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Double your pleasure

Charlie's Inside Corner: March 9

POSTED March 9, 2018 3:28 p.m.

Do you remember the commercial from days gone by about DOUBLEMENT CHEWING GUM? They sang it something like this, “Double your pleasure, double your fun, chew Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint gum.” Well, there are a lot of communities around Kansas that are “doubling their fun” this week at the State High School Basketball Championships. Many schools have both their boys and girls competing for that championship trophy.
Perhaps the most exciting event in high school sports is the state basketball championships. The smaller the town, the more excited the fans. “Close the shops, close the banks and close the schools!” When Smallville USA is in the state tournament the town shuts down and goes to cheer.
Many communities are doubling up this week as a surprising number have both their boys and girls in play. In 1A-II two towns are dealing with this hysteria: The Wallace Co. boys (12-11) and the girls (10-13) will make unlikely appearances as well as the Axtell boys (11-11) and Axtell girls (10-13)
In 1A-I the Hanover boys (20-1) are one of the favorites while their girls sport a sparkling (18-3) slate. Another favorite for the boys title is St.John (18-5) while the St.John girls will bring a (17-6) record to Hays to do battle.
The most illustrious two-team combo is sported by Central Plains as both their boys and girls full-court-pressed their way to perfect 23-0 seasons and are odds-on favorites to bring home some hardware. Not to be outdone Inman’s boys (13-9) and Inman’s girls (14-8) and Pittsburgh Colgan’s boys (21-2) and girls (19-4) will be in the hunt. Those towns will be empty of fans but Manhattan will fill up!
Traveling to Hutchinson, 3A’s Caney Valley boys are (21-2) and their girls have their bus warmed up too with a (13-10) record. From our part of the world the Thomas More Prep Monarchs will have their boys (17-5) and their girls (20-2) in the trophy hunt with the girls a strong contender.
In 4A-II it seems like a trip to the state tournament for both their boys and girls is an annual event for Topeka Hayden. Hayden’s boys (14-7) are among the favorites while their girls (12-10) have a tough first round game against Andale.
4A-I has three cities with both boys and girls teams shooting to cut down the nets. Kansas City Piper boys (21-0) are a favorite while their girls are (15-6) and a dark horse. McPherson’s boys and girls are perennial contenders—what is it about the water there?—both boys and girls bring sparkling (20-1) records to Salina. Then there is Bishop Miege who always have a strong sports tradition. Their boys (19-3) and girls (20-2) are definitely title favorites. The 4A-I classification just might be the best and most competitive in Kansas basketball.
Moving on to Topeka will be both the boys (16-6) and girls (15-7) from Salina Central, not always a basketball powerhouse. Mill Valley’s boys (11-11) used some upsets to make it but their girls (18-4) are legit!
In a scheduling oddity Bishop Carroll’s boys (17-5) will tangle with KC Schagle (17-5) in the first round while the girls from both teams will also meet in that first round. Bishop Carroll is (17-5) and Schlagle is (16-5)
In 6A at Koch arena in Wichita Olathe East boys (13-9) and their girls (22-0) will make a lot of noise while Derby’s boys (15-6) are spoilers while their girls (20-1) are among the favorites. Wichita South has a long and storied tradition in basketball and this year their boys (13-9) and girls (21-1) will strive to enhance that.
This is a special year with so many schools qualifying both girls and boys teams at the same time. “Double your pleasure” fans. It doesn’t happen all that often.
“Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It’s about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people. And heart. Winning is just the result.” — Joe Torre, former New York Yankee manager.

Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.


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