Wildcats fall in state playoffs opener

Top-seeded Dighton took out Marmaton Valley High's Wildcats in the first round of the Class 1A-II State Basketball Tournament Wednesday, ending MV's season. Dighton will play Friday for a berth in the state championship game.



March 6, 2024 - 3:50 PM

Marmaton Valley High's Tyler Lord (21), Brayden Lawson (35) and Daniel Fewins (45) surround Dighton's Carson Shimer Wednesday at the Class 1A-II State Basketball Tournament in Great Bend. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

GREAT BEND — Marmaton Valley High’s romp through the 2024 postseason came to an end Wednesday, courtesy of a dominating Dighton defense.

The Wildcats, in their first state basketball appearance in 23 years, fell behind early, rallied a bit through the middle of the game, but ran out of gas in the second half.

The top-seeded Hornets ended Marmaton Valley’s season, 72-26, to advance to the Class 1A-II State Semifinals, which continue Friday at Barton Community College’s campus.

Dighton’s interior defense limited MV to 23% shooting, and 2 of 12 shooting from 3-point range, while forcing 22 Wildcat turnovers.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom.

After falling behind 24-6 in the second quarter, Marmaton Valley’s Jaedon Granere connected on a driving layup, followed by a 3-pointer. Tyler Lord tacked on a pair of free throws, and suddenly the deficit was down to 10.

But Dighton ended the first half on a 6-point run before outscoring the Wildcats 18-10 in the third quarter to put the game away.

An exhausted Wildcat squad missed all but one of its field goals in the fourth quarter.

Lord led Marmaton Valley with 16 points, followed by Granere with seven.

Dighton’s Daniel Cramer led all scorers with 24 points. Carson Shimer tacked on 18.

The Hornets will play either Bucklin or Cunningham at 2 p.m. Friday for a berth in Saturday’s state championship game.

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