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Class 2A girls tournament preview

Published March 11 at 1:19 p.m. | Last updated March 12 at 10:29 a.m.

At Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals

3 p.m.: Pittsburg Colgan vs. Central Plains

No. 8 Pittsburg Colgan (14-9) — This is the first trip to Manhattan for the Cougars since 2010. They started 1-4, but answered by winning seven of their next eight. Colgan placed third in a league in which it is the only 2A school. The league has four 4A schools and three 3A schools. Guard Alex Minton leads a talented starting five that carries more than 80 percent of the team’s scoring. The junior averages 13.6 points.

No. 1 Central Plains (23-0) — The Oilers make their first appearance since a 2012 semifinals loss. Reagan Phelan leads with 17.5 points and four rebounds. They have dominated many of their opponents, winning by at least 30 points in 10 games. Only one win came by a margin of less than 10 points.

4:45: Meade vs. Olpe

No. 5 Meade (19-4) — This is the fourth straight season that the Buffaloes have made it to the tournament. They’ve been unable to advance past the quarterfinals. Bailey Olvera and Jaylin Stapleton lead a balanced scoring attack with 14 points and 12.5 points. Three of Meade’s four losses came at the hands of 3A state-qualifier Cimarron (21-2).

No. 4 Olpe (20-3) — The Eagles extend their remarkable tournament streak to 12. They also hold a home winning streak of more than 120 games. Olpe dropped to 1A-Division I last season and has appeared in back-to-back championship games. They lost two years ago to Jefferson North and Hoxie last season. The team returns forward Elena Flott, who averages 16 points and nine rebounds. The senior scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in last year’s championship game.

6:30: Hillsboro vs. Jefferson North

No. 7 Hillsboro (18-5) — For the first time in 40 years, Hillsboro will be making its way to the Class 2A tournament. However, this will be the fourth consecutive state tournament for the Trojans. They placed third in Class 3A in each of the previous three seasons. A dynamic scoring trio of seniors Addie Lackey and Danae Bina and sophomore Alex Ratzlaff lead the Trojans. Lackey averages 19.9 points while Bina and Ratzlaff average 13.1 and 11.8 points.

No. 2 Jefferson North (23-0) — The Chargers return to the tournament in search of another championship. They won two years ago, but fell to Smith Center in last year’s title game. Senior Jacee Kramer, who scored her 2,000th point in this year’s sub-state championship and was a 2013 All-State pick by The Eagle, leads the team with 23.6 points. This is their fourth straight trip to state and they also hold victories over Baldwin (4A), state-qualifier Nemaha Valley and Silver Lake (both 3A).

8:15: Ellis vs. Washington County

No. 6 Ellis (19-4) — The Railers are returning to the state tournament for the first time since 2009, finishing second to St. Mary’s. Sophomore Alexcia Deutscher anchors a potent offense with 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds. They also enter the week with a 12-game winning streak. Last season ended with a sub-state final loss to eventual champion Smith Center.

No. 3 Washington County (20-2) — This the first season that Washington County has qualified for the state tournament. The Tigers top three scorers are only juniors and they have four players averaging at least seven points. The season opened with a 12-game winning streak and they have won three of the last four Twin Valley League championships. Leading the way is junior Erin Alexander with 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Friday’s Semifinals

Central Plains-Pittsburg Colgan winner vs. Olpe-Meade winner, 3 p.m.

Jefferson North-Hillsboro winner vs. Washington County-Ellis winner, 6:30

Saturday’s finals

Third-place game, noon

Championship, 4 p.m.

Joanna Chadwick’s picks

Jefferson North over Olpe