DODGE CITY, Kan. - Haysville-Campus trailed by seven points to Bishop Miege with 3 minutes, 47 seconds left in the Dodge City Tournament of Champions title game Saturday.
Campus tied the contest, and had a chance to win at the buzzer on a floater from senior standout Shawn Warrior. Colts coach Chris Davis expected Warrior’s shot to fall.
However, it bounced off the back iron. Then, Davis focused on the positive before overtime. He asked his players to take a deep breath and posed a question.
“I said, ‘Where else would you rather be on a Saturday night than playing in the Tournament of Champions for a championship?,” Davis said.
Campus never trailed in overtime and earned a 64-59 hallmark victory in front of a loud crowd at United Wireless Arena. Campus captured its first TOC title in its first appearance in the prestigious 77th annual tournament.
“There were so many big, big time plays,” Davis said. “I mean, it’s like a state tournament game. There were many plays made on both ends, and some by both teams. Give them a lot of credit, they are really, really good. It’s a great win.”
The competition is the longest running boys’ tournament west of the Mississippi. The Colts, ranked No. 1 in 6A, improved to 11-0 and are one of the state’s biggest turnarounds after a sub-.500 showing two years ago.
“It was very exciting,” Campus senior Thomas King said. “We went into overtime and finished it out. We got the crowd into it. It was very loud.”
Tradition-laden Bishop Miege, ranked third in 4A, dropped to 8-2. Miege coach Rick Zych has 595 wins, 17 state tournament appearances and five state titles in his 24 seasons with the Stags.
Miege features 6-foot-8 sophomore Mark Mitchell, who has collected an offer from Kansas and has significant Division I interest.
“He’s a great kid,” Zych said. “Nobody works harder than him. In a matter of fact, we took off the other day. At 7 o’clock in the morning before we took off, he was in the gym. So he’s that kind of kid. Great kid, great competitor. I am happy. We learned to compete.”
Mitchell, named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player, finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He easily led the tournament in scoring with 61 points, along with 7.3 rebounds.
“It was tough against him,” King said. “We kept on swapping on him, because he is a good offensive player, and as soon as we got some fouls, we would rotate, and then if we get tired, we would rotate again.”
Campus led 19-15 after the first quarter, and Miege held a 30-28 halftime advantage. With 1:09 left in the third quarter, Campus senior Steele Chapman shot two free throws. Warrior and senior Tai Johnson were in the backcourt. In between the attempts, Warrior walked over to Johnson and said, “We’re good.”
“I told him that everything was going to be all right,” Warrior said. “We are going to pull through and get this W.”
Miege led 45-41 before Warrior delivered multiple huge plays in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Johnson forced two key turnovers. Warrior delivered a team-best 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Warrior, King and junior Sterling Chapman earned all-tournament team, along with Mitchell and sophomore Christian Bowen-Webb for the Stags. Bowen-Webb had 15 points in the final, while King collected 15 points and four rebounds. Sterling had 13 points and three boards.
Miege led 56-49 at the 3:47 mark of the fourth before Warrior made a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 56-51 with 3:31 remaining.
“Coach, he just motivated us and, he told us that ‘Bring it all together,’” King said. “And we brought ourselves together.”
Senior Steele Chapman scored off an offensive rebound. Steele finished with six points, four rebounds and five assists.
“Steele, when his motor is high, we feed off that,” Davis said. “We just so feed so much off him. I am going to be a little bit selfish. I wanted him on that all-tournament team so bad. I would have given anything for Steele Chapman … Because all he cares about is winning, and so I am just thrilled for our team.”
Miege led 58-55, but Johnson’s defense forced a five-second call with 1:17 left in regulation. Then, Sterling Chapman sunk a game-tying trey from the right wing to tie the game at 58.
“We were coming out of the timeout and he said, ‘Coach, I am going to hit it,’” Davis said. “And I just knew the minute he caught it and let it fly that it was nothing but net. He is only a junior, and he’s obviously a great leader for us, and we feed off of Sterling.”
Miege had an opportunity to win, but junior Harrison Braudis missed two free throws. Braudis collected his own offensive rebound. Mitchell drove in and was called for a turnover with 7.1 seconds left.
“One ref called a block, and one ref called a walk, so they called a walk,” Zych said. “But we have got to do a better job. He has got to do a better job of being aware of what’s there. He has got to kick it out.”
Then, Warrior missed his potential game-winning floater before Campus regrouped.
“Both teams had a chance there in the last minute,” Davis said. “It’s like I told Shawn, I said, ‘The basketball gods didn’t want it to end.’ They had a good look. Shawn Warrior, five feet in front of the bucket, you have got to think we are going home. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
In the overtime, Warrior delivered an early block. Six-foot-7 junior Keither Florence scored inside for a 60-58 lead after King had an offensive rebound.
At the 1:10 mark of overtime, Mitchell made his first free throw and missed his second, and King collected the board. It marked Mitchell’s second missed free throw all tournament. He was 25 of 27.
“When we started getting stops and playing our game and started getting in transition, it all came together,” Warrior said.
Steele Chapman missed a foul shot. However, Florence delivered another huge play when he collected the offensive rebound and scored for a 62-59 margin.
“They beat us on the boards a little bit,” Zych said. “Their athleticism, their physicality, they got some rebounds. The big one’s offensively. They got some offensive rebounds, stuck it back in. We had been doing a good job up to that point.”
Bowen-Webb missed a trey from the top of the key, though Miege retained possession.
The Stags inbounded from under their own basket. The 5-foot-11 Johnson deflected the ball for a King steal. King made both free throws to secure the victory.
“Just heart and will,” Davis said. “It didn’t look good. It looked bleak right there, but I knew they weren’t going to roll over and die and go to the mortuary, and they just stood up and fought their tails off.”