State basketball: Garden Plain wins 3A girls title, Cheney boys finish 3rd

Garden Plain claimed its fourth girls State basketball title on Saturday, while Cheney bounced back to take third in the boys tournament. The Eisenhower Tigers’ bad luck in the first round of State continued with the Tigers’ fall at 5A State in Topeka in Wednesday’s first-round.

Read more on each team below.


Garden Plain Owls

Saturday: The Garden Plain Owls are 3A State champions! The Owls won their fourth State girls basketball champion with a come-from-behind, 49-39 victory over the Royal Valley Panthers. Garden Plain took a 13-9 lead after one quarter and looked they might break away, but Royal Valley fought back in the second quarter, hold the Owls to just 3 points. That helped the Panthers to a 20-16 halftime lead. Garden Plain opened the second half with a 3-point Taylor Danahy basket to cut the Panthers’ lead to 1, at 20-19. But Royal Valley closed out the third quarter with a 5-0 run to take their biggest lead, 33-26. Garden Plain up its defensive pressure in the fourth and eventually rattled the Panthers, thanks in part to an 11-0 run to start the fourth. A 3-pointer by Abby Gordon tied the game at 33 with six minutes to play. Free throws by Danahy pushed the lead to 39-33 with 4:26 to go. As the clock ticked to under three minutes, the Owls slowed down the game and forced Royal Vally to foul. Taylor Joplin made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Friday: The Garden Plain Owls will play for the 3A State title. The Owls beat the Haven Wildcats 43-38 in a tightly contested game. The Owls were in foul trouble early, as Taylor Joplin picked up her third foul before halftime. Piper Bourne and Natasha Dooley got their third fouls in the third quarter. Garden Plain went scoreless for the first 6 minutes of the second half and fell behind 27-21. Lauren Danahy hit a pair of three-pointers in under a minute, and Joplin made one at the buzzer of the third quarter for a 30-27 Owls’ lead. In the fourth with Garden Plain up 1 and under a minute to play, Piper Bourne made a shot from under the basket for a 39-36 lead. Haven missed its next shot, Joplin got the rebound, and the Wildcats were forced to start fouling. Garden Plain (22-1), the top seed, will face No. 7 Royal Valley (15-7) at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Thursday results: The top-seeded Garden Plain cruised into the 3A State semifinals with a 58-31 victory over the Caney Valley Bullpups. It was close through the first quarter, as the Owls took an 11-8 lead. Garden Plain struggled to hit some shots in the second quarter, going just 3-for-10 from the field, but they still managed to extend their lead to 8 points at halftime, 20-12, as the defense kept the Bullpups caged. The Owls took over the game in the third quarter with a 16-3 during one stretch, and their field goal percentage improved to 61.5 percent. Top scroers were Taylor Joplin with 16 and Piper Bourne with 12. Other scorers were: Kara Heimerman 9, Abby Gordon 9, Brooke Wapelhorst 5, Kennedy Horacek 4, Natasha Dooley 2 and Krissie May 1. The Owls will wait around to see who their Friday opponent will be: No. 4 Haven, host of the mid-season tournament Garden Plain plays in, or No. 5 Scott City, coached by the Owls’ previous coach, Sarah McCormick.

Original post: The Garden Plain girls are the top-seed in the 3A State tournament with a 20-1 record and the No. 4 ranking by the KBCA. The Owls will play at 6:30 p.m. against No. 8 Caney Valley (13-10). The winner will play in Friday’s semifinal against either No. 4 Haven (19-3) or No. 5 Scott Community (19-4). Scott City is coached by the Owls’ former head coach, Sarah McCormick. Garden Plain has won three State titles, in 1978, 1995 and 2001, and played in three other championship games in 1980, 1992 and 2013. The Owls have made 24 State tournament appearances since 1978, and advanced out of the first round in 13 of those years. Since the first girls State tournaments in 1973, only three other schools have been to State more. The Bishop Miege girls have gone to State 34 times, followed by McPherson (30) and Topeka Hayden. St. Thomas Aquinas is tied with GP for fourth on that list.

The Times-Sentinel will keep you updated online throughout the State tournaments. See this week’s paper for coverage of substate action, including the championship wins by Cheney, Garden Plain and Eisenhower.

Class 3A girls State bracket


Cheney Cardinals

Saturday: The Cheney Cardinals shook off the disappointment of Friday’s semifinal loss and the sluggishness of Saturday’s first quarter for a 62-35 win over top seed Maur Valley in the third-place game at the Class 3A State tournament. Both teams struggled to find any rhythm in the first quarter, but the Cardinals found a high gear in the second, outscoring Maur Hill 21-5 in the quarter for a 31-12 halftime lead. They closed the game strong, too, with a 22-13 fourth-quarter edge. The Cardinals came at Maur Hill from all directions, with 10 different scorers. Hunter Adolph led Cheney with 10 points, while Micah Grover scored 9. Brendon Dewey, Trent Scheer, David Peters and Trey Patterson all added 8. Other scorers were Lakin Petz 5, Tyler White 3, Riley Petz 2 and Zac Block 1. This was essentially the same group that placed second a year ago, and finished the season with a 23-3 record, and spent the entire season ranked either first or second in 3A.

Friday: The Cheney Cardinals won’t get another shot at the 3A State title, at least not this year. Last year’s State runners-up, the Cardinals will have to settle for Saturday’s first-place game after a 59-46 loss to Phillipsburg in a game that was closer than the final score indicates. Cheney got the start it wanted, racing out to an 11-0 lead in game’s early minutes. Phillipsburg regrouped quickly and by the end of the first quarter had cut Cheney’s lead down to 2 points, 16-14. Cheney extend its lead to 6 by halftime, taking a 26-20 lead into halftime. The game stayed close through the third quarter, and by the start of the fourth it was a 3-point affair, with the Cardinals still ahead, 37-34. But Phillipburg went on an 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter, and Cheney was never able to regain the lead although did cut it to a single point, 38-37, on a Micah Grover free throw, and 42-41 on a traditional three-point play by Lakin Petz with 4:19 to play. After that, Phillipsburg went on a 10-2 run into the final minute before closing out the game. The Cardinals, the No. 3 seed, will face top-seeded Maur Hill at 2 p.m. Saturday in Hutchinson. Phillipsburg and Halstead will play for the title.

Wednesday: A year ago, Cheney won its first-round game at 3A State as the underdog, beating top-seed Norton. This year, the third-seeded Cardinals advanced as the favorite, beating No. 6 Perry-Lecompton in convincing fashion, 53-35. Leading by 5 points after one quarter, the Cardinals’ full-court defense flustered the Kaws, blocking shots and forcing steals. At halftime, the Cardinals led 37-24. After the break, the Cardinals slowed down the game but continued to pressure the Kaws, outscoring them 16-11 in the second half. Hunter Adolph led the Cardinals in scoring with 11 points, and Cheney showed off its depth as eight other players scored: Trey Patterson 9, Trent Scheer 6, David Peters 6, Brendon Dewey 5, Lakin Petz, Jeff Thisius 5, Micah Grover 3 and Tyler White 3.

The Cardinals move on to face Phillisburg at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Cheney is seeded third, Phillipsburg second. The teams were ranked second and first, respectively, at the end of the season, and Cheney was the only other team to be ranked first this season in Class 3A.

Original post: The Cheney Cardinals (No. 3, 21-2) have the late game Wednesday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena on the Hutchinson Community College campus, tipping off at 8:15 p.m. The Cardinals will take on No. 6 Perry-Lecompton (20-3). The winner will move on to face either No. 2 Phillipsburg (21-1) or No. 7 Thomas More Prep-Marian (17-5) at 8:15 p.m. Friday. The Cardinals have made 10 State basketball appearances, the first in 1919 and the most recent last season, when the Cardinals placed second after facing off against Marysville (which is in the other half of this year’s bracket). Cheney advanced to the final four in 1978, 1990 and 2017. The Cardinals also played for a title in 1990. The Cardinals spent much of the season as the No. 1-ranked team in 3A, and finished the season ranked second.

Class 3A boys State bracket



Eisenhower Tigers

The first round of State continues to be a tough place for the Eisenhower Tigers. The EHS boys, top seed in 5A, lost 68-64 to Mill Valley in the first game of the opening round at 5A State. This is the fourth first-round loss in five State appearances for the Tigers.

Eisenhower led by as many as 8 points in the first half, 24-16. Mill Valley went on a 17-3 run to start the second half, changing the game’s dynamic. The Tigers cut Mill Valley’s lead down to 2, 49-47, early in the fourth quarter, but Mill Valley pushed its lead to 7 several times late in the game.

Dylan Vincent led the Tigers with 22 points. Jeffrey Wake scored 16 and Jordan Vincent added 11. Mill Valley’s Cooper Kaifes had a game-high 32.

Original post: The Tigers have the early game on Wednesday. Eisenhower has the No. 1 seed in the Class 5A boys tournament and finished the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s final 5A poll. The Tigers (19-2) will play Mill Valley at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. The winner will advance to play at 4:45 p.m. Friday against either No. 4 Bishop Carroll (17-5) or No. 5 Kansas City Schlagle (17-5). This will be the Tigers’ fifth State basketball appearance since the school opened in 2011. Last year was Eisenhower’s best finished, when the Tigers placed third. It was the first time they had advanced beyond the opening round.

Class 5A boys State bracket