Two teams from Sumner County are headed to State basketball tournaments, and both of them are from South Haven.
Lady-Cards defeat Caldwell to advance to State Tourney
The South Haven girls basketball team will play as the seventh seed in the 1A Division I bracket against the second seed, Hoxie today (March 6) at 3 p.m. The Lady-Cardinals are 16-7 on the season, fresh off their Sub-State Championship game where they defeated rival Caldwell. South Haven girls Head Coach, Eric Adams says that game got off to a slow start.
"Both teams came out and played hard defense, which is typical of South Haven and Caldwell this year," Adams said. The game was intense, with some aggressive moments. Caldwell lead 14-12 at the half and that's when Adams issued a challenge to the team.
"At halftime we made a couple of adjustments and demanded a little more of our post play and they did respond," the Coach said. Their reward is a trip to Emporia to take on an undefeated, 23-0 Hoxie team, looking to repeat as State Champs.
"We're going to get on a bus, go up and play," Adams said. "You look at their stats, they're scary. Defending State Champions...they're averaging around 70 points a game, they've scored in the 90's a couple of times." Going up against Hoxie's zone-press defense is something the Lady-Cards will have to be ready for, as well as Hoxie's three-point shooting ability.
"We'll have our hands full," Adams said. "But we're going to go battle. We have a great group of seniors and a great group of girls that play for each other, and play hard." This is Adams' first year as head coach of the Lady-Cardinals, he says he feels very blessed to be a part of this opportunity.
"I told the girls in the locker room after the [Caldwell] game, a big 'thank you' for taking myself and my family in to just have this chance," Adams said. "I walked into a good situation...very blessed."
The winner of the South Haven/Hoxie game will play on Friday at 3 p.m. in Emporia, at White Auditorium.
McDorman, Cardinals ready for second trip to State
The South Haven boys team is making their second appearance in the State Tournament in three years. To do so, they had to beat the team that ended their season last year – the Udall Eagles. Head Coach, Darren McDorman said his team came out and set the tempo on Saturday.
"That championship game, we probably played about as well as we have all year long defensively and offensively," he said. "This is the fourth time we've played them this year...this time we were pretty focused and ready to go." The Cards, 21-2, will travel to Emporia, Kan. on Thursday, March 7 as the second seed in the 1A Div. 1 State Tournament. They will take on the seventh seed, 15-6 Minneola at 3 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - "They've got a lot of height, not just tall and skinny, they're pretty built," McDorman said. "They're a pretty physical team, they do like to get out and run." He expects Minneola's attack to be focused on the inside game.
"We're pretty tall as well, we're 6'2'' across the board...overall I think we match-up pretty well against them," the coach said. "I'm not sure they've seen the kind of defense we like to play this year...I think we can wear them out." Two years ago when the Cardinals went to State, they finished in second place. Having gone through that experience, the team will be better off this go-around.
"This time around I kind of know what to expect, I've got 10 seniors on my team, they were sophomores when we went last time," McDorman said. "We're more experienced now...coming in as a two-seed, we've just got to be ready to play. If we play like we did Saturday night, I feel like we could beat anybody."
The winner of the South Haven/Minneola game will play the winner of the 3/6 match-up, either Hoxie or Stockton on Friday at 4:45 p.m.