Kansas high school player flagrantly shoved mid-dunk

Fort Hays, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE Saturday, 7:40 p.m.

Thomas Atkins for Hanover says he shook hands with the Centralia player who shoved him following Friday's game and says he is putting the incident behind him.

Eyewitness News spoke to the player before the championship game between Hanover and South-Gray Saturday.

"I feel like it's over now," said Atkins, "There's nothing we could about it."

John Blazek, who selects referees for the NCAA tournament, says there is no doubt the Centralia player should have been ejected.

"The number one thing I always look at is safety," he said. "When that player did that, that kid's safety was definitely in jeopardy."

Hanover took second in the state tournament, losing to South Gray Saturday 65-54.

Centralia also lost Saturday, placing fourth in the tournament.


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UPDATE Saturday, 3:50 p.m.

Eyewitness News reached out to Centralia's superintendent who declined to comment on the incident or the penalties for the player.

The principal of the high school also declined to comment and initially restricted access to head coach Cole Alderfer.

After some pressing, Eyewitness News was able to make contact with Alderfer during Saturday's game where he declined to comment and directed all questions back to school administration.

Number 10 for Centralia did compete during Saturday's competition.

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In the spirit of competition, things often get heated when it means a state championship is on the line.

That is exactly what happened during the Kansas Class 1A-DI state semifinals Friday night.

Hanover High School competed against Centralia for the opportunity to advance, but sometime during the third quarter, a player for Centralia shoved Hanover’s Thomas Atkins into the padded upright of the basketball goal.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, the aggresive move did not mean an ejection for the Centralia player.

Number 10 was charged with a flagrant foul. Atkins left the game for a time but later returned. Atkins also led the team in scoring, picking up 18 despite the brief injury.

In this video you can see Atkins going up for the slam, then the Centralia player uses both hands to shove him into the hoop's stanchion.

You can hear the crowd's dismay with the play in the video. Teammates of Atkins maintained their composure and never entered the court to address the Centralia player.

Warning, some videos may contain colorful language.


Hanover won the game Friday and advanced to the finals Saturday to face South Gray.

Centralia faced off against St. John Saturday afternoon for 3rd place.