BAXTER SPRINGS - On senior night Baxter Springs finished their 2017-18 regular season with a 15-5 record, after defeating the visiting Columbus Titans 69-50 last Tuesday. It was the last game before the home crowd for seniors Brant Trease, Max Sheffer, and Preston Landis. The Titans finished the regular season 4-16.
Jared Graham, of the Titans, put Columbus in the lead 7-6 with a 3-pointer at the start of the game. Blake Thiessen put the Lions back on top 8-7. Trease made good on Senior Night with nine points in the first quarter, Dakota Sears completed two free throws to bring Columbus down 9-11. Thiessen then knocked down a long shot for three, as did Trey White. Billy Buck followed with a field goal for the Lions. At the end of the opening period Austin Lagle put the Titans at nine, and Graham made good on a free throw to end the quarter 19-10.
Graham started the second as he did the first with another 3-pointer. The Lions went to 26 with another 3-pointer from Thiessen. Sheffer and Landis each scored two’s. Sears hit a trey, and Tommy Shallenberger brought the Titans down 26-18. Sheffer then connected underneath.
Grayson Walden and Patrick Cassidy each scored for Columbus for a 28-22 game. White and Trease finished the half with the Lions up 32-22 with two free throws each.
Baxter Springs started the second half with a 10-4 run to up their lead to 42-26. White scored two field goals, and Thiessen and Landis each added field goals. The Lions added nine more points with Thiessen’s two and a three, and White and Trease adding buckets.
The Lions went up 56-32 on White’s two more buckets. Sheffer then did a crowd pleaser before his exist on Senior Night with a shot beyond the arc. It was probably his first 3-pointer in his high school career. Landon Abbott finished the Lions scoring with his own three and a two.
With his 3-pointer Sheffer finished with 11 points. White led both teams in scoring with 16 points. With his three treys, Thiessen finished with 15. Trease added 12 points, and Landis eight.
For Columbus, Sears led the Titans with 10 points, Lagle finished with nine, Coltin Laurance seven, and Graham six.
This is the last year of Kansas 4A split of Division I and II with 32 teams each. Each division has only four teams with eight sub-states throughout the state. Kansas 4A will expand to one division with 48 teams. Most local teams will move down to 3A, and 2A.
Seeded #1 on Friday, Baxter Springs will face Columbus again following the #2 and #3 match-up. Number 2 Galena (15-5) will face #3 Parsons (14-6) at 6 p.m. The Saturday championship game will follow the girls game, scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m.