1.Bishop Carroll at the TOC – Bishop Carroll boys, the defending Class 5A state champions, aren’t ranked in the 5A poll but pulled off a Dodge City Tournament of Champions title, the first-ever TOC crown in school history, on Saturday. Since Christmas, the Golden Eagles, which was ranked No. 1 in the 5A preseason, own a win against Wichita Heights and an overtime loss to Maize.
The Golden Eagles have an incredibly low turnover rate, which again helped in Dodge City. In the final, Carroll defeated Junction City, 64-54. Carroll sunk eight 3s to Junction City three treys. Carroll had 15 turnovers, one fewer than the Blue Jays. The Golden Eagles shot 58 percent from the field.
Carroll outscored JC, 19-7, in the third quarter, the main difference in the title game. In the semifinals, Carroll beat Shawnee Mission South, 67-56, and outscored the Raiders, 28-15, in the fourth quarter. SMS is ranked No. 9 in Class 6A. Carroll had just 11 turnovers, while SMS had twice as many. Four players scored between 10 and 13 points, led by Carson Pracht. In the first round, Carroll cruised over Newton, 73-57.
For Newton, Ty Berry finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five turnovers. However, Newton had 13 turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had just eight. For the tournament, Carroll had 17 fewer miscues than its opponents.
Pracht finished 6 of 8 from the field, 3 of 3 from the 3-point line and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Carroll shot 57 percent from the field.
Starting with the Newton game, Carroll averaged 1.35, 1.24 and 1.18 points per possession. Carroll (10-3) continues to be a 5A favorite because of its high efficiency offense and lower turnover rate.
2. Norton wins MCL girls crown - The Norton girls, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, captured the Mid-Continent League midseason tournament with a 53-50 overtime win Saturday night against host WaKeeney-Trego Community. Norton has not lost to a Kansas school this season. The Bluejays rolled over TMP in the semifinals in a game that had a running clock.
It ended the Monarchs’ 40-game MCL regular season/midseason tournament winning streak. TMP had defeated WaKeeney, 44-43, on a last-second 3 on Jan. 15, but the Golden Eagles played Norton close. Norton led WaKeeney, 22-18, at halftime.
On the boys’ side, Phillipsburg, the clear favorite and ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, cruised to its third straight MCL conference title with a 60-46 victory against TMP on Saturday. The Panthers (10-2) remain undefeated in league play this season and only have losses to Beloit and Central Plains, each ranked teams. TMP girls took third and moved to 8-4 with a 45-39 third-place win versus Smith Center on Saturday. For the boys’ Plainville, defeated Hill City, 65-56, for third place.
3. Central Plains boys roll – The CP boys, ranked No. 1 in 1A, continued to rank among the state’s best teams for all classes with a 58-35 win against Wichita Sunrise Christian Academy in the 51st annual St. John Mid-Winter Classic finale. Brett Liebl collected tournament MVP honors, and Devin Ryan was also named to the all-tournament team. In the semifinals, CP held off rival St. John, 42-31, the second time this season the Oilers have defeated the Tigers.
In the third-place game, St. John beat league foe Ness City for the second time with a 57-54 victory. John Pfannenstiel finished with 19 points for the Eagles, and Tanner Halling had 15 points for the Tigers. Ness City, which also had 18 points from Landon Reinhardt, led 52-51, but Cashe McVey and Marshall Woolf (19 points) tallied back-to-back baskets. St. John is ranked fourth in 1A, and Ness City is third in 2A.
4. Liberal girls roll at upset-minded Salina Invitational; S. Central boys bounce back – The Salina Invitational girls’ tournament was expected to feature Liberal and Abilene, both undefeated squads, in the championship game. However, Abilene, seeded second, took an upset loss versus No. 7 Andover in the first round. Liberal won the crown with a 59-48 victory against Salina Central and pulled away with a 21-11 third quarter. Liberal is 11-0, and Salina Central stands at 7-4. Liberal is ranked fifth in 6A, Abilene is fourth in 4A.
Liberal’s Katie Horyna, one of the state’s best, repeated as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Salina South’s Victoria Maxton collected Most Inspirational Player. Andover girls eventually took third with a 55-43 win versus Salina South.
On the boys’ side, Salina Central senior Mark Grammer earned MVP, and Salina Salina senior Conner Munsell was the Most Inspirational Player. SC, which was ranked No. 2 in 5A earlier this season, had went through a slide earlier this month. SC was tied with Andover, 23-23, at halftime and pulled away for a 57-43 title victory. For boys’ third place, Salina South defeated Wichita South, 63-54. Salina Central was No. 9 entering the week.
5. Other key tournaments – Maize South, paced by tournament MVP Kael Kordonowy, was the No. 6 seed at the Valley Center tournament but defeated Wichita Heights, 66-50, in the final. Kordonowy had 21 points as the Mavericks won their seventh straight after a 1-3 start. Maize South is unranked in 5A, and Heights stands second …. Rural Vista girls, ranked No. 6 in 1A, defeated Herington, 80-53, and won the Cougar Classic in Centre and moved to 12-0. … Berean boys collected the Burrton tournament, and Kiegan Vogt was named MVP. …
The Hays High girls defeated host Colby, 50-19, to win the Orange and Black title. It marked the second time HHS had beaten the Eagles this winter. Hays High (7-3) set a tournament finals record for fewest points allowed. Colby dropped to 8-4. … The Ark City boys won its third straight Chaparral Road Runner tournament. … At Hoisington, Pratt girls gave Otis-Bison its first loss with a 51-28 victory in the final. O-B was ranked ninth in 1A. On the boys’ side, Victoria continues to make a turnaround after a winless December. The Knights defeated Hoisington, 55-53, in the championship.
…Frankfort girls won the Twin Valley League crown on its home court and defeated league rivals Centralia and Hanover in the semifinals and finals, respectively. Emilee Ebert hit a last-second shot to defeat Centralia, 52-51, and then beat Hanover, 45-44. Ebert and Kennen Brandt collected all-tournament team honors. Frankfort is seventh in 1A, Centralia fourth and Hanover fifth. … Shawnee Mission East girls defeated host McPherson, 52-48, in the 55th annual McPherson Invitational. McPherson is sixth in 5A.