1A, DIV. II Semifinals: Lebo teams in, Greeley Co. boys will defend title

Greeley County senior Jariath Yanez looks for a pass during Friday's Class 1A, Div. II state...
Greeley County senior Jariath Yanez looks for a pass during Friday's Class 1A, Div. II state semifinal win against South Central.((photo by Mike Courson))
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 12:39 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The top-seeded Greeley County boys punched their ticket back to Saturday’s Class 1A, Div. II championship game by taking down No. 5 South Central’s young squad with ease at Barton Community College. The unbeaten Lebo girls advanced to the finals to set up a battle of unbeatens against Hanover Saturday. Then the Lebo boys, playing as the No. 6 seed, bumped off No. 2 Axtell with another 30-point individual performance.

No. 1 Greeley County 64, No. 5 South Central 41

An up-tempo style helped the Jackrabbits to a 13-2 lead five minutes into the game. Greeley County never looked back, shooting 71 percent from the floor in the second half and forcing 21 Timberwolf turnovers in another big win.

“These guys have bought into the defensive side of things and they take a lot of pride in it,” said Jackrabbit coach Josh Gooch. “It started three or four years ago when these guys were freshmen. They saw the benefits of playing defense the right way and it shows.”

Senior Jaxson Brandl surpassed 2,000 career points earlier this season. He had another big night with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and six steals. Brandl also dished out four assists, and the Rabbits had 18 assists in the contest.

“They know where everybody is supposed to be,” Gooch said. “It’s so much fun to watch. It’s fun to have a front-row seat.”

Senior Jariath Yanez hit a pair of early threes and finished with 12 points. Sophomore Lincoln Shafer added six points and five assists, and senior Titus Sherer scored six points with three assists. Bench players Kasen Felty and Jesus Chanez each hit late triples for their totals. Greeley County takes a 24-1 record into Saturday’s title game against Lebo.

South Central’s roster does not include a senior this year. Sophomore Jamie Sarmiento carried the team early and finished with 14 points and five steals. Junior Gavin Uhl added 12 points and six boards, and freshman Jack Herd finished with seven points.

No. 6 Lebo boys 68, No. 2 Axtell 52

The Wolves got 30 points from junior Grayson Shoemaker in Thursday’s takedown of No. 3 Beloit-St. John’s. Friday it was Landon Grimmett’s turn. The senior hit buzzer beaters in each of the first two quarters, making five of his six 3-point tries in the first half. He scored 19 points in the opening half, then was big at the free throw line late to finish 10 for 12 for a game-high 33 points.

Axtell opened a 6-2 early but Lebo took its first lead at 9-8, then regained the lead for good at 14-12 on a basket from senior Austin Bailey. Grimmiett added a jumper and the buzzer beater in the final 38 seconds for a 19-12 score after one period. The game was later muddied up with 38 combined personal fouls.

The Eagles won the second half 33-26, but it was not enough to erase the damage done in a 23-7 second quarter. Senior Isaac Detweiler paced the Eagles with 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out. Sophomore Brandon Schmelzle added 12 points and five boards, and Landon Schmitz and Colin Schaughnessy each scored eight points. Axtell falls to 21-5 heading into Saturday’s third-place game.

Grimmett finished with 33 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor with five treys. Sophomore Zachary Oswald added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Shoemaker was kept in check with eight points. Lebo has knocked of the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds and takes an 18-7 record into Saturday’s title game against No. 1 seed Greeley County.

No. 1 Lebo girls 52, No. 5 Bucklin 37

Unbeaten Lebo looked to be running away with things at 15-5 six minutes into the game. Bucklin battled back, getting as close as 21-17 on a basket from freshman Tristan Stout late in the first half. The Lady Wolves got a quick answer from sophomore Saige Hadley and went on to lead 26-17 at the break.

After a slow second quarter that saw just 13 points, the teams combined for 33 points in the final eight minutes. Bucklin won the frame 18-15, but it was not enough to erase a 37-19 deficit heading into the quarter.

Freshman Emmerson Kirk led the Red Aces with 13 points. Senior Isabel Bowman added nine points, and Halie Feikert scored four points and grabbed eight rebounds. Bucklin takes a 20-5 record into Saturday’s third-place game.

Hadley had the hot hand for Lebo all night, going 4 for 8 from behind the arc to finish with a game-high 22 points. She also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Brooklyn Jones did most of her work down low, finishing with 11 points and eight boards to go with four steals. Sophomore Abigail Jones finished with nine points. Lebo takes a perfect 25-0 record into Saturday’s title game.

No. 2 Hanover girls 64, No. 3 Beloit-St. John’s 41

The Lady Wildcats did their part to set up a battle of unbeatens for a state championship by handling their opponent in the early game Friday. Hanover dominated each of the first three quarters to lead 31-20 by halftime and 53-29 heading into the fourth.

Sophomore Anna Jueneman and senior Ceegan Atkins proved to be a viable 1-2 punch for the Lady Cats. Jueneman missed just three times en route to a game-high 19 points with five steals. Atkins missed just four times, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. Katelyn Klipp added nine points, and Tessa Lohse scored seven points. Hanover takes a 25-0 record into Saturday’s title game.

Beloit-St. John’s struggled to 30-percent shooting from the floor in the first half. The Lady Jays turned the ball over 24 times in the game. Sophomore Carlie Brummer struggled with nine turnovers but scored 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor. Senior Katie Brummer made three of her five tries from the outside to finish with nine points, and Emma Jones scored seven points. The Lady Jays take a 21-5 record into Saturday’s consolation game.