By Brent Maycock – KSHSAA Covered
Coach: Leah Bergmann
Sub-state results: beat Tescott, 56-25; beat Thunder Ridge, 54-35
Quarterfinal game: vs. Hutchinson Central Christian 916-7), 4 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Ella Wiles, sr.; Carlie Brummer, so.; Jenna Gengler, jr.; Katie Brummer, sr.; Emma Jones, sr.
Worth noting: Bluejays earned third straight state trip with pair of double-digit sub-state wins. … Beloit-St. John’s won 2015 Division II state championship and tied for third in 2021. … Blujays lost in quarterfinals last year to eventual state champion Central Plains. … Blujays claimed Northern Plains League Tournament title. … Blujays started season 4-4 and have won 15 straight since. … One of losses came to 1A I qualifier Central Plains. … Blujays were league regular-season runners-up to Osborne. … Carlie Brummer averages 15.8 points per game to lead team and also adds 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 steals a game. … Gengler and Wiles each average 10.9 points per game. … Wiles also averages 8.5 rebounds. … Katie Brummer adds 5.3 points per game.
Coach: Craig Bowman
Sub-state results: beat Ingalls, 49-30; beat Ashland, 45-28
Quarterfinal game: vs. South Haven (19-4), 8 p.m.
Key players: Halie Feikert, sr.; Sydnie Jones, jr.; Emmerson Kirk, fr.
Worth noting: Red Aces making fifth state trip since 2013 and second straight. … Bucklin lost to Golden Plains in last year’s quarterfinals. … Best state finish is a third-place showing in 2013 followed by a fourth in 2014. … Red Aces captured SPIAA League Tournament title. … Bucklin started season 2-2 and won 12 straight in middle of season. … Losses came to Hoisington, St. John, Spearville and Minneola. … Jones leads team in scoring at 15.5 points per game and also adds 5.6 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.1 assists per game. … Feikert went over 800 career rebounds this season and averages a double-double with 10.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. … Kirk scores 11.1 points per game and leads team with 3.8 assists a contest. … Three other freshmen are in regular rotation and eight of 12 players on roster are freshmen with Feikert the lone senior.
Coach: Chris Beikmann
Sub-state results: beat Axtell, 58-5; beat Linn, 59-41
Quarterfinal game: vs. Sharon Springs-Wallace County (16-7), 2 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Ceegan Atkkns, sr., F; Anna Jueneman, so., PG; Massey Holle, sr., F; Tessa Lohse, G.
Worth noting: After taking third in Division II last year, Hanover is back at state for sixth time in the last seven years. … Wildcats captured state titles in in 1A Division I in 2017 and 2018, took second in 2019 and reached semifinals in 2020 tournament that was canceled at that point. … Wildcats lost 49-44 to eventual champion Central Plains in last year’s quarterfinals. … Beikmann is 27-3 in the postseason as Wildcat coach and 148-22 overall. … Wildcats swept Twin Valley League regular season and tournament titles with the tournament title a first for the program. … Only two wins all season came by single digits, a 62-53 overtime win over 1A I qualifier Doniphan West and 52-44 win over Valley Heights. … Atkins is four-year starter who averages 10.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.4 steals this season. … Jueneman leads Wildcats in scoring at 13 points per game and also adds 3.4 steals. … Holle averages 10.8 points and 8 rebounds and Loshe adds 8.5 points a game.
HUTCHINSON CENTRAL CHRSITIAN
Coach: DJ Kauffman
Sub-state results: beat Southern Cloud, 38-14; beat Wakefield, 49-30
Quarterfinal game: vs. Beloit-St. John’s (20-4), 4 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Kaylee Kauffman, sr.; Jessa Losew, fr.; Belle Barnett, so.; Emerie Boman, sr.; Allison Bateman, sr.
Worth noting: Central Christian took fourth at 1A Division II state tournament last year, falling in semifinals to Golden Plains 33-23 and then to Hanover in third-place game. … Trip to state is fifth for program, all coming since 2011 and third back-to-back appearance. … Best state finish were back-to-back runner-up showings in 2011 and 2012. … Kaylee Kauffman is DJ Kauffman’s daughter and leads team with 20.6 points per game. … She reached 1,000 career points this season. … Losew averages 10 points and 8 rebounds per game, but has missed four weeks at end of the season with an injury, though she will try to play at state. … Barnett averages 8 points and 5 rebounds per game while Boman adds 7 points and 3 rebounds per game. … Bateman adds 5 rebounds a game.
Coach: Patrick Gardner
Sub-state results: beat Hartford, 60-30; beat St. Paul, 53-30
Quarterfinal game: vs. Pawnee Heights (10-13), 6 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Brooklyn Jones, sr., F; Abby Peek, jr., PG; Saige Hadley, so., F.
Worth noting: Wolves return to state as one of two unbeatens along with Hanover, which knocked Lebo out in last year’s quarterfinals 54-47. … Wolves swept Lyon County League regular-season and tournament titles. … Lebo won state titles in 1994 (2A) and 2001 (1A). … Gardner also has led Hartford boys to runner-up state finishes in 2016 and 2017. … Wolves swept 1A I qualifier and league rival Olpe and also won the Central Heights Invitational. … Jones went over the 1,000-point mark this season and averages 17.8 points per game. … Peek is right behind at 17.6 points per game and Hadley is just under 15 points per game. … Jones also averages just under 5 steals per game and Peek is just under 4 steals per game. … Bulk of squad helped Lebo capture 1A Division II state volleyball title in the fall.
Coach: Doug Ellison
Sub-state results: beat Western Plains, 33-29; beat Wilson, 39-31
Quarterfinal game: vs. Lebo (23-0), 6 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Olivia Hands, Joselyn Corderro-Valles.
Worth noting: Heights qualified for state for the first time in program history, knocking off Wilson in sub-state title game. … Season turned around with a four-game winning streak in mid-February that included a road win over La Crosse. … Roster only has six players. … Hands leads team with 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. … Corderro-Valles adds 5.7 steals per game.
SHARON SPRINGS-WALLACE COUNTY
Coach: Braydon Summers
Sub-state results: beat Cheylin, 79-11; beat Wheatland-Grinnell, 57-24; beat Golden Plains, 50-46
Quarterfinal game: vs. Hanover (23-0), 2 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Jersi Benisch, fr., G; Jaelyn Daily, so., F; Jyma Stafford, so., G; Ja’Asia Stafford, jr., C; Joss Benisch, sr., G.
Worth noting: Wildcats making first trip to state since 2018 and eighth overall in program history. … Wildcats knocked off perennial power Golden Plains in sub-state finals. … Wallace County won state championship in 2012. … Wildcats have wins over 2A qualifier Wichita County and 1A I qualifier Quinter. … Jersi Benisch has been impact freshman, averaging team-high 13.6 points per game and 3.6 steals. … Daily adds 8.9 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. … Ja’Asia Stafford and Joss Benisch are both over 6 points per game with Benisch also adding 3.5 steals. … Jyma Stafford adds 3.1 steals. … Wildcats’ 16 wins are most since 2012 title team. … Summers is Wallace County alum who coached Weskan boys the past four years. … Assistant coach Jessie Carman was freshman on last state team.
Coach: Mike Heater
Sub-state results: beat Argonia, 48-22; beat South Central, 30-25
Quarterfinal game: vs. Bucklin (19-4), 8 p.m. Wednesday
Key players: Aubrey Pond, so.; Britain Dark, sr.; Kelly Theurer, fr.; Kami Butler, sr.; Jacee Theurer, jr.
Worth noting: South Haven making back-to-back state tirps for the first time in program history. … Cardinals lost in quarterfinals last season to Hutchinson Central Christian. … South Haven won state title in 2007 and also qualified in 2002 and 2013. … No player averages in double-figure scoring, but all five starters are between 5-9 points per game. … Pond leads team with 9 points per game and also averages 6 rebounds and 3.5 steals. … Dark averages 8 points and 7 rebounds. … Kelly Theurer averages 6.5 points and 3 steals, Butler 6 points and 4.5 rebounds and Jacee Theurer 5 points per game.