Park City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Coming off an overtime thriller on Friday night against Concordia, Scott City put themselves in a position that only four schools had ever accomplished: four straight state titles. Saturday evening at Hartman Arena, Eudora had different ideas, as they pulled away from the Beavers in the late minutes for a 71-58 win to claim their first-ever state championship. Scott City was playing in their sixth straight title game in as many tournament appearances, dating back to 2006.
The Beavers started off hot, hitting three of their first four shots, leading 7-2 early on. Eudora stormed back with six straight, and eventually led 18-14 after the opening period. The first eight minutes featured two ties and two lead changes. For the remainder of the first half, the closest Scott City was able to get was three at 20-17 with 6:21 to go before intermission. Foul trouble crept up for Brett Meyer, who had been a solid offensive threat during the tournament, picked up his third foul with 5:13 remaining before halftime. That coupled with costly turnovers hurt the Beavers, as the Cardinals closed out the final 2:43 of the second period on a 10-2 run to take a 36-23 lead at recess. Eudora (20-5) opened their lead up to 45-27 with 5:49 left in the third frame, and Scott City came to life in a hurry. After a technical foul on the Eudora bench, the Beavers scored eight points, then used a 12-1 run to pull to within 50-48 after three quarters. Scott City (21-4) had their chances to tie or take the lead in their final two possessions in the third and early in the fourth, but were unable to. They did pull to within one with 6:22 left in the game, but the Cardinals pulled away in the final 6:07 of the game, using a 19-7 run to end Scott City’s 11-game state tournament winning streak, dating back to 2011.
Eudora finished with four in double figures, led by freshman Mitchell Ballock with 20 points, followed by brother Andrew Ballock with 19, Austin Downing with 14 and Zach Scroggin with 11. For Scott City Brett Meyer had a game-high 22 points, 20 coming in the second half, and Trey O’Neil added 15 points. The Cardinals shot 62% from the field for the game, while the Beavers were at 50%.
In earlier games, Holton took down Burlington 50-33 in the girls third place game, while the third place boys game went to Andale, with a 72-66 win over Concordia. Santa Fe Trail rallied in the girls championship game to knock off Frontenac in overtime 58-54.