Tonight will pit two teams in the heart of our easternkansassports.com coverage area. The 1A sub-state gets underway this evening at Butler Community College with Madison (19-3) taking on St. Paul (16-6).
St. Paul won the Moran regional, displacing Colony-Crest with a 53-20 victory. Madison, on the other hand, lost to Lebo, 42-35, to earn a regional runner-up in Waverly.
Madison cruised through the Lyon County League, finishing undefeated in the regular season and winning the league tournament. The Bulldogs faced larger schools down the homestretch, and with that their perfect record was compromised. Madison lost to Eureka, 57-54, and to Lyndon, 52-44.
Much like the Bulldogs, the Indians also found success in the Three Rivers League, finishing with an undefeated league championship. Five of the six losses to St. Paul came to larger schools; Galena, Columbus(twice), Baxter Springs, and Frontenac. The Indians only other loss came to Olpe, 68-42, on January 3rd.
Olpe was not the only shared opponent between these two. Madison defeated Pleasanton 59-50, Marmanton Valley 58-8, and Northeast-Arma 49-34 to begin their season. St Paul also went undefeated against those same opponents in the league play, defeating Marmanton Valley 64-16, Pleasonton 63-5, and Northeast 64-61.
Madison’s Coach Brett Dannels has seen the success of his club come at the hands of Sophomore Drew Stutesman and Junior Chase Harrison. Harrison has hit multiple game winners for the Bulldogs but was held scoreless for the first time this season in the loss to Lebo on Saturday but is averaging just shy of 12 for the season. Stutesman leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding, 13.77ppg and 8.27rpg. Junior Ryan Wolgram had a season high 14 points against Lebo in the regional final.
Keith Wiatrak of St. Paul will look for Adam Albertini, Kaleb Lemons, and Easton Dent to continue their strong season in hopes of advancing to Saturday’s sub-state title game.
Dent and Stutesman will be the battle of the bigs down low. Give a slight edge to Madison in this regards. If Harrison came overcome his scoreless performance on Saturday it will be the Bulldogs of Madison that will playing for a sub-state championship.
Score prediction Madison 55 St. Paul 45.
The game can be heard on KVOE County 101.7 FM with pregame beginning at 5:40pm tonight.