GODDARD — For the second consecutive year, St. John basketball coach Clint Kinnamon and his son Cole are celebrating an MAYB National Basketball Championship.
The Central Kansas Elite basketball team edged the Kansas Padres 66-64 in Sunday’s championship game at Goddard Eisenhower High School. Central Kansas Elite featured Nebraska-Omaha signee Matt Pile from Goddard Eisenhower and Fort Hays signee Nyjee Wright from Derby.
Last year, Cole Kinnamon’s last-second 3-point game-winner clinched the 2016 MAYB National Championship at Goddard. Kinnamon’s double pump 3-pointer was featured on ESPN and FOX Sports, garnering the third-best play on ESPN’s Top 10.
Maize assistant coach Scott Bugbee helped the Central Kansas Elite team add a few team-oriented players to its tournament roster when a few Elite players elected to play for other teams at nationals.
Maize’s Tyson Love missed the tournament with an appendectomy. St. John’s Jorge Calleros played some games with Central Kansas Elite earlier in the season.
“We had a talented basketball team that found ways to win games,” Kinnamon said. “Our guys competed at a very high level.”
Kinnamon and Wright, two superb passers, keyed a fast-paced offense that shot the 3-pointer accurately.
“Our guys played incredibly well together, No team shared the basketball better than our guys,” Kinnamon said. “It’s a credit to their high school coaches that they understood how to share the basketball and play the game. Our goal was to get as good a shot as we could work for.”
In one game, Circle’s Cal Hartley converted six consecutive 3-pointers.
“Our big guys Matt Pile and James Caldwell had fun playing because they knew they’d get chances to touch the basketball when they got open,” Kinnamon said. “We had good players who were good defenders.”
Central Kansas Elite opened a 12-point lead when the Padres, led by Wichita Collegiate’s Cody McNerney, Wichita Heights’ Devin Davis, and McPherson’s Mason Alexander, rallied.
It likely marked the last time that coach Kinnamon would coach one of his sons.
Kinnamon’s sons, Kade (Fort Hays State) and Cole (Cowley College) each played for two state high school championship teams at St. John. Cole converted a 35-foot game-winner to win a six-overtime Class 2A semifinal game against Lawrence Seabury this spring.
‘Kind of a bittersweet end to the day,” Kinnamon posted on Twitter. “Went out winning, but probably last game of coaching Cole.”
The craziest finish saw Central Kansas Elite lead 71-61 over Midwest Flight with 6:27 left when the losing team quit after drawing its fifth and sixth technical fouls of a semifinal game at Goddard High School. Central Kansas was prepared to shoot six free throws when Midwest Flight left the court.
Kinnamon said the unsportmanlike conduct was something he had never witnessed.
“I never have I ever seen anything like that,” Kinnamon said. “Honestly, the amount of disrespect their kids and coach showed towards the officials was just wrong on so many levels.”
Midwest Flight featured former Miege all-stater 7-foot-2 Bol Bol, who has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and Arizona. Midwest Flight drew standing-room only crowds Friday and Saturday.
“In some ways, it was kind of disrespectful to our kids a little bit becuase it was like, ‘Well, we’re getting beat by guys we shouldn’t lose to, so we’re going to take our ball and go home,’ ” Kinnamon said.
CENTRAL KANSAS ROSTER
Tyrell Andrews, Wichita Heights
Grant Bugbee, Maize
James Caldwell, Wichita East
Cal Hartley, Circle
Cole Kinnamon, St. John
Ian King, Wellington
Matt Pile, Eisenhower
Dylan Vincent, Eisenhower
Nyjee Wright, Derby
CENTRAL KANSAS ELITE (7-0)
CK Elite 53-38 Boykins Academy, Colo.
CK Elite 79-30 Texas Blue Devils
CK Elite 72-29 Family Piranhaz
CK Elite 73-43 Will Power, Mo.
CK Elite 80-61 Kansas Select
CK Elite 71-61 Midwest Flight, Mo.
CK Elite 66-64 Wichita Padres