Wristen: Substate tournament is a must-see
Clear your calendars now, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the action.
Unless you have to work or have other hard-pressed obligations you can’t get away from, you need to find your way to Basehor-Linwood High School for the Class 4A substate basketball tournament.
Class 6A, 5A, 3A, 2A, 1A … heck, even the other Class 4A venues have nothing on the Basehor-Linwood substate basketball tournament this year. It is arguably the toughest substate in any class in Kansas, and the winner will be the odds-on favorite to win the state championship.
These games are taking place in our own backyard, so we can have the best seat in the house to the most talked-about boys substate tournament in Kansas.
All eyes will be on the BLHS gym to see how things shake out. Your Bobcats — the reigning Class 4A state champions — enter as the No. 1 ranked team in the state in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll. Sumner Academy comes in as the No. 3 team in the state.
St. James Academy — you may remember the scare the Thunder gave BLHS in the title game of the Basehor-Linwood Invitational — is ranked No. 10 and probably deserves to be higher. Plus, Piper and Eudora enter with records above .500. De Soto’s not too shabby, either, despite its 9-10 record.
The girls’ tournament has a stellar field as well. St. James is the top seed, and the Thunder are ranked No. 7 in the state after winning 10 of their last 12 games.
No other teams in the girls’ bracket are ranked, but they are so evenly matched in terms of record and talent that every pairing should be a toss-up. Baldwin, Sumner, Basehor and Bishop Ward — the second through fifth seeds — all have 12 or 13 wins apiece, and No. 6 seed Piper only has 10 wins because it was forced to forfeit three victories earlier in the year. Simply put, it’s an extremely balanced field.
Thanks to the seeding of both the boys and girls brackets falling into place nicely, Basehor will play host to both of its first-round games on Tuesday. The girls tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m. If the games go as planned, then there’s a good chance BLHS will resemble Allen Fieldhouse on Big Monday later in the week, with students practically camping out for seats and fans lined up deep into the parking lot just to get in.
It’s not often that we’ve seen the Bobcats in a substate field as talent-heavy as it is this year. The fact that the games will be played here is a privilege, and it’s one you don’t want to miss.