The high school rendering of March Madness concluded last week. Five teams from Kansas City captured state basketball championships.
Let’s take a look back on their respective accomplishments.
Blue Valley Northwest, Kansas Class 6A boys
Blue Valley Northwest won its first state title in 2013, completing an unbeaten season. The Huskies have made it a regular occurrence ever since.
They won their fourth Kansas Class 6A championship in the past six seasons, with a 51-40 victory against Lawrence Free State in the final. Joe Pleasant scored a team-high 19 points and made five free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
That capped a turnaround that started in January. Blue Valley Northwest lost four of its first eight games this season.
The Huskies not only won their final 17 games; they defeated every in-state opponent by double digits.
All four state titles have come under Ed Fritz, who picked up his 600th career coaching victory in January.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Kansas Class 5A girls
That’s a three-peat for St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Saints (23-2) led wire to wire in their 54-40 championship victory against Bishop Carroll, with Molly Hartnett (14 points), Blythe Pearson (13) and Allison Thomas (10) scoring in double figures.
But the success of the season came on the other end of the floor. The Saints allowed only one team to score more than 40 points against them.
The only blip of the year came in the opening week of January, when they lost back-to-back games by a combined four points. But they responded with an 18-game winning streak to close out the season.
Grandview, Missouri Class 4 boys
The first state championship in Grandview boys basketball program history came with a victory against a longtime rival.
Grandview beat Raytown South 81-63 — only the second Missouri boys state title matchup since 1977 to feature two Kansas City schools —after the two teams split matchups during the regular season and shared the Suburban Blue Conference crown.
Northwestern-bound point guard Jordan Lathon led all scorers with 24 points in the championship game.
Senior Mason Taylor averaged a team-best 15.7 points per game for the season, with Deandre Sorrells at 14.8 per game. The Bulldogs finished the year 28-3.
Bishop Miege, Kansas Class 4A Division I boys
It’s a dynasty at Bishop Miege, which defeated McPherson 57-54 for its third straight Class 4A Division I state championship.
The Stags (22-3) managed only 14 points in the initial half but outscored McPherson 20-5 in the third quarter. Spencer Jones had a game-best 23 points.
Robinson-Earl had 18 points and 11 rebounds. He averaged 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Senior Ezekiel Lopes scored 14.0 points per outing this season.
Robinson-Earl, the son of former KU forward Lester Earl, was named the Kansas Gatorade player of the year. He is the 15th-ranked player in his junior class, per Rivals.com.
Hogan Prep, Missouri Class 3 boys
A year after falling in the semifinals, Hogan Prep eked out back-to-back victories to take home the Missouri Class 3 championship.
It was an emotional celebration on the court afterward. Hogan Prep dedicated its season to Roosevelt Cooper, a 2017 graduate who was shot and killed last August. The players held up Cooper’s jersey during the trophy presentation.
“It was a great moment because he told us last year when we lost that we’d be back, and he said he’d be in the front row cheering us on,” Daniels said. “He predicted it all along. It was great to do it for him.”
Daniels led the team with 20 points in the 63-58 championship victory against Charleston.