The Kansas state boys basketball tournament starts Wednesday and continues through Saturday at three locations. Class 6A will play in Wichita (Koch Arena), 5A in Topeka (Kansas Expocentre) and 4A Division I in Salina (Tony’s Pizza Events Center).
All state tournament brackets can be found on the KSHSAA website.
1. A challenger in Piper
Bishop Miege (19-3) will get the chance to show it’s worthy of a second straight Kansas Class 4A Division I title this weekend in Salina.
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Miege enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed, but it’s ranked first in its class by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Assocation after going 10-3 in the Eastern Kansas League. Its only league losses came at the hands of St. Thomas Aquinas twice and once to Blue Valley.
If it comes out of the bracket without incident, Miege could meet McPherson (18-4) in the finals. But No. 1 seed Piper (20-2) might a pose a threat to that matchup.
Under first-year head coach Bryan Shelley, Piper broke its 21-game losing streak to Basehor-Linwood, which had been ranked fifth in the classification by the KBCA at the time, and won the team’s first substate championship since 2013.
Piper plays Andover Central at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Salina. Miege will tip off against Louisburg at 8:15 p.m.
2. A revamped field in Class 5A
With 2016 champion Mill Valley out of the picture in the Class 5A tournament, top-ranked Eisenhower and No. 2 seed Salina Central are the only teams returning from last year’s field.
The Kansas City area will be represented in the tournament by St. Thomas Aquinas (18-4) and Schlagle (16-6). Aquinas, which is ranked second in the classification, is the lower seed in an 8:15 p.m. matchup with third-ranked Shawnee Heights (19-3) on Thursday. No. 7 seed Schlagle will play Salina Central at 3 p.m. Thursday.
3. KC-heavy 6A tourney
Top-ranked Blue Valley Northwest (19-3) has the upper hand heading into the Class 6A tournament Wednesday. It drew Garden City (11-11) in the 6:30 p.m. game and could face the winner of the Free State/Wichita South matchup in the semifinals on its way to a potential third title since 2013.
BV North (16-6) became the second Blue Valley team in the tournament after beating Blue Valley for the substate championship last week. It will face Olathe Northwest at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The boys team at Olathe Northwest had never been to the state tournament in the school’s 14-year history. Juniors Luke Waters (18 points per game) and Jackson Nicodemus (9 points per game) and sophomore Dominic Messina (9 points per game) helped transform the Ravens from a 7-14 team in 2016 to a substate champion with a 17-5 record.
4. And in Missouri …
Hogan Prep’s route to the Missouri Class 3 Final Four dates back to last March, junior Damien Daniels said. After a loss to Barstow in the district title game last season, Hogan Prep almost immediately set its sights on its next opportunity.
And it’s made the most of it so far.
The Rams, 23-6, will meet Whitfield, 21-9, in the Class 3 semifinals at 6:40 p.m. Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Daniels, the team’s leading scorer, poured in 31 points to lift Hogan Prep to a quarterfinal victory against Maryville over the weekend.
The Star’s Sam McDowell contributed to this report.