time in three seasons, taking third in 2021 in 1A Division I. … Smith also coached Wetmore to three state tournaments from 2012-16, taking fourth twice. … Program also had nine combined state appearances when Midway-Denton and Highland with Midway-Denton capturing state title in 1990. … Four of five losses came to state qualifying teams – 2A Riverside, 1A ! Frankfort and 1A II Hanover (twice). … Mustangs have two overtime losses to Hanover and Clifton-Clyde. … Mustangs finished runner-up in Twin Valley League Tournament. … All five starters have led team in scoring in at least three games this season. … Johnson averages 11 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. … Weathersbee is right behind with 10.5 points per game and is leading rebounder with 8.5 per game. … Edie adds 8.2 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 steals a game. … Whetstine averages 7.1 points per game.
Coach: Brian Ebert
Sub-state results: beat Blue Valley-Randolph, 70-35; beat Clifton-Clyde, 53-45; beat Osborne, 50-31
Quarterfinal game: vs. South Gray (17-6), 8 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Hattie Gros, jr., F; Emma Hardwick, jr., PG; Sydney Wapp, jr., F; Breleigh Ebert, so., G.
Worth noting: Frankfort returns to state for the first time since 2018 when Wildcats lost in quarterfinals to Twin Valley League rival and eventual champion Hanover in the 1A Division I tourney. … Trip is second under Ebert, who also guided Frankfort boys to four state appearances and 2012 state title. … Wildcats knocked off one-loss Osborne in sub-state finals, holding a team that had been averaging 60 points per game to just 31. … Wildcats suffered all three losses in a span of 12 days, two coming at the Twin Valley League Tournament. … Frankfort took second in league’s regular season with lone loss coming to 1A II qualifier and unbeaten Hanover. … Gros leads team in scoring at 15 points per game and also chips in 5.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game. … Wapp adds 10 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. … Hardwick averages 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals per game. … Ebert adds 6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Coach: Mike Klaver
Sub-state results: beat Wichita Central Christian, 59-31; beat Wichita Classical, 46-21
Quarterfinal game: vs. Canton-Galva (15-8), 2 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Kierstin Adams, jr., F; Braylin Kelly, jr., G; Haley Sheetz, sr., G; Brooklyn Sheetz, jr., F; Teja Saumelson, sr., G; Marissa Brewster, jr., F; Reagan Smith, fr., G.
Worth noting: Norwich finished as state runner-up to Olpe in 2021, falling 42-25 in title game to unbeaten Eagles. … Norwich also took second in 2013, third in 2015 and has qualified for state seven times since 2012 including three in the past four years. … Klaver won 250th career game this year. … He also has 180 wins as boys head coach at Norwich, leading Eagles to three state appearances. … With middle school wins included, Klaver has 662 career victories in 39 seasons. … Adams averages 13.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. … Kelly averages 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3 steals a game. … Sheetz sisters combined for 14 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. … Only losses this season came to defending champion Pretty Prairie and Attica, the latter coming in overtime in semifinals of midseason tournament.
Coach: Ron Slaymaker
Sub-state results: beat Oswego, 68-12; beat Flinthills, 64-43; beat Madison, 50-46
Quarterfinal game: vs. Quinter (20-3), 6 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Kadey Robdert, jr., G; Ava Clark, sr.; Makenna Broyles, sr.; Jenna Smith, sr.; Grace Coughlin, jr.; Milly Bailey, jr.; Lilly Skalsky, fr.
Worth noting: After rare down season last year, Olpe bounced back in a big way this season, Slaymaker’s second as head coach after taking over for state’s all-time winningest coach Jesse Nelson. … Olpe qualified for state 32 times in Nelson’s 44 years and won four state championships. … Five of seven losses have come to state qualifiers – 1A II Lebo (three times), 3A Eureka and 2A St. Marys. … Eagles were Lyon County League regular season and tournament runners-up to Lebo. … Balanced offense has Robert leading way at 13 points per game and five others between 6 and 8 points per game. … Coughlin is leading rebounder at 7.5 per game. … Olpe handed league rival Madison three of its four losses this season. … Slaymaker led Chase County to two state tournaments and also took Roosevelt boys to state before becoming head coach at Emporia State.
Coach: Matt Havlas
Sub-state results: beat Ness City, 53-39; beat St. Francis, 53-35
Quarterfinal game: vs. Olpe (16-7), 6 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Anna Briggs, sr., F; Bryn Gillespie, so., F; Kennedy Werth, jr., G; Kelsey Selensky, jr., G; Cashlyn Kvasnicka, sr., G; Saige Betz, jr., G; Caybrie Kvasnicka, jr., G.
Worth noting: Bulldogs making third state tournament appearance and captured the Class 1A Division II state championship in 2018. … Bulldogs were Northwest Kansas League champions and also won the Castle Rock Classic Tournament. … Two of three losses came to state qualifiers Sharon Springs-Wallace County (1A II) and Hoxie (2A). … Havlas posted 100th career victory. … Briggs hit 1,000-point milestone this season. … Briggs averages 16.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game as well as 4.4 blocks. … Gillespie averages 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. … Werth averages 7.7 points and 3.5 assists. … Cashlyn Kvasnicka averages 8.3 points and 3 rebounds per game. … Seniors won just two games during junior high careers.
Coach: Mindy Stilwell
Sub-state results: beat Satanta, 61-23; beat Spearville, 54-42; beat Hodgeman County, 51-47
Quarterfinal game: vs. Frankfort (20-3), 8 p.m.
Key players: Vi Helm, jr., F; Allie Reed, so., PG; Halli Meairs, sr., G; Kylie Stapleton, so., F; Alleris Granados, sr.; Jacelyn Huelskamp, jr.; Reegan Meairs, so., Gwyn Jantz, so.
Worth noting: Rebels making first trip to state since 2019 and sixth overall in program history. … South Gray won Class 1A state titles in 2008 and 2010. … Rebels avenged two regular-season losses to Hodgeman County with 51-47 overtime win in sub-state finals despite having three starters foul out in regulation. … Helm averaged 21 points per game during sub-state and for the season averages 15.8 points and 6 rebounds per game. … Stapleton averaged 11 points and 7 boards in sub-state and on the season averages 9.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. … Reed averages 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. … Meairs adds 6 points per game.