The Sacred Heart boys’ basketball team saw its defense of its 2A state title come up short Friday night in the semifinals to Central Plains.
In what has been a tough week for the Sacred Heart basketball program, the unbeaten Oilers were too much for Sacred Heart, winning 58-36.
No. 5 seed Sacred Heart was without its head coach, Pat Martin, once again due to a suspension. Sacred Heart was also missing one of their senior leaders in Grant Herrenbruck, due to injury.
The Knights would keep pace with Central Plains in the first five minutes, however, would go cold over the course of the next 10, would be outscored 24-0.
Central Plains did it all. On offense from the inside with Brett Liebl and defensively as a unit forcing Knights errors. Sacred Heart trailed 17-4 after one and by the end of the massive run, Central Plains led 28-4.
The Oilers had complete control at halftime with a 33-8 lead at the break.
True to form, the Knights would mount a rally. Sacred Heart outscored Central Plains in the third quarter and at one point, got the lead down to 16 points. But Central Plains was too good. Too good executing their offense, too good at making FTs and too good at keeping the Knights from getting in to the lane.
Central Plains (24-0) plays for a state championship tomorrow against No. 3 seed Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan. The Oilers were led by Liebl’s 27 points as the Knights couldn’t stop him. Myles Menges scored 11 and Alex Barton added in 10 points for the Oilers.
Sacred Heart (21-4) saw its 16-game winning streak end. The Knights were led by Charlie Skidmore, who scored 16 points, all coming in the second half.
Sacred Heart plays for third place in Class 2A tomorrow from Manhattan. The Knights face second-seeded Howard-West Elk (22-2) at 2 p.m. FM 104.9 will air live coverage of the 2A third place game with pregame starting at 1:45 p.m.