HUTCHINSON — There will be no repeat feat for the Hesston boys.
The defending state champions will turn over their crown, as Wichita Collegiate pulled away gradually Thursday for a 57-44 victory in the first round of the Class 3A State Tournament at the Sports Arena.
Hesston ended the year 21-3, giving it a 47-3 record over two years as it was an undefeated state champion last season. Collegiate, now 20-4, plays 23-1 Sabetha in today’s late semifinal game, while Scott City is matched against Wellsville.
Collegiate sped to a 16-8 start and the Swathers could never put together that one huge run to overtake the Spartans. Hesston managed only seven points in the fourth quarter.
Hesston’s dynamic duo of Tyler McCartney and Grant Raleigh completed their amazing careers with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Jonathan Weber provided a nice spark off the bench with 11 points, sinking 5 of 6 shots.
Hesston was held to 18 of 48 from the field and was just 6 of 10 at the line. Collegiate didn’t shoot it all that well from the field, 19 of 47, but the foul line was the difference as the Spartans made 16 of 18.
Rose Hill transfer Austin Waddell scored 20 points for the Spartans. Kendall Reed was immense at the foul line, making 7 of 7 on his way to 12 points.
Other seniors making their final appearance for Hesston were Justin Smith and Alex Lemus.
The Hesston girls will try to carry the Swather banner as they play Sabetha tonight at 6:30. The Swathers are 24-0 and 49-1 over the last two years.