KBCA boys game goes down to wire

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SALINA, Kan. (KWCH) -- A handful of state champions took to the floor as part of the KBCA boys' All-Star game at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina Saturday night.

Some of those state champions played key roles down the stretch as the White team came from behind for a 111-107 win.

The Blue team led most of the night after building a 55-48 lead by halftime. Maize's Caleb Grill went up-and-under to get the White side back within one at 104-103 with 1:31 remaining, then Lawrence's Clarence King was fouled on a three to give the White team a 106-105 lead with 71 ticks left.

But the drama was far from over.

Blue Valley Northwest's Christian Braun has helped his Huskies to the last three Class 6A titles. He tied the game back up with a jam over a defender in the paint. Grill again had an answer, this time with a 3-pointer to give the White team the lead for good at 110-107 with 30 seconds remaining.

Down the stretch, Ness City's John Pfannenstiel, part of the 2A title team, hit a free throw. In the final seconds, Hutch Trinity's Kaleb Hammeke missed on a three and Central Plains' Brett Liebl, part of back-to-back unbeaten runs in Claflin, pulled down the final rebound of the night.

Points were not hard to come by on the evening but they came in groups early on. St. John's Mason Osborne scored four points for the Blue team, and Blue Valley Northwest's 6-8 junior Michael Peake scored five points for a quick 9-3 lead.

Peake, who scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Huskies in the 6A title game, was a force Saturday night with 13 points in the first half. He was injured on a jam on an offensive rebound, but not before providing one of the highlights of the game with a monster block against Ark City's Cevin Clark.

Trinity's Hammeke was also big early on with nine first-half points and an assist to Chapman's Izek Jackson on an ally-oop. Jackson had two dunks in the first half.

The Blue side, even without Peake on the floor, maintained its lead for most of the second half. Wichita Southeast's Johnny Murdock hit a three near the 8-minute mark to cut the gap to seven points, but Andover Central's Braden Belt answered with back-to-back treys on the other end to push the lead back to 93-80.

Hammeke, who will play at Fort Hays State next year, capped a big night with a reverse oop late in the second half. He finished with 17 points. Braun added 16 points for the Blue team, and Belt finished with 13 points.

Lawrence's King paced the White team with 19 points. The Iowa State-bound Grill added 14 points in a strong finish, Maize South's Kael Kordonowy scored 11 points, and Liebl finished with nine points.