In the midst of all of this March Madness, let’s take a time out to recognize some of the significant achievements that have happened over this past basketball season .
Toss some roses to Larned girls basketball coach, Ashley Crosby. In her first season as the Indians’ head coach, Crosby led the Larned girls to a surprising 13-10 record and a berth in the 4A Div.2 state championships in Emporia. After a years-long drought of losing seasons, Crosby’s girls showed marked improvement and finished fifth in the tough 11-team Central Kansas League. A great coaching job by Crosby and her assistant coaches, Karrie Sleder and Nick Junker.
Despite a high school career of playing on losing teams, Great Bend’s Kody Crosby completed a stellar senior season by being named first-team Western Athletic Conference. The 6-6 senior was a scoring mainstay for the Panthers throughout his high school career. He averaged 17 points per game in this, his last, season.
How about those kids in the small school of Otis-Bison? Both the girls and the boys qualified for their respective state tournaments this year and the girls came home with the third-place trophy after defeating Rexford-Golden Plains 41-34. It was the first time in school history that the girls had won at least two games at state tournament action.
After a whole week of NCAA basketball action, and being force-fed about a bajillion commercials, I must admit I STILL don’t know what Charles Barkley, Spike Lee and Samuel Jackson are trying to sell me in their commercials! Isn’t the main idea to sell product?
The Great Bend girls finished another season with a winning record, 11-10. Coach Carrie Minton continues the consistency that has become noteworthy of Lady Panther basketball in the tough WAC, year after year. Carly Brack land Carly Dreiling both earned first-team all WAC honors.
Spend a day in Hutchinson at the National Junior College Tournament and you will quickly come to the conclusion that the Barton County men are better than quite a few of the teams there. After falling just short in region tournament play, the Cougars had the misfortune of being behind the sparkling record of the Hutchinson Blue Dragons for an invite spot. Coaches Craig Fletchall and Dennan Morrow did a great job this year with this Cougar team, barely missing the national tournament with their 25-8 record.
How about being a senior girl at Central Plains and having four state championship banners hanging from your wall? That’s the case for the senior Oiler girls as they won their fourth consecutive state championship with a 60-48 victory over Alma-Wabaunsee last week. Coach Pat Stiles has led the Oiler gals into unprecedented waters as his seniors posted a 103-1 four-year record. Their only loss was to Ellinwood. A truly remarkable achievement and it looks like there is more to come.
Best line out of the NCAA basketball tournament so far was offered up by Charles Barkley, the “Round Mound of Rebound”. The “Chuckster” , as they like to call him, had this to say when the bevy of analysts were discussing UCLA and whether Kent State could compete with them. He said, “Listen, UCLA has five McDonald’s All Americans on their team. The other guys have five guys that eat at McDonald’s. Enough said!”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at email@example.com.