EL DORADO — Crest High’s Lancers go after their third straight Kansas Class 1A Substate Basketball Tournament championship Saturday.
The 10th-ranked Lancers first had to get past a pesky Yates Center High Wildcat club Thursday night. The Lancers eventually posted a 57-48 victory over the team coached by their former assistant coach.
“It was ugly but it was a win,” said Travis Hermreck, Crest head coach. “Every time I thought we were about to put Yates Center away, they would come storming back.
“I really have to give them credit. They played with a ton of effort and heart.”
Yates Center is coached by Jason Weilert, who was Hermreck’s assistant the past couple of years. Weilert helped the Lancers make back-to-back appearances at the Class 1A state basketball tournament.
Crest (19-4) faces Burrton (20-4) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Butler Community College. That’s where the Lancers captured their first two substate titles.
Burrton rolled over Caldwell 66-44 Thursday in the other semifinal.
“We know we have to play better Saturday. These boys have responded every time we’ve thrown a challenge at them,” Hermreck said of the Lancers.
“I expect us to perform much better in the championship game. Our character and intestinal fortitude will go a long ways for us.”
Crest and Yates Center played to a 9-7 score by the end of the first quarter Thursday. The Lancers stretched their lead to 23-11 by the four-minute mark of the second period.
Crest held a 27-17 halftime advantage. Yates Center was able to cut the lead to five early in the third quarter but it was back to a 10-point margin, 38-28, by the period’s end.
The Wildcats outscored the Lancers 20-19 in the final eight minutes. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Hermreck said his team turned the ball over too much and played scared all night despite the win. Crest had 21 turnovers to Yates Center’s 16.
Crest shot 46.5 percent, 20 of 43, from the field and downed 15 of 25 free throw attempts. Bryan Newton fired in 20 points, had 11 rebounds and six steals.
Peter Stoneking dropped in 13 points for the Lancers. Zach Stinnett had 10 rebounds and five assists. Kyle Hammond had four assists.
Yates Center (13-11) connected on 19 of 53 shots from the field for 36 percent. The Wildcats were 10 of 15 from the line.
Paul Stockebrand scored 16 points, as he went 6 of 6 at the free-throw line, for the Cats. Dalton Smith added 14 points.
Crest (9-18-11-19—57) (FG/3-pt): Wiley 1-2-3-4 Stinnett 1-3-5-5, Morton 0/1-4-0-7, Hammond 3-2-0-8, Decker 0-0-1-0, Newton 7/1-3-1-20, Stoneking 6-1-3-13. TOTALS: 18/2-15-13-35.
Yates Center (7-10-11-20—48): Sicka 2-0-5-4, Bennett 2-2-2-6, Morrison 4-0-5-8, Francis 0-0-1-0, Stockebrand 5-6-2-16, Smith 6-2-4-14. TOTALS: 19-10-19-48.
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