Opening round matchups announced for six area teams headed to state
photo by: Carter Gaskins
The brackets have been set, and it is time to see who will be crowned a champion.
Six of the 13 area basketball teams qualified for their respective state tournament, and will be playing in the final week of the season. Of those six squads, three received a top four seed in their respective field.
For the third consecutive year, both Lawrence High and Free State will compete in the 6A boys state tournament. A possible City Showdown rematch could take place in the semifinals, which would guarantee that a city team would play in the state championship for the third straight season.
LHS (19-3) earned the fourth seed in the bracket, and will face No. 5 Wichita Southeast (19-3) in the final game Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 8:15 p.m. in this rematch, as the Lions crushed the Golden Buffaloes by a 72-46 margin in the semifinals of the Topeka Invitational Tournament on Jan. 18.
Free State (15-6) is the only team in the field with more than four losses, so it is the eighth seed. FSHS will face No. 1 Washburn Rural at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wichita State University. Last season, the Firebirds went to their first state championship game in program history.
Both Eudora and Baldwin will compete in the 4A girls state tournament, which will take place at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina.
Baldwin, the defending 4A-II state champs, will be the No. 3 seed. BHS (19-1) will take on No. 6 Ulysses (18-4) at 4:45 p.m Thursday. Eudora (16-5) is the No. 8 seed in its first trip to state since 2009, and will face No. 1 Kansas City Piper (21-0) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Perry-Lecompton (20-2) is headed back to the 3A state boys tournament for the second consecutive season. PLHS, which has won 18 games in a row, earned a No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 Larned (17-6) in the opening round at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Hutchinson Community College.
In 2A boys, Bishop Seabury (16-4) notched a state berth for the first time since 2017. The Seahawks are listed as a No. 5 seed, which gives them an opening round matchup with No. 4 Ness City (19-4) at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. The 2A state tournament will take place at Fort Hays State University this year.