Rick Zych has been around Bishop Miege basketball long enough to watch colleague Terry English win nine of his 20 state championships with the Miege girls basketball team.
The last two years, Zych has been right there with him. The Miege boys have now won back-to-back Class 4A-Division titles for the first time in program history.
Zych is The Star’s boys basketball coach of the year after winning that state championship and an Eastern Kansas League title.
Zych, in his 20th year overall at Miege and third season since returning from a two-year stint at Park Hill South, managed a trio that averaged double digits in scoring and four or more rebounds each. Sophomore Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and senior Francesco Badocchi each scored 13.9 points per game, while senior Semaj Ray averaged 10.6 ppg.
Miege’s balance and size was so oppressive that the team’s average margin of victory was 19 points. In two victories over Blue Valley Northwest, Miege (22-3) held a team that won the Class 6A title this season and averaged 68 points a game to under 60 points in each contest.
“A big part of our season, with our schedule, we play a tough schedule all year. It really had us battle-tested,” said Zych, who has won four state titles at Miege. “When we got to the state tournament, we had played most of the best teams in the state. ... Sometimes we’ll get behind the eight ball a little bit and it’s crunch time, but we’ve been there before.”