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Sunrise ends Nickerson’s run in Mid-Winter Jam final

The Sunrise Buffaloes collect the champion trophy and medals for the Mid-Winter Classic.  The...
The Sunrise Buffaloes collect the champion trophy and medals for the Mid-Winter Classic. The Sunrise Christian Academy Buffaloes defeated the Nickerson Panthers by a score of 53 to 35 in the Championship game of the Mid-Winter Classic Tournament held at St. John High School in St. John, Kansas on January 23, 2021. (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.com)(Joey Bahr | (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.)
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 3:05 PM CST
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ST. JOHN, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Sunrise Christian Academy Buffaloes won the Mid-Winter Classic 53 to 35 over the Nickerson Panthers.

The Mid-Winter Classic took on a different look this year.  For fifty years prior, the St. John Lions Club ran the tournament.  This year, the St. John-Hudson School District took over.

The most notable change came with the format going from boys only to co-ed.  The other change seen by regular attendees was the lack of a community concession stand with their highly regarded homemade pies.

Nickerson entered the tournament as the last seed with a 0 and 8 record.  They would win their first two games over Macksville on Tuesday and fellow Central Kansas League team Larned on Thursday.

Sunrise scored first on a free-throw in the first quarter.  Nickerson took the lead briefly, but as the quarter moved along, the Buffaloes established a clear advantage.  They led 19 to 10 going into the second quarter.

Justice Keller scored eight of his 10  points in the first quarter.  Mischa Mikhailov also tallied most of his points in the opening quarter.  He scored nine of his 13 points then.

Nickerson added only eight points in the second quarter.  Sunrise added 10 to their score for a 29 to 18 halftime score.

The Buffaloes kept the lead in the second half.  Nickerson would challenge them, but they could not make up any ground on the expanding Sunrise advantage.

At the end of the game, Sunrise led 53 to 35.

Matt Crossman led the Panthers in scoring with nine points.  Nickerson did score seven three-pointers in the game.

For Sunrise, Mischa Mikhailov led all in scoring 13 points.  Justice Keller added 10 points.  The Buffaloes went six of seven from the free-throw line.

“We took a step forward as a whole this week as a team,” said Nickerson Head Coach Curtis Fields.  “This tournament has always seemed to be the turnaround point for our season.”

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