St. Paul Seabury Academy’s boys basketball team is headed to state.
The Seahawks qualified for their first trip to the Class 1A-DI tournament by defeating top-seeded Waverly, 58-42, on Saturday night in the sub-state final.
And it wasn’t easy. Two of the Seahawks’ starters, Thomas Diaz and Georgi Funtarov, and their sixth man, Marcus Allen, picked up their second fouls in the first quarter.
“That really hamstrung us,” Seabury coach Ashley Battles said, “so we had to survive in the first half and get to the second half, regroup, reaffirm our game plan and just execute it. We understood that was part of what we were going to see. We were prepared for it.”
The Seahawks clung to a 28-24 halftime lead, then outscored Waverly 19-8 in the third quarter for a 47-32 edge.
Khadre Lane led Seabury with 20 points, including 12 in the third quarter. None of the foul-plagued Seahawks fouled out, and Diaz finished with 15 points and Funtarov with 12.
“We picked up the defense,” Battles said about Seabury’s second-half surge. “We were able to regroup defensively.”
Seabury improved to 12-10 and ended Waverly’s season at 18-4. The Seahawks will begin play in the Class 1A-DI tournament Wednesday in Emporia.
“We are amped, no question about it,” Battles said. “It’s something we definitely didn’t take for granted, but we did expect to get to state. We’re a 1A school, but our schedule is certainly not a 1A schedule. We’ve played 6A schools. We’ve played 5A schools. We were prepared.”