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St. John completes three-peat, beats Central Plains 49-44 to claim Class 2A state championship
spt jm CP Oilers second
Runners up Central Plains Oilers at the Class 2A state tournament in Manhattan. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune

MANHATTAN – The championship matchup between defending Class 2A state champion St. John High School and arch-rival Central Plains was an old-fashioned street battle – brother-against-brother.
The Central Prairie League rivals faced each other seven times the past two seasons. Back-and-forth it went with six ties and 10 lead changes.
The St. John Tigers survived the Oilers’ best shot with a 49-44 championship win Saturday that clinched a back-to-back Class 2A title and third consecutive state basketball victory.
The game swung the Tigers’ way in a 38-38 tie after Central Plains coach Brett Rolfs was tagged with a technical for inappropriate language after a foul was called with 2:55 left.
Kansas State recruit Dean Wade and Cole Kinnamon each made a free throw and Wade converted an inside basket for a 42-38 lead and a 4-point trip.
The Oilers never earned another chance to tie.
Wade countered baskets by Oilers Braedan Crites and Jacob Warnken and two free throws by Crites with five more points for a 47-42 lead with 15 seconds left.
“What a great championship game. That was one of best high school games I’ve ever been a part of,” said St. John coach Clint Kinnamon. “They have a fantastic team. Both teams made runs and stops. They know how to win. They brought their game.
“It’s just amazing. Not many people get to end their high school career where they are going to play college basketball,” Wade said. “It was bittersweet. It was my last time playing with my friends I grew up playing with.  
“Emotions are flying (high). It was awesome. You could not go out any better than the way I did. I have the upmost respect for Central Plains ever since we played them last year. It’s the best rivalry I’ve ever been a part of. It’s the most intense games I’ve ever been a part of.”
Kinnamon said Wade will be a solid player for Kansas State.
“Dean does things the right way,” Kinnamon said. “That is his personality. That will be a fantastic thing for Kansas State. He’s a high character kid. When your best player is your hardest worker, that breeds success for your team.”
The Oilers (22-4) lost three times to St. John, but delivered a classic performance. The Oilers knocked down five 3-pointers the first half, a trio by Layne Bieberle and two by Warnken for a 25-23 lead.
Crites delivered the second half with 13 of his team high 17 points. Warnken scored 12 and Bieberle 11, but they combined for just one point the second half against the Tigers’ man-to-man defense.
“We went all out and gave it everything we had,” Bieberle said. “We just came up short. We definitely put it all on the line.”


SJ                              10  13  8  18 — 49
CP                             10  15  7  12 — 44
St. John
Dean Wade 10-16 7-9 28; Cole Kinnamon 4-11 5-6 13; Jorge Calleros 1-3 0-1 2; Jacob Milton 1-4 0-0 2; Alexis Valenzuela 1-1 0-0 2; Chase Fisher 1-2 0-0 2; Gera Calleros 0-5 0-0 0; Quincy Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 18-43 12-16 49.
Central Plains
Braeden Crites 6-12 5-6 17; Jacob Warnken 5-9 0-1 12; Layne Bieberle 4-9 0-0 11; Michael Ryan 0-1 2-2 2; Hunter Ingham 1-5 0-1 2; Michael Lamatsch 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 16-37 7-10 44.
3-point goals—SJ 1-8(Wade 1-1, G. Calleros 0-2, Kinnamon 0-4, Smith 0-1), CP 5-15(Bieberle 3-6, Warnken 2-2, Crites 0-3, Ryan 0-1, Lamatsch 0-1, Ingham 0-1; Rebounds—SJ 32 (Wade 13, Fisher 4, G. Calleros 3, Milton 3, Valenzuela 2, Kinnamon 1, Long 1), CP 19 (Crites 6, Ingham 4, Bieberle 2, Warnken 2, Lamatsch 2, Ryan 1); Assists—SJ 3 (G. Calleros 1, Kinnamon 1, J. Calleros 1), CP 5 (Lamatsch 2, Ingham 1, Bieberle 1, Crites 1); Turnovers— SJ 6 (G. Calleros 2, Kinnamon 1, J. Calleros 1, Milton 1, Fisher 1), CP 7 (Bieberle 3, Crites 1, Warnken 1, Ryan 1, Lamatsch 1), Steals—SJ 4 (Kinnamon 2, G. Calleros 1, Milton 1), CP 3 (Crites 1, Bieberle 1, Warnken 1), Blocks— SJ 2 (G. Calleros), CP 2 (Bieberle).