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Central Plains boys reach 2A finals

Finalist Oilers gain revenge




MANHATTAN – Central Plains boys basketball coach Brett Rolfs didn’t discuss which team ruined the Oilers’ perfect season two years ago.

They knew.

The Central Plains Oilers played a perfect first half to secure a spot in Saturday’s 2A state basketball championship game.

The Oilers dominated defending state champion Salina Sacred Heart 58-36 in Friday’s 2A semifinals. Sacred Heart knocked off the unbeaten Oilers 62-52 two years ago in the state semifinals.

The fact the Oilers performed the feat against defending 2A state champion Salina Sacred Heart made it all the sweeter.

“We never talked about what happened two years ago. They knew,” said a smiling Rolfs.

Brett Liebl led the way with 27 points. The Oilers shot 64 percent on 22 of 34 field goals.

“We played within ourselves and didn’t force our offense,” Rolfs said. “We were very patient. We worked for good quality shots and finished them. We like to work the ball inside out and did a great job working the basketball inside.”

The Oilers put on a first-half offensive clinic with 68 percent shooting off 15 of 22 shooting to roar to a 33-8 halftime lead. Brett Liebl dominated inside with 14 points. Alex Barton chipped in eight points.

“At this stage of the season, that’s the best half of basketball we’ve ever played,” Rolfs said. “It all starts with defense. We did a great job communicating and working with our teammates. We played with terrific defensive energy tonight.”

The Knights made 3 of 11 field goals and committed 10 turnovers. The Knights scored eight points on 23 offensive possessions.

Charlie Skimore led Sacred Heart with 16 points. Oiler defensive ace Devin Ryan limited Sacred Heart’s all-time leading scorer Caleb Jordan to three points and 1 of 7 shooting.

The Knights played without head coach Pat Martin who was suspended by Sacred Heart school officials for competing with players who exceeded the 20-game limit this season. Several Knights were suspended for the state tournament and second-leading scorer Grant Herrenbruck was slowed by a shoulder injury.

Central Plains (25-0) will play Pittsburg Colgan (23-2) in Saturday’s 6:15 championship game.

SH 4 4 17 11 – 36

CP 17 16 12 13 – 58

SACRED HEART (21-4)—Elmore 4-6 0-2 8, Leners 1-2 0-0 2, Skidmore 6-12 3-5 16, Palen 1-1 0-0 2, Caleb Jordan 1-7 0-0 2, Turpin 1-1 1-2 3, Tate Herrenbruck 0-5 0-0 0, Anderson 0-0 1-2 1, Totals 14-34 5-11 36.

CENTRAL PLAINS (25-0)—Liebl 10-13 7-7 27, Menges 2-2 6-10 11, Barton 5-9 0-0 10,Hickel 4-7 0-0 8, Devin Ryan 1-3 0-0 2, Totals 22-34 13-17 58.

3-pointers—SH 3-18 (Palen 1-1, Jordan 1-5, Skidmore 1-7, Elmore 0-1, Herrenbruck 0-4), CP 1-5 (Menges 1-1, Ryan 0-2, Hickel 0-2). Rebounds—SH 14 (Elmore 3), CP 23 (Barton 6, Liebl 6). Assists—SH 1 (Elmore 1), CP 10 (Ryan 5). Steals—SH 5 (Skidmore 2), CP 4. TO—SH 14, CP 11.