By JIM MISUNAS
CLAFLIN — Emily Ryan’s senior campaign at Central Plains has delivered another record-breaking basketball season for the 24-0 Oilers. Last year’s seniors ended with a 105-0 career record. The senior quintet of Ryan, Addison Crites, Rachel Lamatsch, Zoe Potter and Delaney Rugan is 103-0.
The Oilers’ six-year run of state basketball championships is unprecedented. The Oilers’ own a state-record 41-game postseason streak. A 135-game winning streak dates back to a 66-58 loss to Ellinwood. The 135-game girls winning streak is ranked third nationally all-time.
The first season in 2012-2013 for Central Plains coach Pat Stiles finished with a 2A substate 58-54 loss to Sterling eight years ago. Stiles owns a 200-4 record in eight years.
“That first year, it was a crushing substate loss and I felt responsible,” Stiles said.
The next year ended with Taylor Rolfs converting a 2A state championship winning basket against Jefferson North 47-45.
The Oiler Magic has begun.
“The next year we won state was a surprise because we were a young team,” Stiles said. “We battled to the finals and found a way to win a title.”
That young Oiler team defeated Moundridge 46-33 and Olpe 62-51 the next two years for 2A state championships.
It was Ryan’s freshman season in 2016-2017 when coach Stiles realized what was about to happen.
“We had a freshman class that battled an experienced varsity team every day in practice,” Stiles said. “Emily Ryan surprised some people. But that freshman class did not back down from a challenge.”
Stiles said the players take ownership for how the program is run.
“I’m very blessed and privileged to coach these girls. They are self motivated to do things the right way, from the weight room, to the classroom to the gym,” Stiles said. “The girls teach that mentality. They come out focused every day and every game. When they need to, they find a second gear.”
Iowa State signee Emily Ryan (29 ppg, 6.7 apg, 5.8 spg) is a fierce defensive player and expert ballhandler. She shooting 70 percent on 2-pointers and 44 percent on 3-pointers.
“Coach Stiles puts us in position to succeed. We trust him,” Ryan said. “Whatever he says usually works. Coach has high standards. We don’t want to disappoint him.”
Ryan said the Oilers work to give their best effort every day.
“It’s impossible to play your best basketball every time, but we try our best,” she said. “We prepare ourselves to focus every game. We live in the moment as much as we can. It’s always about us as a team. We have fun in every thing we do. We enjoy being around each other.”
Rugan has developed into a fierce defensive player, starting as a freshman when the ninth-graders competed against a savvy veteran team.
“The upperclassmen helped push us to compete because our varsity was very good,” she said. “My job is to get into passing lanes and makes things happen.”
Rugan said coach Jim Ryan taught the girls to be competitive from an early age.
“We love to compete. We gave it our all every day,” Rugan said. “It’s been a great ride, a lot of fun. During the games, it’s the best feeling in the world. We support each other and play the game the right way.”
The Oilers open the 1A state tournament against Ingalls (15-8) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Dodge City.
The Oilers are better statistically from last year when they set state records for scoring margin (49.2) and defense (24.5). This year, the Oilers (77.6 ppg) are winning by 57.4 ppg and yield 20.2 ppg.
CENTRAL PLAINS OILERS
2—Rachel Lamatsch 5-2, G, 12
3—Brynna Hammeke, 5-6, G, 9
5—Kassidy Nixon, 5-8, G, 10
10—Delaney Rugan, 5-6, G, 12
11—Emily Ryan, 5-9, PG, 12
13—Lexi Oeser, 5-7, G, 11
14—Monica Short, 5-3, G, 11
15—Kyla Metro, 5-4, G, 9
21—Callie Zink, 5-2, G, 11
23—Jennah Jeffrey, 5-7, G, 11
24—Addison Crites, 5-11, C, 12
40—Zoe Potter, 5-5, G, 12
OILERS BY THE NUMBERS
*girls state records
*136—most consecutive wins
*90.9%—20-2 state tournament record
*74.6 FG%—Ness City (44-59)
*57.1—margin of victory (current)
*21.2 ppg—defensive average (current)
*6—most consecutive state titles
*5—most undefeated state titles
*41—most consecutive postseason wins
176-1—Oiler record past seven seasons
EMILY RYAN BY THE NUMBERS
3,007 points—third all-time (Jackie Stiles 3,603; Laurie Koehn 3,160)
703 assists—second all-time (Shalee Lehning 804)
599 steals—first all-time
90.4 FT%—second all-time (Taylor Robertson 90.5)
GIRLS ALL-TIME WIN STREAKS
135—Central Plains Oilers—2016-2020
CENTRAL PLAINS GIRLS (36-14)
18 STATE TRIPS (8-0 FINALS)
2020—1A—Central Plains (24-0) vs. Ingalls (15-8)
2019—1A—Central Plains 76, South Gray 28; Central Plains 76, Thunder Ridge 38; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 52, Hanover 34; Coach—Pat Stiles
2018—2A—Central Plains 55, Inman 30; Central Plains 60, Hill City 35; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 48, Valley Heights 32; Coach—Pat Stiles
2017—2A—Central Plains 60, Chase County 30; Central Plains 53, Valley Falls 41; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 60, Alma-Wabaunsee 48; Coach—Pat Stiles
2016—2A—Central Plains 48, Pittsburg Colgan 24; Central Plains 53, Hill City 47; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 62, Olpe 51; Coach—Pat Stiles
2015—2A—Central Plains 62, Alma-Wabaunsee 52; Central Plains 64, Meade 51; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 46, Moundridge 33; Coach—Pat Stiles
2014—2A—Central Plains 47, Pittsburg Colgan 38; Central Plains 60, Meade 45; CHAMPIONSHIP—Central Plains 47, Jefferson North 45; Coach—Pat Stiles
2012—2A—Central Plains 46, Oakley 35; Olpe 57, Central Plains 46; THIRD PLACE—Republic County 48, Central Plains 47
2007—1A—Centralia 43, Claflin 30
2006—1A—Claflin 44, Pike Valley 17; Claflin 54, Golden Plains 45; CHAMPIONSHIP—Claflin 47, Greensburg 35; Coach—Toby Holmes
2005—1A—Claflin 68, Jetmore 39; Claflin 50, Greensburg 30; CHAMPIONSHIP—Claflin 68, Wetmore 54; Coach—Toby Holmes
2004—1A—Claflin 54, Sedan 52; Sublette 65, Claflin 47; THIRD PLACE—Hoxie 65, Claflin 47
1997—1A—Claflin 69, Olpe 44; Centralia 56, Claflin 51; THIRD PLACE—Weskan 104, Claflin 74
1996—1A—Pretty Prairie 78, Claflin 74
1995—1A—Claflin 59, Hope 52; Marais Des Cygnes Valley 61, Claflin 48; THIRD PLACE—Logan 79, Claflin 76
1994—1A—Claflin 65, Wetmore 52; Logan 81, Claflin 78; THIRD PLACE—Claflin 62, Hutchinson Trinity 60
1987—1A—Quivira Heights 57, Grainfield-Wheatland 56, OT; Spearville 62, Quivira Heights 59; THIRD PLACE—Quivira Heights 58, Burrton 44
1983—1A—Claflin 46, Centralia 44; Grainfield-Wheatland 62, Claflin 38; THIRD PLACE—Frontenac 46, Claflin 30