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At the Mike
The legend of Dean Wade and something called Holly Ball
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Special to the Tribune

The legend of Dean Wade is in the making. The freshman from St. John High School is already doing special things at Kansas State.  

My buddy Steve Webster was the first I heard to say his jersey would hang from the rafters in Bramlage. He just might be right.

This past week he buried a late jumper to give K-State the lead with one minute left then hit the game-winner with four seconds left at Georgia. 

The 68-66 win was K-State’s first non-conference road victory since December of 2012. He ended the game with a team-high 17 points – 16 in the second half. His play earned him Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.

You see Wade wasn’t fazed by the situation – a close contest in his first road game. He is used to winning. He wasn’t scared to take those shots. He’s done it his whole life.

Prep thoughts

There is that same old problem again. Central Plains and St. John boys in the same basketball sub-state. Last year the state split them up. Both won their sub-state. And instead of sub-state title game between the two, the Oilers and Tigers played for a state title. 

It made for a great 2A championship game. St. John won its third straight state title with a 49-45 win over Central Plains.

This year they are back together. It’s too bad. Both teams are very good again. Currently St. John is ranked No. 1 and Central Plains No. 3. Spearville is No. 6 and just up the road in Salina, Sacred Heart is ranked No. 2. Pretty good basketball in 2A within a fairly short distance in the middle of state.

Former Athlete/Coach update

Here is your weekly Ray Bechard update. The Kansas Jayhawks keep winning. His volleyball team has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament after impressive showings in the first rounds games. Kansas rolled by Furman and former rival Missouri at home in three sets.

The Jayhawks will now head West in an effort to advance to the Elite Eight. That would be the farthest any Jayhawk volleyball team has ever been. This is just the second time in school history Kansas has reached this round. 

The Jayhawks (28-2) will take on Loyola Marymount (24-8) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in San Diego. The game can be seen on ESPN3. Loyola Marymount upset Stanford to reach the Sweet 16.

If the Jayhawks win that match they will more than likely take on the No. 1 overall seed in Southern California (32-2). That match would air at 10 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU.

The final four is the following weekend in Omaha.

No matter what happens from here on out, this is the most memorable season in Kansas volleyball history.

Around campus

Campus is turning quiet. Tomorrow is last day of finals for the Fall Semester. Many of the students have already finished and left for the Christmas Break. What is left will mostly be gone by Saturday. A few basketball players and wrestlers will head out early next week.

The place seems empty without the smiling faces of the students. Campus will be open for one more week then close until Jan. 4 but the students won’t start the second semester until Jan. 11. I hope they all have a great Christmas and safe New Year’s.

And finally

Holly Ball. I’m sure there were no dads on the committee that created this function at Great Bend High School. Girls ask the boys to a dance. Then dress up all pretty and leave their fathers at home. 

I’m not sure I like this event.

My daughter Katelyn is a sophomore at Great Bend High and we have been all about Holly Ball preparation lately. She had her dress just the other day and looked adorable. Too adorable to be out around boys without me there to keep an eye on said boys. I was a high school boy once. I know.

I think I liked it better when she was drawing rainbows and unicorns instead of wearing a puffy rainbow dress. Well, she actually still draws rainbows and unicorns, but you get the idea.

And my wife Crystal tells me we are hosting supper for Katelyn and her date Jacob as well as her friend Donovan and his date Madison. So I must feed the boy before he takes my daughter out?

I have been good about watching my little girl turn into a young woman. Handled it pretty good so far I think. But this Holly Ball thing isn’t at the top of my list. 

Maybe I can sneak into a corner of the upper level of the gym. For security purposes, you know.