By CONOR NICHOLL
South Gray Boys 58, Burlingame 56
South Gray outscored Burlingame 16-3 in the fourth quarter and delivered a big comeback. On the game’s final possession, South Gray knocked the ball loose, and senior point guard Lucas Skinner received a transition pass for a buzzer-beating layup.
“This is a good group of boys,” coach Mark Applegate said. “They just don’t ever give up, they really don’t.
Skinner finished with 10 points and five assists, and senior Jackson Miller paced the Rebels with 16 points. Burlingame junior Jacob Thompson had 16 points. The No. 1 Rebels (24-1) will play No. 2 Hanover (23-2) in Saturday’s championship. Start time is 6:15 p.m. No. 5 Burlingame (22-3) will face No. 3 St. Francis (22-3) in the third-place contest at 2 p.m.
Hanover Boys 64, St. Francis 44
Senior Will Bruna scored 31 points and led the Wildcats to dominating victory against the Indians. Senior Brock Waters led the Indians with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Hanover led 35-24 at halftime.
Olpe Girls 58, South Central 47
Olpe sunk six first half 3s and led 19-8 after the first quarter. The Eagles haven’t trailed in either state game this season. Olpe, the defending Class 2A runner-up, received 14 points from freshman Neleh Davis, including four first-half treys. Junior Brianna Vogts tallied 21 points and nine rebounds.
“It felt really good, because I knew our team needed it,” Davis said. “We need more outside shooters, and I think I was the one to do that. That’s my main part – ball-handling is another thing – but mainly shooting. I love zones.”
South Central sophomore Bri Rutherford finished with 29 points.
“We had some people play way too nervous,” South Central coach Tim Rietzke said.
No. 3 Olpe (24-1) will play No. 5 Hanover (23-2) in the final Saturday. Start time is 4 p.m. In the third-place contest, No. 2 South Central (23-2) will play No. 1 Centralia (23-2) in the third-place contest at noon.
Hanover Girls 58, Centralia 57
In a matchup of Twin Valley League rivals, Hanover scored the game’s first eight points and held on to win. The teams had split two regular-season contests with both going to overtime. Hanover pushed the pace and forced 13 first-half Centralia turnovers.
“Turnovers were the answer in the beginning, and I think if we didn’t have that lead, we would be talking about them going on, not us, so that had a big factor in it,” Hanover coach Chris Beikmann said.
Senior Riley Doebele and sophomore Macy Doebele each had 14 points with Riley providing key foul shots down the stretch. Sophomore Madison Lueger paced the Panthers, the defending 1A-I champions, with 16 points. Centralia scored just before the final buzzer to cut the lead to one on a basket from senior Cassidy Haufler.
“I thought she got fouled, and she didn’t,” Centralia coach Roger Holthaus said. “Officials did a good job. It was our offense was terrible. Can’t turn it over 22 times against a team like that.”