Class 4A DI boys action saw expected wins, and saw some surprises. The bottom of the bracket saw two upsets with wins for No. 7 seed Topeka Hayden, and No. 6 seed El Dorado.
McPherson 53, KC Sumner 38
McPherson got its first win of the tournament, beating Paola 53-38.
“A win anytime, this time of year is a good win,” head coach Kurt Kinnamon said.
The first half of the game got out to a slow start. It was a very physical game early.
“They are a really quick team so we figured they would be pretty physical with us,” junior Kyler Kinnamon said. “We did a pretty good job in the first half handling that.”
McPherson’s defense helped the Bullpups get a comfortable lead going into halftime. They held KC Sumner to just nine points the entire half. The Sabres were shooting at only 19%, giving McPherson the 30-9 lead at halftime.
The Sabres came out of the locker room on a mission. They scored 18 points in the third quarter alone, doubling their offense for the entire first half. They also held McPherson to just 7 points, allowing the Sabres to get within double digits of their lead.
“My dad would describe it as soft, is how we were playing ” Kyler Kinnamon said. “We started to get timid with the ball. We got a lead and then kind of slouched on it.”
The Sabres were able to disrupt the usually efficient McPherson offense.
“The amazing stat was, we had nine assists the first half and we didn’t have one the second half, but how many blown layups did we have” Kurt Kinnamon said. “You’ve got a chance to build on a lead and you don’t finish at the rim. That just frustrates me.”
However, the Bullpups settled down and regained control of the game in the fourth and with five minutes left in the game they were back up by 16 points and their experienced point guard helped lead his team to the victory.
“I’m fairly comfortable with the ball in Kyler’s hands,” Kurt Kinnamon said. “He’s pretty hard to chase down and he’s good enough that he knows to switch hands when you go past somebody and things like that.”
Kyler Kinnamon lead the Bullpups with 14 points. Spencer Wine had 10. Derek Sykes had 18 points for the Sabres.
El Dorado 66, Basehor Linwood
In their first trip to state since 2001, El Dorado pulled off a win against Basehor Linwood, 66-60.
“It’s amazing,” senior Travis House said. “I can’t really explain it. There’s so much enthusiasm around us, just a really enjoyable time.”
El Dorado head coach Gary Melcher got the win over his former player, Basehor Linwood head coach Mike McBride. McBride played for El Dorado when Melcher was an assistant coach there.
“I’m happy for our kids, but, you know, I’d just as soon beat somebody else, because he’s a great kid,” Melcher said.
The Bobcats got out to a quick 6-0 run, but then the Wildcats were able to get some buckets in the lane to build their confidence. Basehor Linwood would try to pull ahead, but the Wildcats wouldn’t let them. El Dorado used their underdog role to their advantage.
“That’s kind of a thing that coach told us, that we weren’t expected to win so we can just go play,” House said. “I think that played to our advantage.”
In the second quarter the Wildcats would outscore Basehor Linwood 16 to 14 to get within three going into the locker room. Later in the game, a Jared Haury three pointer and a Travis House three-point play would give El Dorado the 36-33 lead early in the third.
“Jared can shoot,” Melcher said. “I just don’t always like when he shoots, but he can shoot and that helps us sometimes.”
However, Basehor Linwood wouldn’t go down without a fight, they went on a 10-2 run to close out the third quarter and take a 3 point lead.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that El Dorado really took control. Travis House scored five unanswered points to give his team the 51-48 lead with under five minutes to play. From there, El Dorado was able to keep their lead just out of Basehor Linwood’s reach, knocking down free throws late in the game.
“Kids have done a pretty good job of hitting their free throws late in the season,” Melcher said. “They have a little confidence at the line now.”
House had 23 points for El Dorado, Haury had 19 and Alec Hildreth had 10. Basehor Linwood’s Patrick Muldoon scored 16, Tim Sanders scored 13 and James Downing scored 10.
Paola 51, Winfield 48
The contest between Paola and Winfield went down to the wire, but the Panthers managed to get a 51-48 win over Winfield.
It was Winfield who actually had control most of the game. They opened up the contest on a 6-0 run. Paola would inch back into the game, but then the Vikings would make a big play to keep the momentum on their side. They had a 25-22 lead going into halftime, but the Panthers still weren’t ready to give up.
“Our seniors, they battle,” Paola head coach Dave Cash said. “They know what that’s about, as far as keeping your head in the game. Staying focused. So we are proud of them for that.
Paola would take the lead in the end of the third quarter. They battled it out from there, the Panthers going up by as much as five. Winfield spent the rest of the game trying to get that lead back but couldn’t as Paola made the most in their first game at state since the 1995.
“It feels good,” Cash said. “We’ve got a pretty solid group of kids. We’ve got great senior leadership, actually. We are playing quite a few sophomores. From day one, our seniors had welcomed those guys in so the transition has been pretty smooth.
Mason McDew had 20 points for the Panthers. Justin Criddle had 13. The Vikings’ upset effort was fueled by 28 points from William Adler.
Topeka Hayden 82, Independence 74
Topeka Hayden pulled off the upset of a second-seeded Independence team. The Wildcats got the 82-74 win.
“Really proud of the guys,” head coach Ted Schuler said. “Really proud of the boys, it was truly a team effort from a standpoint of different guys scoring.”
A mixture of Hayden’s nerves and Independence’s speed got the Bulldogs out to a fast start, but free throws and the inside play of Hayden’s Jacob Head helped the Wildcats hold pace.
“It’s what we thought we could do all week preparing for them, watching game films,” Schuler said. “We thought that the middle was wide open. If we got cutters in there and he was the second cutter then he could have a lot of success in there.”
Then in the second quarter the Wildcats’ outside shots began to fall helping Hayden take the lead. A last second Brendon Hurley put them up twelve going into the locker room.
From there, Hayden was able to stay just ahead of Independence for the win. They were led by Head’s 29 points. Marcus Meier had 17. Brogan Heinen had 15, and Hurley had 11. Tate Turner had 27 for Independence, Kyle Rinck had 18 and Dominique Thorton had 17.
Hayden and El Dorado will square off in the semifinals at 4:45 on Friday and McPherson and Paola will play at 8:15.