In what was a highly anticipated game from on-lookers around the state, the 2A sub-state tournament championship game featuring Sacred Heart and Inman–both ranked teams–lived up to the billing as regulation was not enough to decide who would receive a berth to the 2A State Tournament in Hays.
Unfortunately for Sacred Heart, the Knights went cold in the extra period, losing 62-53 in OT.
Inman owned the first half, as the Teutons were led by the 6’8″ senior, Mason Thiessen who hurt Sacred Heart on the interior all night long. The future Emporia State Hornet would use a mix of post moves to get to the bucket early on.
But the Knights would see a career-effort from one of its seniors, Charlie Skidmore. The Knights’ PG had struggled scoring the last few games, however, Skidmore found his shot on Saturday night at Sterling High School. Skidmore soaked three first quarter 3’s to keep Sacred Heart in the game. Still, the Knights trailed 15-11 after one.
The second quarter was more competitive. Thiessen was still hurting Sacred Heart down low and getting what he wanted, but Skidmore couldn’t miss in the period as he hit two more 3-pointers, including his last of the first half which pulled the Knights to within one at 26-25 in the final minute of the first half.
Inman missed a shot towards the end of the half, however, a Thiessen tip in at the buzzer put the Teutons up 28-25 at halftime.
Inman got up by six in the third quarter before Sacred Heart would go on a big run. The Knights–led by Skidmore–went on a 7-0 run midway through the period to secure their first lead of the game at 32-31.
The two teams exchanged blows for the remainder of the period, though, Sacred Heart maintained the lead for the most part. However, it was never more than two. The Knights led 42-41 going in to the fourth quarter.
The final stanza was a classic. The two teams appeared to be evenly matched as both would answer each other each time down. While the Knights had started swarm Thiessen around the rim, another Teuton senior, Payton Froese, would step up, including the go-ahead 3-pointer to put Inman back up 46-45 with two minutes to go.
Inman then hit a layup with 40 seconds remaining to break a 48-48 tie, however, Skidmore would answer with less than 20 seconds to go to send the game to overtime at 50-50.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Inman dominated the OT period as the Teutons got up five and would cruise away to the sub-state championship.
Inman (19-2) will be the top-seed in the 2019 2A Boy’s State Basketball Tournament at Fort Hays State’s Gross Memorial Coliseum next week. Both Thiessen and Froese led the Teutons with 17 points, each. Freshman, Jace Doerksen scored 14 points off of the bench.
Skidmore’s career-best 31 points was not enough to get the Knights back to the 2A State Tournament for the third-straight year. Sacred Heart ends its season at 17-6.
Seniors, Skidmore, Trace Leners, Jackson Gormley and Luis Mendez all saw their last game on the hardwood for Sacred Heart.