Belle Plaine eliminates defending 3A champ Halstead

There will be a new state champion in Class 3A.

Halstead, coming off a state title in 2018, entered the postseason seeded sixth in the Haven sub-state bracket, easily the toughest top to bottom among all classes. All eight teams in the bracket enter sub-state with at least 10 wins.

And the 12 win year for the Dragons meant a trip to a Belle Plaine team hungry to return to the state tournament after a fourth place finish in 2017, entering the postseason with a 15-5 regular season mark.

And it was Belle Plaine that came out on top, shooting the lights out in the final three quarters in a 64-46 home win to end Halstead's season.

Belle Plaine got up to a quick 7-0 lead, holding Halstead to just two points in the game's first seven minutes. But the Dragons wearing blue jumped right back in it, cutting it to a 7-6 game late in the first.

From there, Belle Plaine went on a run, going up by as much as 12 before taking a 10 point lead to the break.

Then coming out of the locker room, Eli Wiseman took over for Belle Plaine. Only a sophomore, Wiseman scored 16 of his game high 22 points after the break as Belle Plaine went up by as much as 27 in the fourth quarter, ultimately leading them to an 18 point win.

Halstead sees their season come to an end with a 12-9 record, whereas Belle Plaine will advance to meet the 2 seed in the Haven sub-state, Kingman. The Eagles faced Belle Plaine twice in a 10 day span in January, sweeping the Dragons with a pair of 7 point wins.

On the other side of the Haven bracket, the host Wildcats will get a chance to defend home court after a 55-50 win over Hesston. They'll face Wichita Collegiate who is coming off a double-overtime upset of top seed Cheney, 65-62, Tuesday night. Both games are set for Friday night in Haven.