Mill Valley became the first school in Kansas history to win the Class 5A championship in football and boys basketball in the same school year, outlasting Kapaun Mount Carmel 87-84 in overtime on Saturday in the hoops state title game.
The connection between both of those teams is senior Logan Koch, who was the starting quarterback on the football team in the fall and the Jaguars’ heart and soul on the basketball court.
After winning his second state championship in less than four months, Koch darted straight to the Mill Valley masses to celebrate with the students.
“All of the coaches yelling, all of the running,” Koch said. “I’ve been working with the football and basketball players since who knows how long, since fourth grade probably. This is just awesome.”
Overtime didn’t appear necessary when Mill Valley opened the first half torching the nets, scoring 44 points on 71-percent shooting to open up a seven-point lead. But clutch performances from Chris Meitzner, who finished with 35 points, two short of the state tournament record, and Brock Monty, who scored 23 points, brought Kapaun back into the game.
Mill Valley held a 74-69 lead with 58 seconds remaining, but Monty was there to drill a three-pointer. After Clayton Holmberg split free throws, Monty again delivered a dagger with another three-pointer to tie the game with 26 seconds left that resulted in overtime.
“They had to earn this,” Kapaun coach John Cherne said. “They truly had to earn it. We gave them absolutely everything we had. We took every punch they had. We just came up a little short.”
Mill Valley led throughout overtime and protected the lead by making free throws. Koch and Cooper Kaifes delivered four straight free throws, then Jaison Widmer came up with a block on a potential game-tying three-pointer by Meitzner with seven seconds left.
Widmer preserved the victory with two more free throws.
“That was the best game I’ve ever played in,” Kaifes said. “That was such a crazy finish, but we were able to find a way to win.”
Mill Valley won on the depth of a starting lineup that produced double-digit scorers in Kaifes (22 points), Holmberg (19), Widmer (13), and Koch (10).
“This feels incredible,” Holmberg said. “We put in the work every single day for the last four years and this is it. It all paid off today.”