The Mid-Continent League Tournament in Hays usually boast some of the top talent in northwest Kansas each season. The 2013 edition is no exception. The top four seeds (two on the boys side, two on the girls) a combined 38-2 this season. And the number one seeds in both brackets (Phillipsburg boys and Smith Center girls), came into the the tournament with unblemished records. On the boys side the Panthers last won the tourament title in 1975, the Railers in 1996, the Redmen in 2008 and the Cardinals are the two time defending champs. On the girls side the Lady Railers last won in 2007, the Lady Bulldogs in 2008, the Lady Jays in 2009 and the Lady Red won one season ago.
Boys Semifinal: Phillipsburg 71, Ellis 49
Phillipsburg started the game on a 14-2 run. But Ellis battled back ending first quarter on a 7-0 run of its own. Railers kept the run going to start the second quarter, and where able to hang with the Panthers in the second quarter even out scoring them 15-14. The Railers pulled within a point with two minutes to go in the second quarter, but Ellis found it's self still down four at the break. The game tied at 28 with seven minutes left in the third quarter, but a 6-0 run by Pburg pushed the lead back up to double digits. The forth quarter belonged to the Panthers as they out scored the Railers 18-11. Sean Newlan had 20 for Phillipsburg to lead all scorers. Braydyn Werth was the only Railer in double figures with 10.
Boys Semifinal: Plainville 60, Smith Center 52
The number two seed team in the tournament got quite a scare in it's semifinal, as Plainville watched Smith Center close the first quarter on a 12-3 run. But the Cardinals found answers in quarter number two, outscoring the Redmen 27-15 and taking a two point lead into the half. In the second half, Plainville played slowdown basketball to keep the lead. And more imporantly their hit their free throws when it counted. P'ville stretched the lead to six after three quarters and then eight to finish the game. Hadley Gillim lead the Cardinals with 24 points. Taylor Zabel had 15 for the Redmen.
Girls Semifinal: Smith Center 41, Norton Community 36
In the first game of the day, the Smith Center Girls remained undefeated on the season, but it was not easy. The Norton Community girls lead by one at the half, and five after three quarters. But the Lady Red battled back, out scoring the Lady Jays 16-6 in the final quarter. Smith Center got a big boost from Syndey Benoit who played sparingly in the third quarter due to foul trouble. She finished the game with 17 points for the Lady Red. Tawni Griffey lead Norton Community with 21 points.
Girls Semifinal: Ellis 63, Osborne 40
Ellis jumped out to a 6-0 lead. But Osborne battle to stay in it, just a two point game after one quarter. Lady Railers started to open things up in quarter number two, stretching the lead to 10 at the break. Things really started to get away from Osborne in the third quarter, as Ellis outscored them 16-10. The lead would grow to as many as 24 before both teams emptied their benches.
It will be a full day of basketball on Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, with eight games on the menu. The match-ups look like this:
Girls Seventh Place Game: Phillipsburg vs Stockton 9 am
Boys Seventh Place Game: Hill City vs Trego Community 10:30 am
Girls Consolation Finals: Plainville vs Hill City noon
Boys Consolation Finals: Stockton vs Norton Community 1:30 pm
Girls Third Place Game: Osborne vs Norton Community 3 pm
Boys Third Place Game: Ellis vs Smith Center 4:30 pm
Girls Championship: Smith Center vs Ellis 6 pm
Boys Championship: Phillipsburg vs Plainville 7:30 pm