Beloit, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The road to state can be a rough challenge. Playing in their seventh straight sub-state championship game, Scott City was also facing an opponent on their home court for the third straight season. This one was the toughest of them all. The Beavers fought off several surges by Beloit, and were able to qualify for their fifth straight state tournament in a 61-60 win over the Trojans Saturday night in a capacity-filled Beloit High School gymnasium.
In the first quarter alone, the lead flipped five times and was tied once. Scott City (22-1) used a 7-3 run to take a 15-12 lead going into the second quarter. The Beavers would pull away momentarily. They would push their lead to as many as 10 at 28-18 with 2:15 before halftime. That’s when Beloit (19-4) would make a push. A 9-2 run would pull the Trojans to within 30-27 at intermission. The Trojans scored the first four points of the second half to take a 31-30 lead one minute into the third quarter. Scott City scored eight straight to lead 38-31 with 4:44 left in the period. After leading 41-33, the Beavers saw their lead dwindle down to two with 1:13 in the third period at 44-42, and eventually took a 49-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter. In the final eight minutes, whenever Beloit pulled to within a point, Scott City answered each time. The Beavers never trailed, and hit all six of their free throws, including two from Brett Meyer with 4.4 seconds remaining to make it 61-57. The Trojans hit a three pointer to make the final a one-point margin. Meyer led Scott City with 16 points, while Trey O’Neil added 13 and Drake McRae came up big for the Beavers with 10 points off the bench. Beloit got 20 points from Bailey Vetter, 18 by Colson Reames and 12 from Hunter Budke.
Glenn O’Neil Postgame
Scott City will play on Thursday in the opening round of the Class 3A State Tournament in the Hutchinson Sports Arena. The Beavers will be the one or two seed. Sabetha also carries a 22-1 record. Other teams qualifying for state include Hesston (21-2) Osage City (21-2), Wichita Collegiate (20-3), Cheney (19-4), Riverton (19-4), and Wellsville (19-4).