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Kansas state semifinal recaps

By Chad Rader, 810 Varsity, 03/08/24, 9:30PM CST


Tickets punched for state title games for five area schools

Tickets were punched on Friday to the Kansas state basketball title games.

Class 6A boys

Shawnee Mission Northwest 63, Mill Valley 51

Shawnee Mission Northwest didn't have much trouble with fellow Sunflower League foe Mill Valley, and set itself one step away from a state title - and perfect season.

The Cougars (24-0) handled Mill Valley, 63-51, in the Kansas Class 6A semifinals to seek its first boys state basketball title and an undefeated record. Northwest will play at 6:15 pm on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena vs Wichita Heights (23-1), in its third straight title game.

"We are beyond excited to compete for the first boys basketball state championship in school history," stated Cougars head coach David Birch. "We’ve done it all year as a group and will continue to lean on each other against one of the top programs in the state."

Junior Keaton Wagler led the way with a game-high 19 points and six rebounds, while Van Collins added 12 points and seven assists. Ethan Taylor paced the Cougars inside with nine points, nine boards and five blocks.

JaKhai Carter scored 17 points for Mill Valley (18-6), which will face Wichita Northwest for third place at 2 pm.


Class 6A girls

Shawnee Mission South 65, Blue Valley North 49

Shawnee Mission South knocked off the defending state champs to earn itself a shot at the title.

The Raiders (23-1) defeated Blue Valley North, 65-49, and advanced to the Kansas Class 6A state championship against Washburn Rural, which won the title in 2022. But Shawnee Mission South, No. 1 in Kansas Class 6A and the 810 Varsity Top 25, has focused on the state trophy since the season's outset, and looked the part from tipoff on Friday.

After trailing 13-10 after the first period, the Raiders surged for a 32-23 halftime lead. Azaliah Funches and Camyrn Smith paced South with 19 points apiece, while Ashley Kramer netted 12.

Jaliya Davis netted 16 points for the Mustangs (19-5), which will play Derby for third place Saturday at 2 pm.

The Raiders will face the Junior Blues (17-7) in the title game at 4 pm at Charles Koch Arena.

Derrick Jackson and Piper advanced to the Kansas Class 5A game after a 61-55 win over Maize South. (Brian Turrel, @DotteSportsPix)

Class 5A boys

Piper 61, Maize South 55

Piper knows how to hit the after burners when it counts - all the way to the state title game,

After mounting a 14-point comeback in the final five minutes for a 72-71 quarterfinal win over Shawnee Heights, Piper pressed the nitrous button again in the fourth quarter.

Maize South, which entered the semifinals as the No. 1 team in Kansas Class 5A at 23-0, opened the final period with a three-pointer for a 40-38 lead. But from there, the Pirates went on a 10-0 burst as Derrick Jackson drained a jumper from the elbow, then a fadeway three-pointer to start the run. Alamar Brooks followed with a trifecta from the right wing, then Silas Barnes connected on a transition bucket for a 48-40 lead with 4:49 left.

Maize South fought back to bring the score to 57-55 with :11.3 left, but Jackson hit two free throws with 9.6 seconds left to seal the game. After a missed Maverick three, Lantz Walton hit two charity tosses for the final margin.

Philip Moore Jr finished with a team-high 14 points, while Jackson netted 12. Devin Kerr, who hit the game-winner in the quarterfinals, finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Piper will face No. 3 seed Kapaun Mt. Carmel (21-3) for the state title at 4 pm.


Class 4A boys

McPherson 62, Baldwin 49

Baldwin took its shot at No. 1, but fell short.

The Bulldogs fell to undefeated McPherson, the top team in Kansas Class 4A, 62-49, in the state semifinals on Friday in Salina. Baldwin found itself tied at 33-33 early in the third quarter. But the Bullpups (24-0) surged with a 13-2 run to close the quarter and open up a 46-35 margin to put the game out of reach entering the final period.

Cooper Carr led the Bulldogs (20-4) with 13 points and five assists, while Talan Torrez (12), Leo Schoenberg (11) and Colton Collum (10) finished with double digits.

Baldwin will take on Atchison for third place at 2 pm on Saturday in Salina.


Class 4A girls

Bishop Miege 61, Fort Scott 32

Bishop Miege has been enjoying a cakewalk to the state championship in Salina.

The Stags romped Fort Scott, 61-32, in the Kansas Class 4A semifinals, a round after Miege steamrolled Labette County, 68-33, in the quarterfinals.

Kirston Verhulst led the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Faith McCallop (11) and Grace McCallop (10) also added double-digit scoring.

Bishop Miege (21-3) will take on Wellington (23-1) in the state title game at 4 pm in Salina.


Class 3A boys

Wellsville 68, Beloit 49

After 30 years, the result remains the same.

Wellsville blew out Beloit, 68-49, in the Kansas Class 3A semifinals - on the 30th anniversary of the Eagles state title over Beloit in 1994.

The Eagles were led by Kenyon Gillins' 20-point effort, including five three-pointers. For the game, WHS canned 10 three's compared to Beloit's four.William Dorsey scored 13, while Dezmond Winton added 11. 

Wellsville (22-3) will take on Goodland (22-3) in the title game on Saturday at 4 pm in Hutchinson.

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