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A Look at Girls Substate Possibilites


By Brad Hallier


We’ll get to that loaded Class 1A Division 1 Little River substate eventually. But there is plenty to sort out across all substates in the area still.

Here’s a look at where area teams are standing with less than two weeks left in the regular season.

Class 5A – After starting 8-0, Hutchinson has run into a tough part of its schedule and is now 12-4. That puts the Salthawks sixth but just one game from fourth. A massive game with Maize South looms Tuesday. Hutch would own the tiebreaker on the fourth-place Mavericks with another win.

The Western substate is tough. Kapaun Mount Carmel is 9-7 and looking at playing on the road in the first round.

Class 4A – McPherson is 14-2 and in second but won’t likely catch undefeated Wellington for the top seed. That’s OK. Mac will still host a substate with one more win.

Andale should also host a substate. The Indians are 13-3 and have a fairly light schedule before the finale against Wellington. Getting to 16 wins would guarantee homecourt throughout substate.

Buhler had a jaw-dropping comeback win Friday against Augusta, improving the Crusaders to 6-10 and in a three-way tie for 12th. The schedule isn’t easy for the Crusaders the rest of the way, with games against McPherson and Circle still looming. But getting to 8-12 could really help Buhler’s seeding.

Class 3A – The Lyons substate will be tough. Cheney is 15-2. Haven is 14-3. Hesston is 12-5. All three are state-tournament caliber and good enough to win a trophy. Only one, however, will make it to state. Getting the top seed is vital to avoid Hesston in the semifinals, but even then, Halstead is 9-8 and in fourth. Halstead is two years removed from back-to-back state tournaments and is building toward something similar.

Smoky Valley is in fourth place in the Russell substate and battling to host a first-round game. But the odds are long against the field here, as Phillipsburg is undefeated.

Class 2A – Hillsboro has the dream scenario – hosting the substate while potentially being the top seed. At 14-3, Hillsboro leads Bennington by two games for the top seed.

Berean Academy will be the overwhelming favorite at the Sterling substate, but it’s still a good substate. Berean is 16-1 with the only loss being to Wichita Sunrise Christian Academy.  Four other teams have winning records right now, and five other teams could get to at least 10 wins.

Class 1A Division 1 – OK, let’s talk about the proverbial elephant – the Little River substate.

Macksville is 9-7 and seeded sixth currently in the seven-team substate. It’s possible St. John gets to 13 wins and has to play a road game in the first-round.

You have Little River on top of the standings at 16-1, a mere half-game ahead of reigning state champion Pretty Prairie. Right behind is that Central Plains team that has won eight straight state titles – last year in 1A Division 2 – and could be nine had it not been for Covid. Don’t forget 13-3 Fairfield.

Little River will close the regular season against Central Plains. That could give us a hint of what’s to come.

The Goessel substate isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The top five teams already have at least 10 wins. Elyria Christian is the top seed right now at 14-3, but watch out for the young, feisty and athletic Canton-Galva Eagles. At 11-7, the Eagles have been tested.

Norwich shouldn’t have much trouble at the Oxford substate. The Eagles are 13-2 and nobody else will finish at .500.

Class 1A Division 2 – Central Christian is the heavy favorite at the Burrton substate. The Cougars are 11-5 and nobody else will finish over .500. Coach DJ Kauffman’s team is stout defensively again.

Attica will battle with South Haven in the South Barber substate. Both are 13-4, and nobody else is over .500 right now.