LHS Varsity Boys Make it to State

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LHS senior Jayce Geiman shoots for a three-pointer in a match up against Paola earlier in the season.

Brett Silance, Staff Writer, Editor of Stall Street, Editor of Social Media

On March 5, 2017, the boys’ varsity basketball team made it to the state basketball tournament, ending a 12-year drought dating back to 2005, by defeating Fort Scott.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased for the boys. They worked so hard and I couldn’t be more happy for them,” said LHS boys varsity coach Jason Nelson.

In the first round of the Sub-State tournament, the boys faced rival Paola. For many the idea of this being the final game of the season for the Cats was probably a lingering thought since Louisburg yielded the last  12 games to Paola, dating back five years. The Panthers had beat Louisburg three years earlier in the Sub-State tournament, but the varsity boys finally ended the streak and were on their way to the Sub-State finals with a 54-44 final score.

“ The Paola game was big for us with regard to confidence. They are, as always a quality opponent with talent and well coached,” said Nelson.

Louisburg was not the only team to pull off an upset, as fourth-seeded Fort Scott defeated one seeded Spring Hill with a monumental fourth-quarter comeback, setting up a 3 seed versus 4 seed match up that placed Louisburg as the two seed. Despite Fort Scott being a well-coached team with talented players, Louisburg proved the better seed and downed Fort Scott 64-52  to become sub-state champions. The Wildcats (10-12) did it thanks to a strong performance after halftime. Louisburg took a 27-23 lead into the locker room and wanted to bring out Fort Scott’s weaknesses. In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were able to secure a double-digit lead, while waiting for that final buzzer to sound.

“Students were fantastic, not just for the Fort Scott game, but all year. They were loud, supportive and we all appreciated that and it was quite evident our boys played better due to the student section,” Nelson said.

Back in the state championship for the first time since 2005, the Cats faced off against  Bishop Miege, number one in the class 4a division. The first quarter started out rough for the cats, with the Stags gaining an early a 23-11 lead. Meige’s strength and agility helped the Stags extend their halftime lead to 37-13, limiting the Cats to only a single basket in the second quarter. The Cats’ season ended at state with a final score of 47-81 in favor of Miege.

LHS senior Sam Guetterman dribbles around a Paola opponent during the regular season game.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better group of kids. I’ll always remember it and I’m pretty sure the team will as well”

Despite the loss, it was a successful season end of the season for the underdog 10-12 Wildcats as they defeated rival Paola for the first time since 2012 in sub-state and then advanced to their first state tournament since 2005. They became just the 10th team in Louisburg history to earn a spot in the state tournament since it all started in 1912.