MANHATTAN — A strong fourth quarter led Central Plains to a 47-34 win in the state championship game over the St. Mary’s-Colgan High School basketball on Saturday inside Bramlage Collesium.
The Oilers frustrated the Panthers throughout by holding them to 30% shooting from the floor and out scoring them 20-12 in the fourth quarter.
“It’s disappointing,” SMC head coach Wayne Cichon said. “Everybody is disappointed, but there’s only one winner and we gave it all we had. We just weren’t able to get the job done tonight. We had some trouble offensively and held a good opponent to a low score, but it just wasn’t enough.”
After falling behind in the opning minutes, the Oilers took control with an 11-0 run to end the first quarter with a 13-6 advantage.
The Panthers answered with eight consecutive points to begin the second quarter — with help from a pair of 3-pointers by Aaron Higginbotham and Jacob Dellasega — but Central Plains regained momentum with six points to end the second quarter with a 19-14 lead.
Dellasega swung the lead back in Colgan’s favor to begin the second half on back-to-back 3-pointers, before the Oilers hit a pair of jumpers and a free throw which put them on top 24-20 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Central Plains went on to expand the lead to double digits on the strength of a 12-2 run to begin the fourth quarter and never looked back, as free throws down the stretch sealed the win.
“We have a great group of kids and they compete hard,” Cichon said. “Our kids always do that year after year and they got us all the way to the championship game. I told our kids that we did the job on defense, but they were good defensively too, and we just couldn’t get the ball to go in.”
Dellasega was the team leader is scoring from SMC with 12 points.
Higginbotham came in close behind with nine points to go along with five rebounds.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.