MCPHERSON Free State's reward for beating one tough team is a game against an even tougher one.
The Firebirds' boys basketball squad defeated Maize, 72-61, on Thursday in the McPherson Invitational to earn a match against undefeated Shawnee Mission East (8-0). The Firebirds (5-4) will meet East at 6:30 tonight in the semifinals.
Free State High's home basketball games against Shawnee Mission East that were postponed last Friday have been rescheduled. The girls will entertain the Lancers at 7 p.m. Monday, and the boys will play host to SM East on Feb. 3 at a time to be announced. Lawrence High's boys basketball game at Olathe South, also wiped out by last Friday's icy weather, has been reset for 7 p.m. on Feb. 10.
"We played really well tonight," Free State coach Chuck Law said. "Maize is a really good team. We put 32 minutes of basketball together."
Kris Wilson led the Firebirds with 18 points, and Christian Ballard had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Schreiner added 15 points, and Weston Wiebe scored 12.
"Kris Wilson was very, very good," Law said, "and Christian Ballard was a very dominant presence inside."
SM East was a 75-66 winner against Hutchinson in the first round.
"It's a great atmosphere," Law said. "It's one of the great high school tournaments the state has to offer. It'll be a great challenge for us."