Oilers achieve state history
BY JIM MISUNAS
MANHATTAN — When the Central Plains boys captured the school district’s first-ever boys basketball championship, the Oilers completed a rare sweep with two unbeaten champions. The Oilers return four starters on both the boys and girls championship teams.
A pair of unbeaten state basketball champions has happened one other time. The Oilers finished with 26-0 records to match the Wichita Heights Class 6A sweep in 2011.
OILER BOYS — The Oilers swept past Inman 58-32, defending state champion Salina Sacred Heart 58-36 and Pittsburg St. Mary’s Colgan 47-34 in the championship game. Claflin High School lost in two state finals and the Oilers lost to 2A champion St. John in 2015.
Sports in Kansas named point guard Devin Ryan as 2A’s Outstanding Player. Point guard Devin Ryan expertly handled the Oilers’ offense and shut down the opposing team’s best scorer in the semifinals and finals with perfect denial defense. Ryan shut out Pittsburg Colgan’s Jeremiah Buche in an 0 of 8 shooting night. Ryan held Sacred Heart’s all-time leading scorer Caleb Jordan to three points on 1 of 7 shooting.
“We hang our hat on defense,” said Central Plains coach Brett Rolfs. “That’s where everything starts.”
Ryan scored 11 points in the finals with five assists and three steals. Ryan scored a season high 25 points against Inman.
Four starters return, giving the Oilers promise of improvement next season. Central Plains Brett Liebl scored 47 points in three tourney games. Alex Hickel, Myles Menges, and Alex Barton round out a perfectly balanced lineup that returns everyone but Barton and reserve Brady Short. Rseerves Jerred Bieberle, JJ Heredia, Brett Thompson and Tyler Holmes will develop.
Also named on the 2A all-tournament team were Colgan’s Buche, West Elk’s Cade Miller and Salina Sacred Heart’s Charlie Skidmore.
OILER GIRLS — The Oilers finished a dominant state tournament by beating Inman 55-30, Hill City 60-35 and Valley Heights 48-32. The Oilers graduate Julie Donecker.
“I never thought the girls would’ve accomplished this, but they surprised me,” said Central Plains coach Pat Stiles. “We went to summer camp at Pittsburg State and really showed we’d be competitive.”
Sports in Kansas selected all-stater Emily Ryan as 2A’s Outstanding Player. She averaged 28 ppg during the three-game swing. Ryan accounted for 25 points, seven assists, six blocks and eight rebounds in the clinching 48-32 victory over Blue Rapids-Valley Heights. Ryan shut down Valley Heights’ Kayla Smith, holding her to four points. In the semifinals, Ryan limited Hill City’s Conner Keith to four points and 3 of 12 shooting.
Sports in Kansas named Ryan as “the most complete player in Kansas this season on both ends of the floor.”
Ryan, Rachel Lamatsch, Delaney Rugan and Avery Hurley are returning starters. Key reserves Addison Crites, Rebecca Stratmann, Rylee Cunningham, Zoe Potter and Jennah Jeffrey also return.
Central Plains Delany Rugan joined Olpe’s Brianna Vogts, Kayla Smith of Valley Heights and Hill City’s Conner Keith on the all-tournament team. Vogts scored 76 points.
2A STATE, MANHATTAN GIRLS
FIRST—Central Plains 47, Valley Heights 34
THIRD—Olpe 60, Hill City 40
Central Plains 60, Hill City 35
Valley Heights 63, Olpe 59 (OT)
Central Plains 55, Inman 30
Hill City 50, Pittsburg Colgan 49
Olpe 56, Spearville 32
Valley Hts. 50, West Elk 33
FIRST—Central Plains 47, Pittsburg Colgan 34
THIRD—Sacred Heart 53, West Elk 44
Pittsburg Colgan 64, West Elk 53
Central Plains 58, Sacred Heart 36
Howard-West Elk 56, Stanton Co. 46
Pittsburg Colgan 54, Plainville 47
Central Plains 58, Inman 42
Salina Sacred Heart 53, Burlingame 40
CPlains ... 8-0 26-0
St. John.. 7-1 16-7
Otis-Bison 5-3 15-7
LaCrosse 5-3 11-11
Kinsley ... 4-4 11-11
Victoria ... 4-4 7-14
Macksville 2-6 8-13
Ellinwood 1-7 1-20
Ness City 0-8 0-21
CPlains ... 8-0 26-0
Macksville 6-2 18-5
Ness City 6-2 17-5
St. John.. 6-2 19-6
LaCrosse 4-4 11-10
Victoria ... 3-5 5-16
Otis-Bison 2-6 12-11
Ellinwood 1-7 2-19
Kinsley ... 0-8 3-18