The first night of the 2015 Kansas State High School Activities Association state basketball tournaments was not a good one for the teams I had the most interest in.
I witnessed St. John-Hudson put on a clinic inside Bramlage Coliseum against Ellis. The Tigers began with an alley-oop which 6-foot-9 Dean Wade flushed. He dunked on another alley-oop, and was in position for a third before getting fouled by the Railers’ Eli Lohrmeyer.
St. John scored the game’s first 10 points, It led 28-4 after one quarter and 52-11 at halftime, going on to win 83-41. The Tigers extended their winning streak, to 50, the longest active streak among boys teams in the state.
Ellis lost for the first time since Jan. 22. It was on a 12-game winning streak coming into the state tournament and finished the year 18-6, a vast improvement over the 9-13 mark of a year ago. The Railers made their first boys state tournament appearance since 2003, but they haven’t won a state tournament game since 1981, when they were runner-up in Class 3A to Silver Lake.
None of the four games at the 2A tournament were particularly competitive. Olpe, Central Plains and Washington County were all easy winners. Olpe and Central Plains play one semifinal Friday at 4:45, while St. John and Washington play at 8:15.
Tomorrow is the girls games at Manhattan. Hill City plays Valley Falls at 6:30.
The other Mid-Continent League team in action today, the TMP-Marian boys, dropped their game in the Class 4A-Division II tournament at Park City to Wichita Trinity.
The third MCL boys team in a state tournament, Stockton, plays tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the 1A-Division I tourney at Emporia.
Thunder Ridge, the small school in Kensington, the small town halfway between Phillipsburg and Smith Center, lost in the 1A-DI girls tournament to St. Paul, 37-32. Jack Krier handled that one since I was in Manhattan.
Beloit’s girls, the lone North Central Activities Association team in a state tournament, lost int he first round in Class 3A at Hutchinson to Sabetha.
I’m done with covering basketball for Main Street Media for 2014-15. It’s been quite a winter sports season. Now I’ll get some time to decompress and relax before track and field starts.