Basketball season at Western Plains wraps up
WP Cat Tracks
The high school basketball season has officially ended for Western Plains. Both the boys and girls experienced a season with many positive moments and an improvement in the win column as compared to several seasons past.
Post-season play had an exciting element added to it, as WPHS was the host site of a 1A-D11 KSHSAA Sub-State tournament. This allowed for home court advantage and a nice crowd to attend the games.
The girls team was head coached this year by Joe Spangler, assisted by Kyleigh Cole. The boys were head coached by Jeff Jones, assisted by Steve Boone.
The Lady Bobcats ended the season with a record of 5 - 16, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Success was experienced at Sub-State for the Bobcats. According to Coach Spangler, “The Western Plains Lady Bobcats finished up the season hosting and winning the first round of Sub-state vs Stafford. The girls played hard and really worked together playing great defense and stopping their inside game and getting several steals on the perimeter. We ran our offense well and got some great buckets when they were needed. We played Pawnee Heights in the second round. We played a great first half of defense but got into foul trouble and were unable to move on.”
On the boys side, WPH headed into Sub-State the third seed, but was unable to capture a first-round victory, falling in a close contest to the Otis Bison Cougars. However, the team finished with a record of 9 wins and 12 losses, and allowed an average of less than 41 points per game with only two teams scoring 55 points or more in a game.
Coach Spangler was proud of his girls team, citing a solid leadership effort throughout the season by different players. “I felt there was a team effort for leadership with Lilly, Kalihan, and Madelyn all stepping up on different occasions throughout this season. I was very proud of this group of girls and feel that our basketball program is heading in the right direction. I am excited for what the future holds for us. Go Bobcats!”
Assistant coach Kyleigh Cole shared similar feelings, stating, "It was an enjoyable season watching each and every player push themselves to become better and grow as a team. The future is looking bright for the Lady Bobcats!"
Similarly, Coach Jones was very proud of his boys for multiple reasons. “In a year where we had so few guys returning, I was incredibly proud of what we accomplished. Throughout the year, I received an incredible amount of praise from opposing school administration and opposing parents and officials regarding how hard our players played and how tough we were for opponents to score against us. As the coach, from a win - loss perspective it was not nearly one of my more successful teams, but from the perspective of reaching our potential we eclipsed what most anyone would have predicted of us and that was through determination, hard work, and playing some of the best defense in our division.”
Starting two freshmen and two sophomores in the Sub-State game, and taking the opponent to the wire, Coach Jones looks forward to seeing development in the near future with his returning group of players.
Overall, the basketball seasons were full of more highs than lows for both the boys and girls, and the future looks bright for both groups.