Sacred Heart was able to overcome Sterling’s early lead as the Knights surged to a 53-41 win to advance in the 2A substate tournament.
Sterling came in with just three wins and was the No. 7 seed in substate, however, their young core didn’t seem to mind that they were playing a 15-win team ranked in the top 10 of the state of Kansas. The Black Bears led Sacred Heart 12-10 after the first period.
Sterling continued to lead Sacred Heart 19-14 midway through the second period as the Knights were dreadful shooting the ball all night. However, Sacred Heart’s Caleb Gilliland came off the bench and sparked the Knights with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Sacred Heart the lead. The Knights ended the second on a 9-1 run to lead 23-20 at halftime.
Sacred Heart continued the run in to the second half, as they led 33-25 and appeared to be ready to run away from Sterling late in the third. However, the Black Bears ended the period on a 6-0 run to pull to within two at 33-31 after the third quarter.
Sacred Heart would dominate the final stanza as Tate Herrenbruck cherry picked up the floor to spark the Knights’ transition game. Sacred Heart outscored Sterling 20-10 in the fourth quarter to finally pull away.
Sterling (3-18) saw their season come a close with the loss. The Black Bears were led by Brady Myers with 14 points. Max Dutton scored 11.
Sacred Heart (16-5) advances to their seventh-straight 2A substate semi-final with the win. Herrenbruck led the way with 17 points, Gilliland scored 13 and Luis Mendez had 10 points.
The Knights will play on Thursday at Sterling High School in their third match-up this season with league-foe Ellsworth, after they upset Ellinwood on Monday. Live coverage will be heard on FM 104.9. Game time is set for 6 p.m.