Advertisement

High School Sports

High School Sports

Ashland ends Seabury’s state dream

Bishop Seabury's Jesse May shows his disappointment after a first-round Class 1A state tournament game on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, in Emporia.

Bishop Seabury's Jesse May shows his disappointment after a first-round Class 1A state tournament game on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, in Emporia.

March 8, 2012

Advertisement

— Seabury Academy’s boys basketball team arrived at White Auditorium Friday afternoon with visions of three wins and a Class 1A Division I state championship.

At the state tournament, though, every team has the same three-day agenda. With a 51-50 first-round defeat of the Seahawks, top-seeded Ashland remained undefeated and kept its dream season alive.

Seabury (13-11) and its three multi-talented, long and athletic swingmen — senior Georgi Funtarov, sophomore Khadre Lane and senior Thomas Diaz — couldn’t overcome the Blue Jays’ senior trio of Jay Luerman (19 points, 11 rebounds), Giles Fox (14 points) and Chance Stebens (11 points).

While Funtarov led all scorers with 22 points and made a game-best four three-pointers, the Ashland seniors stole the show in the second half. Seabury had built an 11-point lead in the third quarter when Luerman, Fox and Stebens, who don’t know what it feels like to lose as seniors, decided they weren’t interested in experiencing defeat for the first time this season.

Ashland (24-0) benefited from Luerman’s ability to slash to the paint, Fox’s brute strength inside and Stebens’ ability to hit key second-half three-pointers.

“The better basketball team won it,” Seahawks coach Ashley Battles said. “The team with better players, with guys that’ll move on and do probably bigger, better things didn’t win. But those were really good basketball players — small, western Kansas kids that were willing to do whatever it took.”

Seabury had its chances late. After Seahawks senior guard Garrett Gillett hit two free throws with 1:50 remaining, AHS led 50-45.

Ashland had a turnover, and Stebens missed the front end of a one-and-one in the following minute. Then, on one possession, the Seahawks missed three straight shots, grabbing the offensive rebound each time, before Lane finally converted inside and drew a foul with 44 seconds left. AHS led 50-47 after Lane missed his free throw.

Forced to foul, the Seahawks put Luerman at the line, and he missed his bonus try with 40 seconds on the clock.

Following a timeout by Battles, Ashland denied Funtarov a touch, and senior forward Jesse May hoisted a three-pointer from the left wing that fell short.

Leurman went back to the foul line and left the door open for Seabury once more, missing his only attempt of a one-and-one opportunity.

Lane grabbed the defensive board and went the length of the floor, looking for contact on a layup. The off-balance attempt was off the mark, though, and Fox grabbed the rebound. He finally sealed the victory for AHS with a free throw at the six-second mark.

Funtarov drilled his fourth three-pointer of the afternoon just before time expired, but it left Seabury one point shy.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Bulgaria said the Seahawks knew Ashland’s strengths coming into state, but they had trouble stopping them in the second half. With the excitement of the Blue Jays’ third-quarter run, the No. 1 seed had all the momentum.

A three-pointer by Lane, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, put Seabury up 39-28 in the third quarter. However, Ashland scored the next 16 points, with scores from Chance Stebens, Fox, Luerman and Austin Stebens.

The run included two free throws for Austin with 1:44 left in the third. That’s when Battles was called for a technical foul after Lane had gone up for a lay-up, appeared to draw contact, and no foul was called.

A bucket inside by May (nine points) in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter put an end to a decisive Seabury drought.

Lane said the Seahawks failed to execute in the second half of their season-ending loss, and that fueled Ashland’s game-changing run.

“You kind of have to expect it,” Lane said of the Blue Jays’ comeback. “They’re 23-0 for a reason. They’re not gonna just fold.”

The Seahawks made just eight of their 23 second-half shot attempts (35 percent), while AHS went 10-for-19 (53 percent).

“I think they just took advantage of our bad decisions,” he said, noting his team lacked patience on the offensive end. “As a team, from the coach all the way down through the players, it was just bad decision after bad decision.”

Added Lane: “We were taking bad shots and shots weren’t falling.”

Still, Battles said he was proud of his guys for the season they had, and they will have to learn from the loss and move on.

“People villainize us because we do have some players,” he said. “At the end of the day, man, these are great kids.”

— Check out Benton Smith's "Prep Appraisals" from the game at The Dividing Line.

Comments

Gootsie 2 years, 1 month ago

In case anyone is still reading, Ashland won the tournament.

0

Steve Jacob 2 years, 1 month ago

One issue is KSHAA does not factor schedule very well in any sports. How often have you seen western Kansas teams with great records get better seeds then NE Kansas teams they play the best teams all season? And no way they can play 20 1A division games because that would be way to much traveling out west.

But all things considered, I bet heads will roll over this loss.

0

Mclovin69 2 years, 1 month ago

Haters are just going to hate. Everyone is upset because thier team didnt make it as far as seabury did. Great season seahawks, best team i have seen in a long time.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 1 month ago

Any school that associates with the "Loo" will go down the crapper.

0

Beaver_at_heart 2 years, 1 month ago

In a town with 3 choices for secondary education, 3 choices for athletic teams, etc., there is going to be movement or migration between schools. Anyone who thinks that FSHS and LHS don't recruit and/or influence where athletes have addresses (compared to 15th street) is not realistic. Seabury has been providing the public schools athletes since its inception, and public school coaches have recruited or influenced movement between each other and from Seabury. Kids are fickle and "the grass is greener" gets the better of them. Three choices means that another 40 boys basketball athletes get the opportunity to play for real instead of hanging out at Holcomb after being cut.

0

Lawrence_Kansas 2 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations to the Seabury Men's basketball team. What I'm puzzled over is the quote Seabury's coach gave following the game, “The team with better players, with guys that’ll move on and do probably bigger, better things didn’t win." This is true Seabury has two if not three players with division one potential, and Funatrov dominated the 6A level last year, putting a decent but by no means great Free State team on his back. Pretty much it just baffles me how this team did not win more games than it did especially at the 1A class they were playing in. Those schools that they played more than likely would not have had the size to guard the 6'7" Funtarov or the 6'4" Lane, so I don't see how these two didn't dominate more games and lead this team farther into the post season, give credit to Ashland also though they showed up, played hard, and got the W.

0

seahawks06 2 years, 1 month ago

i have been reading all these comments all week and finally can not stop myself from chiming in. As a former seabury student and graduate i would just like to say that i did not excel at sports nor did i have "rich" parents, i went because seabury offers financial aid for their students and flexible payment options. do not hate on the school or the kids without some concrete evidence of recruiting because until there is it is all speculation. i am proud to say i am a seahawk and proud of our school for where we were to where they are now.

0

Gootsie 2 years, 1 month ago

I am from Hanston, Ashland, and Lawrence! The game was played fairly and Ashland won. They are now 24-0 which is very impressive! And the win is even sweeter if BSA is recruiting, don't you think?

It is your time Bluejays and I will be there to see it through! Awesome comeback and win!

0

skittles 2 years, 1 month ago

Some states have private schools play up a classification.

A local school or not...this seems like a lot of attention for a small school and the 10-12 kids on the team. Hope to see the same coverage when LHS goes to state in baseball or Free State girls go to state in soccer this spring.

0

Andini 2 years, 1 month ago

Could their families even afford Seabury if there kids weren't excelling in basketball?

0

tolawdjk 2 years, 1 month ago

The Denver area is experiencing a bit of this "private vs public" problem as well, except on a much larger school scale. Theoretically there are rules in place to prevent "recruiting" but it still happens, even to the point of "discounted tuition" as you can't give scholarships.

Several leagues here have even gone so far as to vote to kick the private schools out, forcing them to have ballooning travel budgets for out of state games.

0

Andini 2 years, 1 month ago

Would some of Seaburys players even be going to Seabury if they weren't excelling in Basketball?

0

Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations to BSA for a good year. Just for the record, yes private schools can recruit students. There is nothing wrong with that since they do not have to follow the same rules as the public schools. [KSHSAA http://www.kshsaa.org/]. The private schools should have their own state tournaments and let the public school teams, limited by who lives there, play in their tournament. Again, good job and a fine season, no matter where the players come from.

0

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 1 month ago

I hope that it's understood that I don't dislike or feel angry toward the Seabury kids, parents, etc. If you played ball in a 1A town, you'd understand.

I have no hard feelings for the Seabury kids, schools, anything. I wish them the best of luck. My real problem is with the state's athletic association for this potential mismatch to be allowed.

0

pbireta 2 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations on a great season Seabury. Good luck to Ashland the rest of the tournament.

0

oleballcoach05 2 years, 1 month ago

Let me state that I have no ties to either Bishop Seabury nor Ashland. But BSA has no control over which class they compete in. That is determined by KSHSAA(Kansas State High School Activities Association) based on school enrollment. So don't bash BSA for playing who the state requires them to play.

As for private school recruiting, I'm sure that happens on some level. But BSA isn't the only one that falls under that category. There are private schools in all classes, Bishop Carrol(Wichita), Hutchinson Christian(Hutchinson), Bishop Miege(Shawnee), St. James(Overland Park), that have an enrollment advantage because they don't have boundaries like a public school. So if you want to make the argument that private schools should have their own state championship, then I'll listen.

Congrats to BSA on a great season and best of luck to Ashland in their pursuit of a state championship.

0

bman 2 years, 1 month ago

Ashland is a community of 600 people, 800 if you count the dogs and cats. This senior class has been special in all sports and scholastics. Congratulations to them and their parents and fans.

0

smallschooldude 2 years, 1 month ago

I cannot agree with jkilgore more. Seabury seems to be recruiting players and yet they cannot even win a State 1A Championship against schools that come from communities of 1000 people or less. Even if they won the championship, what are they teaching their students? BSA played larger schools all year long and yet were going to brag about winning the 1A championship. Recruiting, scholarships for a $10K tuition, and such have no place in 1A basketball. Go play the private Catholic schools in Kansas City if you these are your ethics!!

0

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, these kids worked hard, and I'm sure they're all good kids, coaches, etc, but you're deliberately trying to change the subject from the question of fairness, and I’m not going to let you do it. Fairness is the only point I'm making. It’s not enough that they’re “good kids.” So are Ashland’s.

Ashland, Kansas is smaller than KU's campus. The kids who play there have worked just as hard at a state berth, but unlike Seabury, are at the mercy of the kids who live in their community.

If you want to destroy 1A-2A basketball, then recruit those not quite good enough to play 5A and 6A, add a few kids from Europe and beat the heck out of teams like Dighton, Spearville, and Hoxie. Where's the glory in that?

My team didn't win a state championship, which I'll always regret, but at least we got beat by a real Kansas 1A school, Hanston. Many of you didn't even know these towns existed! The activities association, to their discredit, has ignored this issue for decades.

0

slider88 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's just say it upfront to all the BSA naysayers.....you were right. Hope you feel better from you enlightened perspective. End of day these were young men that have worked hard to obtain something. Respect these players no matter what the circumstances are that brought them to Seabury. The pain of a season ended is no different whether 1a or 6a. These boys are solid young men and are just trying to enjoy their high school experience. All levels of schools have their pluses and minuses.
Be a big enough person to recognize these players for the people they are and the effort they put forth. BSA coach pretty well summed it up as to their downfall, just leave it at that. Job well done Seahawks!

0

Clickker 2 years, 1 month ago

The missed free throws are just mind boggling. Practice. Practice

0

kujayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

If it was up to Funtarov, he'd still be at FSHS. Something is really off with this Seabury team, a ton of talent for 1A, yet they can't seem to do anything with it.

0

nativeson 2 years, 1 month ago

Just for the record, Funtarov is an international transfer that could only attend a public school for one academic year. He chose to stay in the states and had to transfer to a private high school if he wished to continue playing basketball. The Class system in Kansas is solely based on enrollment. Certainly, private schools have the opportunity to exploit the ability to recruit. Given the standards at Seabury, I do not believe this is the case.

0

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 1 month ago

You won't want to read this if you're a Seabury player, parent, or fan, but you should. To what unsporting length will you go to try to beat a little cowboy town out in western Kansas? How in the world can you call Seabury a 1A team?

This parochialism is going to destroy small town basketball. Do you think that Ashland can drawn kids in from Bulgaria? Or from an area of 100,000? Little towns like Ashland have a great team like this once very 25 years or so, and you load up on foreign kids to try to win. You really ought to stop this, play bigger schools in the state tournament, and give small towns their due.

Way to go Bluejays! I played baseball, football, and basketball against the Fox and Stebbens fathers.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.