HUTCHINSON, Kan. - For the first two quarters, it looked like Eureka and Beloit were evenly matched on the court. But something clicked in the Trojan locker room, as Beloit came out on fire to pull away for a big win over the Tornadoes.
Beloit, leading by just two points at break, opened the third quarter on a 17-3 run to take a 40-24 lead on Eureka, effectively taking them out of the game in what turned out to be a 60-39 win in the 3A state quarterfinals.
Eureka lead the game through a quarter before Beloit flipped the script in what was a back and forth first half, taking a 23-21 lead at halftime.
Then came the run. with Beloit using a balanced effort in continuing to hit shots in what would end up as a 22-7 third quarter, never looking back in the 21 point win.
Carson Cox and Hudson Smith each score 11 points to lead the Trojans, while Hayden Budke added 10 off the bench. Smith finished with a double-double, also tallying 10 boards. 9 of his 11 points came from the free throw line.
Eureka, who made it to state for the first time since 1957, sees their season come to an end with a 17-7 overall mark. Beloit improves to 23-1 with the win, reaching the final four for the first time since a state runner-up finish in 2014. For the Trojans to get back to that spot they'll have to beat Perry-Lecompton in Friday's semifinal round.