Class 1A Division II Boys State Basketball Capsules

By Brent Maycock – KSHSAA Covered

AXTELL

Coach: Jason Tynon

Record: 20-4

Sub-state results: beat Linn, 66-36; beat Hanover, 56-52

Quarterfinal game: vs. Bucklin (15-9), 6 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Isaac Detweiler, sr., G; Brandon Schmelzle, so., F; Eli Broxterman, so., G; Grady Buessing, jr., F; Colin Shaughnessy, fr., G; Landon Schmitz, fr., G; Grant Buessing, jr., F; Evan Buessing, sr., G.

Worth noting: Eagles back at state for the first time since 2018 and are making 10th state appearance overall. … Axtell won 2013 Division II state championship. … Eagles captured Twin Valley League Tournament title, beating 1A Division I qualifier and regular season champion Clifton-Clyde in the semifinals. … Only losses came to Clifton-Clyde and three 2A schools, two of whom were sub-state runners-up. … Eagles lost 6-6 senior post Owen Strathman to knee injury before season. … Detweiler reached 1,000 career points this season and averages 13.3 points, 7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. … Schmelzle and Broxterman each average 12.4 points per game with Schmelzle adding 7 rebounds a game. … Grady Buessing adds 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds a contest. … Bulk of squad has helped Axtell to two straight Eight-Player Division II state championships.


BELOIT-ST. JOHN’S

Coach: Lance Bergmann

Record: 19-5

Sub-state results: beat Stockton, 62-16; beat Thunder Ridge, 51-48 OT; beat Northern Valley, 65-50

Quarterfinal game: vs. Lebo (16-7), 8 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Josh Towner, sr., G; Luke Bates, sr., G/F; Daniel Eilert, jr., F; Jacob Winkler, jr., F; Koevin Schroeder, jr., G; Tyson Gates, so., G; Edward Horinek, fr., G.

Worth noting: Blujays back at state after a one-year hiatus. … Blujays won a state title in 2014 in Division II and also took second in 2015 and third in 2016. … Beloit-St. John’s won the Northern Plains League Tournament title and finished 11-1 in league play during the season. … Blujays came back from down 14 in the fourth quarter to beat Thunder Ridge in overtime of sub-state semifinal, losing one starter to an ankle injury in the first quarter of the game and having three other players foul out. … Win over Northern Valley avenged sub-state loss to the Huskies last year. … Eilert averages 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game to lead team. … Horinek averages 10.5 points and 2.6 assists per game as freshman. … Luke Bates adds 8.5 points and Winkler 7 points per game.


BUCKLIN

Coach: Derek Bevan

Record: 15-9

Sub-state results: beat Ashland, 60-40; beat Deerfield, 79-34

Quarterfinal game: vs. Axtell (20-4), 6 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Jaron Lindsay, sr., C; Andrew Bowman, jr., G; Garin Stimpert, sr., G; Lucas Kirk, so., G; Kolson Cook, so., G; Kaden Tilley, so., F.

Worth noting: Red Aces finished fourth at Class 1A Division II state tournament last year, falling in semifinals to Hanover. … Last year’s appearance ended 28-year state drought for program and this year’s trip is just fifth overall and first back-to-back for the program. … Red Aces have won eight of their last nine after starting season 6-8. … Lindsay averages 12.6 points per game and Bowman and Stimpert are right behind at 12 points a game each. … Kirk averages 9.5 points a game. … Lindsay also is leading rebounder at 9 rebounds a game while Bowman is at 7.8 per game. … Bowman also averages 4.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game.


LEBO

Coach: Dennis Becker

Record: 16-7

Sub-state results: beat St. Paul, 62-28; beat Waverly, 60-48

Quarterfinal game: vs. Beloit-St. John’s (19-5), 8 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Landon Grimmett, sr.; Grayson Shoemaker, jr.; Zach Oswald, so.

Worth noting: Wolves return to state for first time since 2020. … Lebo took runner-up in Lyon County League Tournament to Olpe and finished third in the regular season behind Olpe and Burlingame. … Three of six losses came to Olpe, the two-time reigning Division I state champion and two came to 3A Osage City. … Grimmett leads team in scoring at 16.7 points per game, just a smidge ahead of Shoemaker’s 16.4 points per game. … Oswald averages 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds. … Shoemaker adds 6 rebounds per game and has battled back from injury that hampered him early in the season. … Wolves boys and girls team qualified together for the first time since 1999.


SOUTH CENTRAL

Coach: Bud Valerius

Record: 17-7

Sub-state results: beat Attica, 52-35; beat Cunningham, 50-49

Quarterfinal game: vs. Stafford (18-5), 4 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Gavin Uhl, jr.; Jamie Sarmiento, so.; Heath Howell, jr.; Jack Herd, fr.; JT Prusa, so.

Worth noting: Timberwolves saw last trip to state prematurely end after 2020 tournament was canceled after they had reached the semifinals. … State berth that year was first since consolidation of Coldwater and Protection in 1999. … Four of seven losses this season have come to state-qualifying teams: South Gray (twice), Medicine Lodge and Alva (Okla.). … South Central swept two meetings with fellow 1A II qualifier Bucklin. … No seniors on varsity roster. … Uhl leads Timberwolves in scoring at 12.7 points per game, just ahead of Sarmiento’s 12.5 average. … Howell adds 10 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4 blocks per game. … Uhl adds 6 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game and Sarmiento averages 2.5 assists and 3.3 steals a game. … Herd averages 7.8 points as a freshman.


SOUTHERN CLOUD

Coach: Roger & Ryan Perkins

Record: 12-11

Sub-state results: beat St. Xavier, 59-39; beat Hutchinson Central Christian, 53-44

Quarterfinal game: vs. Tribune-Greeley County (22-1), 2 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Levi Cool, sr., G; Bryson Schmidt, sr., F; Trenton Welch, so., G; Kye Chase, so., F.

Worth noting: Trip to state is first-ever for Southern Cloud, which is co-op between Glasco and Miltonvale. … Glasco last qualified for state in 1988 and Miltonvale never did. … Warriors were without starting point guard Cool until after Christmas because of injury and have won 7 of last 8 games. … Welch leads team with 12.8 points per game while Cool averages 10.9 per contest. … Chase’s 8.4 rebounds per game are a team best, just ahead of Welch’s 8.2. … Cool averages 4.1 assists a game.


STAFFORD

Coach: Cole Smith

Record: 18-5

Sub-state results: beat Wilson, 62-33; beat Pawnee Heights, 49-42

Quarterfinal game: vs. South Central (17-7), 4 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Josh Hildebrand, sr., F; Colson Minks, sr., G; Dakota Rodriguez, sr., PG; Jimi Oleson, jr., PG; Brody Kerschenske, jr., F; Dylan Gantz, sr., F; Ashton Harter, sr., F.

Worth noting: Stafford ends one of longest state-tournament droughts in the state, qualifying for the first time since 1947. … Trojans avenged last year’s sub-state championship game loss by beating Pawnee Heights in this year’s title game. … Stafford shared Heart of the Plains League title with Norwich, each going 8-1 in league play. … Two of five losses came to state-qualifying teams Macksville (1A I) and Medicine Lodge (2A). … Trojans have rallied around loss of teammate Shane Sheets, who died in a car accident in September. … Balanced offense with four players averaging at least 8 points per game. … Rodriguez leads Trojans at 11.2 points per game, just ahead of Minks, who is at 11 per game. … Hildebrand is just shy of averaging double-double at 9.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. … He also adds 2.3 blocks per game. … Kerschenske averages 8.2 points and 8 rebounds a game.


TRIBUNE-GREELEY COUNTY

Coach: Josh Gooch

Record: 22-1

Sub-state results: beat Sharon Springs-Wallace County, 65-40; beat Dighton, 54-36

Quarterfinal game: vs. Southern Cloud (12-11), 2 p.m. Thursday

Key players: Jaxson Brandl, sr., F; Lincoln Shafer, so., G; Titus Sherer, sr., G; Jariath Yanes, sr., G; Valentin Vallalobos, sr., G.

Worth noting: Jackrabbits are defending Division II state champions, winning last year’s state title on 3-pointer at the buzzer by Lincoln Shafer that beat Hanover 56-55. … Last year’s trip was first since 2012. … State title was third for the program, the others coming in 1968 and 2011. … Jackrabbits swept the Northwest Kansas League titles, winning the regular season title for the first time. … Only loss came to Northern Valley by seven points in early January. … Gooch got his 100th career victory in sub-state semifinals. … Brandl was an All-State Top 5 selection by KSHSAA Covered last year and is having another huge season, averaging 25.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3 assists per game. … Jackrabbits average nearly 19 assists per game as a team with Villalobos leading individually with 4 per game, while Sherer is right behind at 3.9 per game and Shafer adding 3.3. … Shafer also scores 11.4 points a game and Yanez adds 10.4 points per game. … Gooch played on Greeley County’s 2001 and 2002 state teams, the latter losing to Centralia in the state title game.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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