Handicapping the Class 4A Division I sub-states

By Steve Sell
February 27, 2017

By now everybody knows the sub-state basketball tournament format is a lightning rod for controversy.

Some sub-states are loaded beyond belief, while others make us wince because of the paucity of good teams.

At the start of the year Class 4A Division I was looking like another Bishop Miege coronation for both boys and girls. It still could be, but there’s a long road to get there.

Here’s a breakdown of the eight sub-states, some of them sure to knock out a good team or two, while others will allow some mediocrity to slip into the field next week at Salina.

• BOYS •

• At Abilene •

Teams — Ottawa (16-4), Wamego (16-4), Abilene (17-3), El Dorado (8-12)

Analysis – Let the howling begin. Three teams have a combined 49-11 record and only one advances. Abilene has the best record, but I have a feeling Ottawa is going to get in.

• At Andover Central •

Teams — Circle (7-13), Maize South (9-11), Andover Central (6-14), Augusta (13-7)

Analysis — Here we go with an “ugh” sub-state. Augusta clearly has the best record but, again, I like Andover Central’s pedigree. Plus it’s home.

• At Bonner Springs •

Teams — Baldwin (3-17), Eudora (18-2), Bonner Springs (12-8), Miege (17-3)

Analysis — You can bet Eudora is going to be hopping mad come Saturday night as it will be staying home while a couple of teams it knows that it’s better than move on from other sub-states.

• At Buhler •

Teams — McPherson (16-4), Ulysses (10-10), Hays (13-7), Buhler (14-6)

Analysis — A sub-state with no losing records. MHS should take care of Ulysses while Buhler will get past Hays to set up MHS-Buhler III. Kind of like the Rocky movies.

• At Independence •

Teams — Labette County (9-11), Chanute (9-11), Coffeyville (8-11), Independence (11-9)

Analysis — With Indy being my alma mater, I of course want to see the Bulldogs advance. It has to get past arch-rival Coffeyville in the first round and the teams have played a couple of tense games so far. Go Bulldogs!

• At Kansas City Piper •

Teams — Atchison (10-10), Basehor-Linwood (14-5), Tonganoxie (4-16), Kansas City Piper (18-2)

Analysis — Piper has been ranked 1 or 2 during much of the season and should be the favorite. Never, however, count out Basehor-Linwood.

• At Rose Hill •

Teams — Winfield (2-18), Mulvane (7-13), Rose Hill (5-15), Wellington (7-13)

Analysis —Here’s the poster child for sub-state reform. Does it really matter who advances? I can’t even take a flyer on this one.

• At Spring Hill •

Teams — Fort Scott (5-15), Spring Hill (11-9), Louisburg (8-12), Paola (9-11)

Analysis — A third sub-state that makes you shake your head. Paola has the strongest tradition in recent years so it’s probably the pick.


• At Abilene •

Teams — Ottawa (4-16), Wamego (6-14), El Dorado (2-17), Abilene (14-6)

Analysis — Abilene basically has to show up and receive the sub-state trophy.

• At Andover Central •

Teams — Augusta (11-9), Circle (18-2), Maize South (12-8), Andover Central (12-8)

Analysis — Circle should move on, but it hasn’t been in the role of the favorite very often. Don’t sleep on Andover Central.

• At Bonner Springs •

Teams — Bonner Springs (3-17), Baldwin (18-2), Eudora (5-15), Miege (17-3)

Analysis — There should be a KSHSAA rule that Miege’s girls are automatically passed on to state. It simply doesn’t lose in the sub-state.

• At Buhler •

Teams — McPherson (17-3), Ulysses (11-9), Hays (11-9), Buhler (3-17)

Analysis — If the Bullpup girls take care of business and play like they have, they should dominate.

• At Independence •

Teams — Coffeyville (1-19), Labette County (15-5), Chanute (4-16), Independence (14-6)

Analysis — Indy beat Labette earlier in the season, but the Grizzlies are state veterans and will get the Bulldogs this time.

• At Kansas City Piper •

Teams — Atchison (9-11), Basehor-Linwood (10-10), Tonganoxie (7-13), Kansas City Piper (19-1)

Analysis — Looks like Piper will stroll.

• At Rose Hill •

Teams — Winfield (9-11), Wellington (15-5), Mulvane (6-14), Rose Hill (18-2)

Analysis – What a great year for Rose Hill. It should get through, but keep an eye on Wellington.

• At Spring Hill •

Teams — Fort Scott (8-12), Paola (16-4), Louisburg (10-10), Spring Hill (10-10)

Analysis — Paola has been among the best teams this year. Louisburg is a dominant volleyball program, so it sure has a team with some height.