Class 4A-Division II boys tournament preview
At Hartman Arena, Park City
3 p.m.: Iola vs. Andale
No. 8 Iola (10-12) – Iola went 1-6 down the stretch, including three straight losses to close the regular season, but rebounded for sub-state victories over Prairie View and Anderson County. No player averages double-figure scoring for the Mustangs, but three average at least nine points, including leading scorer Trent Latta (9.9 points). Their last trip to the state tournament came in 1983.
No. 1 Andale (20-2) – After a 10-year absence from postseason play, Andale returns to the tournament for the second straight season. The Indians are a balanced team with six players who have been a game’s leading scorer. Forward Jeff Ast leads the team in scoring (11.9) and rebounding (7.7). Andale allowed more fewer than 50 points in all but two games, and nine opponents didn’t reach 40.
4:45 p.m.: Holton vs. Eudora
No. 5 Holton (17-5) – The Wildcats’ two top scorers are both juniors, as Garrett Beacher averages 17.9 points and Trey Tanking 15.3. Tanking (6-foot-1 guard) also leads Holton in rebounds and assists. He has scored in double figures 10 straight games, including a 32-point effort on Valentine’s Day. The previous day, Holton suffered its most recent loss, as the Wildcats have emerged from a three-game losing streak in January.
No. 4 Eudora (17-5) – Eudora enters the tournament on a six-game winning streak, its second such streak since starting 3-3. The Cardinals have topped 60 points in seven straight games, including 75 or more points three games in a row. Brothers Andrew and Mitchell Ballock, a freshman who has been offered by Creighton, combined for 41 points in Eudora’s 78-53 sub-state championship win over Osawatomie. Eudora last reached the state tournament in 1997.
6:30 p.m.: Pratt vs. Scott City
No. 7 Pratt (11-11) – If Pratt wins its first game, the Greenbacks will have their fifth streak of either winning or losing three straight. One of those was a three-game losing streak to end the regular season before Pratt beat Nickerson and Larned in sub-state. Pratt’s schedule included eight games against tournament teams. Six-foot-3 freshman guard Samson Kohman leads in scoring (15.1 points) and rebounding (7.4).
No. 2 Scott City (19-3) – Scott City, which won Class 3A titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013, is in the tournament for the fourth straight year. Trey O’Neil, a 6-foot-2 junior, averages 20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and five assists, all team bests. Fellow junior Brett Meyer ranks second in scoring and assists with a 4.6 rebounding average. The Beavers beat teams from three states – Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
8:15 p.m.: Girard vs. Concordia
No. 6 Girard (12-10) – Girard reached state every year from 2007-09, finishing no worse than third each time, but failed to capture a championship. The Trojans are a transition-oriented team that has scored 61 or more points six times since Jan. 31. Drew Davied averages 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, and Austin O’Dell (6.9) is the Trojans’ top rebounder.
No. 3 Concordia (18-4) – Concordia is making its fourth trip to state since 1984 and first since ’99. The Panthers enter on a nine-game winning streak, having ousted those opponents on average by more than 24 points and beating all but one by double digits. Coach Michael Roe says Concordia is best when everyone contributes, but brothers Grant and Cooper Holmes each average at least 20 points, accounting for two-thirds of the Panthers’ offense.
Iola-Andale winner vs. Holton-Eudora winner, 4:45 p.m.
Pratt-Scott City winner vs. Girard-Concordia winner, 8:15
Third-place game, 2 p.m.
Joanna Chadwick’s picks
Scott City over Andale