Hutchinson, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Saturday’s Class 3A State Championship game featured two teams who have been familiar with each other in the Hutchinson Sports Arena. Wichita Collegiate denied Scott City a state championship in 2007 by winning the finale 52-44. Fast forward four years, where the Beavers dethroned the two-time state champion Spartans 62-59 in a thriller. And once again four years later, the same two teams met again to determine who would take home the title. In a game that saw eight ties and 13 lead changes, Scott City would make their runs in the third and fourth quarters to claim their fourth title in the last five years, and the sixth in school history, with a 60-48 win over Wichita Collegiate.
The first quarter alone saw two ties and seven lead changes. Scott City (25-1) would take the 14-13 lead into the second period. After leading 20-15 with 5:35 left before the break, the Beavers saw Wichita Collegiate make their biggest run of the game. Thanks in part to their pressure defense in forcing 10 turnovers, the Spartans used a 13-2 run to lead 28-22 with 2:29 left before halftime. A 9-3 Beaver run, all on three-pointers, helped them pull to within 32-31 at intermission. Both teams would trade leads early in the second half. After Scott City trailed 39-37, the Beavers closed out the last 4:32 of the third frame on an 11-2 run and took a 48-41 lead going into the final eight minutes. Wichita Collegiate (22-4) made one final push, scoring the first five points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to pull to within 48-46. Scott City took over the final six minutes of the game, as Trey O’Neil hit a three pointer with 5:11 left, helping the Beavers to close the game on a 12-2 run, en route to their fourth title in five seasons.
Scott City finished with three players in double figures, led by Brett Meyer with 17 points, Trey O’Neil had 14, and Sloan Baker scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards. Wichita Collegiate got 11 points from Austin Waddell and 10 from Cameron Christian. The Beavers shot 61% from the field, hitting seven three-pointers and finished 13/16 from the foul line for 81%. While committing 10 first half turnovers, Scott City made the appropriate adjustments and only committed three turnovers in the second half. The Beaver defense was solid, especially in the second half, holding the Spartans to just 23% in that half shooting, and only 34% for the game. Wichita Collegiate scored only 16 second half points. Scott City were outrebounded by the Spartans 27-22, but had six blocked shots in the game.
After Saturday, Scott City’s five out of six state titles have come inside the Hutchinson Sports Arena. The Beavers are now 27-12 all-time in state tournament play, dating back to 1921. In the Hutchinson Sports Arena, Scott City 20-3 all time in eight tournament appearances inside the building. Overall, the fifth straight championship appearance in school history is good for a tie for the fourth-best run in the state, and the six all-time state titles is good for a tie for seventh in Kansas. Over the last 11 seasons, Scott City has qualified for the state tournament eight times, with five state championships and two second place finishes, and have a 19-3 record in that span in Class 3A, 4A and 4A, Division II.
Glenn O’Neil Postgame