Several HOPL teams enter their respective sub-states as favorites. Norwich, Pretty Prairie, Fairfield, and Central Christian all have teams with a No. 1 seed.
The No. 2 Lady Eagles closed out the regular-season with a big 67-26 win against Burrton on Tuesday. The win clinches a HOPL title for Norwich. The game was decided early as the Lady Eagles built a 20-8 first quarter lead and pushed the gap to 41-12 by the half. Bailey Poe led all scorers with 16 points. Kenzie Klaver and Ashton Garrison each scored 10 points. The boys fell 68-49 to the Chargers. Burrton led 41-25 at the half of that contest. Tristian Wallace scored 14 points in the loss and Jacob Norris added 13 points.
The Lady Eagles take a 19-1 record into the South Barber sub-state where they are the top seed with a bye. They will get the winner of the No. 4 Cunningham (9-11) and No. 5 Attica (5-15) game in Thursday’s semifinal. The Eagle boys enter a weak sub-state featuring just two teams with winning records. Norwich (2-17) will play Stafford (5-11) on Tuesday. The winner gets No. 1 seed Cunningham (12-8) on Friday.
The Chargers closed out the regular-season on Tuesday at Norwich. The boys cruised to a 68-49 win behind 24 points from Trae Lane. The Lady Chargers could not keep up with the No. 2 Lady Eagles in a 67-26 loss. The Burrton boys led 41-25 by halftime. Alongside Lane, Nathan Harper poured in 17 points. Kris Lane and Caleb Hurst each scored 10 points. Abbie Winter and Briana Woodworth each scored eight points for the Lady Chargers.
The Chargers will host a Div. I sub-state this week. The boys (7-13) enter as the No. 5 seed against No. 4 Goessel (9-11) on Tuesday. The winner gets No. 1 Pretty Prairie (12-8) on Friday. The Lady Chargers (3-17) are also a No. 5 seed, facing off against Goessel (9-11) on Tuesday. The winner plays No. 1 Fairifield (16-4) in Thursday’s semifinal.
The Lady T-Birds picked up a nice win against South Barber in Tuesday’s regular-season finale. Skyline used defense to build a 24-14 halftime lead. They pushed the gap to 38-23 through three quarters before the Chieftains won the fourth quarter 13-10. Janessa Davis poured in 20 points, followed by 11 points from Kaitlyn Stark. The Skyline boys ended their regular-season with a 55-37 loss to the Chieftains. The Thunderbirds hung around for one quarter at 8-6 before falling behind 26-12 by the half and 44-23 after three quarters. Brandon Abbott scored 13 points and Cole Patterson finished with 10 points.
The Lady T-Birds enter a tough Sterling sub-state as the No. 4 seed. Skyline (13-7) will host Ellinwood (12-8) on Tuesday. The winner will likely get fifth-ranked Central Plains (18-2) on Friday. Seventh-ranked Sterling (17-3) looms in the other half of the bracket. The boys (2-18) enter as the No. 8 seed at Little River (16-4).
The Cougar boys capped a perfect HOPL season with a 73-64 win against Fairfield on Tuesday. Central Christian built a slight 45-39 lead throughout the first two quarters, then pulled away a little more with a 15-7 third quarter. Jared Starkey scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half, and Zac Krehbiel scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half. The Lady Cougars came up well short in a 63-35 loss to the Lady Falcons. Fairfield led that game 34-15 by the half. Sarah Hagen managed 25 of the 35 Lady Cougar points.
The Cougar boys (16-3) enter the Sylvan Grove sub-state as the only team with a winning record. After a bye, they will play No. 4 Otis-Bison (6-14) or No. 5 Chase (5-14) on Friday. The Lady Cougars (3-16) will play No. 3 seed Sylvan-Lucas (6-13) on Thursday due to the snow.
The Lady Falcons picked up a final win of the regular-season with a 63-35 thrashing of Central Christian on Tuesday. Fairfield worked both ends of the floor to build a 34-15 halftime lead. Anna Schwertfeger led the team with 13 points, following by 12 points from Kristen Roberts and 10 points from Paige Soellner. Brandy Burns added eight points as she and Schwertfeger each hit two threes. The Falcon boys stayed close with the No. 2 Cougars but ultimately fell 73-64. John Dealy paced the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Eric Schoenecker added 14 points.
The Lady Falcons (16-4) enter the Burrton sub-state as the No. 1 seed. After a first-round bye, they will face either No. 4 Goessel (9-11) or No. 5 Burrton (3- 17) in Thursday’s semifinal. The Burrton boys (10-10) also have a bye as the No. 3 seed. Friday, they will play No. 2 Centre (11-9).
The Bulldog basketball teams dropped a pair of games against Cunningham to close out the regular-season on Tuesday. The boys lost a 52-50 thriller, and the Lady Bulldogs scored just 12 points in the middle quarters of a 37-29 loss. Morgan Grigsby scored eight points in the loss.
The Bulldog boys fall to 12-8 and take a No. 2 seed into the South Barber sub-state. They will face the winner of the No. 2 South Barber (9-10) vs. No. 6 Argonia (1-19) game in Friday’s semifinal. The Lady Bulldogs (5-15) will play No. 4 Cunningham (9-11) at South Barber on Thursday. The winner will play second-ranked Norwich (19-1) in the semifinals.
The Wildcat basketball teams finished the year with a sweep against Attica. The Lady Cats led the Bulldogs 16-14 at the break before pulling away for a 30-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Kelsey Rickey nailed three treys and paced the team with 17 points. Heather Kerschen added 11 points. The Wildcat boys won their game 52-50.
The boys (12-8) are the No. 1 seed in the South Barber sub-state. After a first-round bye, they will see either No. 4 Stafford (5-11) or No. 5 Norwich (2-17) in Friday’s semifinal. The Lady Cats will see Attica again on Thursday. Cunningham (9-11) enters as the No. 4 seed against the No. 5 Lady Bulldogs (5-15). The winner will get No. 1 seed Norwich (19-1).
The Bulldog basketball teams closed out the regular-season with a sweep at Stafford on Tuesday. The girls held Stafford to just two first quarter points en route to a 22-10 halftime lead. Stafford managed just 12 more points in the second half to fall 45-22. Junior Selena Wapelhorst did a little over everything with 12 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, and four assists. Freshman Kristin Haflich also scored 12 points.
The Bulldog boys (12-8) enter the Burrton sub-state as the No. 1 seed. After a bye, they will play either No. 4 Goessel (9-11) or No. 5 Burrton (7-13) in Friday’s semifinal. The Lady Bulldogs (13-7) also get a bye as the No. 3 seed. They will play No. 2 Centre (14-6) in round two on Thursday.