Archive for Thursday, December 10, 2009

Metro Prep Classic tips off today in Bonner Springs

Tourney includes some of top talent in Kansas City area

December 10, 2009

It began as a vision by former Bonner Springs High School activities director Garold Baker.

Baker has since moved on as the AD at Turner High School, but that vision — long since evolved into action — of a high-profile boys and girls basketball tournament in Bonner Springs remains. In fact, it has continued to thrive under second-year BSHS activities director John Hilton’s leadership.

The Metro Prep Classic tips off for the sixth consecutive year at 3 p.m. today. It will run through Saturday, weather permitting, in the BSHS gymnasium and the YMCA gymnasium.

The boys field is a bit thin on talent compared to previous seasons, and the only participant included in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s preseason rankings is Class 5A No. 2 Bishop Miege.

Others expected to challenge Miege for the title include Lansing and Shawnee Heights, both of which advanced to the Class 5A state tournament last year.

The Stags, though, are rich with gifted players — including standout point guard Trevor Releford — and are the favorite to win a fourth straight Metro Prep championship.

Other teams in the boys’ field are Atchison, Lawrence Free State, BSHS, Valley Center and Topeka Seaman.

The girls’ tournament field is stacked with some of the area’s top talent and could present marquee matchups before the tournament’s final day.

Three teams that advanced to the Class 5A state tournament last season — Bishop Miege, Shawnee Heights and Lansing — are in this year’s field. Miege won the state championship. Heights is the defending Metro Prep champion, having beat Miege in the finals, 35-34. Lansing is the reigning Kaw Valley League champion.

Also returning to the field is Topeka Seaman, which is ranked No. 8 in the KBCA preseason poll (Miege is No. 1 and Heights is No. 5).

Lawrence Free State also is back for another year. Although unranked in the KBCA Class 6A poll, the Firebirds should attract interest because they have Kansas State signee Chantay Caron.

An improved Bonner Springs squad will try to throw a wrench into things when it takes on Miege in the first game of the day, and Savannah (Mo.) and Valley Center also will try to play the role of spoiler.

History of champions

BOYS

2004 — Topeka Seaman

2005 — Atchison

2006 — Bishop Miege

2007 — Bishop Miege

2008 — Bishop Miege

GIRLS

2004 — Junction City

2005 — Lawrence Free State

2006 — Junction City

2007 — Bishop Miege

2008 — Shawnee Heights

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