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Piper boys win state basketball championship
by Brian Turrel
The Piper High School boys basketball team won the 4A KSHSAA state championship, defeating Augusta 86-53 in the tournament final in Salina on Saturday evening. It’s the first basketball championship in Piper school history.
Piper controlled the game from early on, outscoring the Orioles 20 to 12 in the opening quarter. The Pirates used their length to bother the Augusta shooters, and they used their speed to get to the basket and to misdirect the Oriole defense.
Piper senior Trey Bates controlled the offense, and his quick first step caused problems on the perimeter. He was repeatedly able to get space from his defender with a decoy move, then used the space for a step-back jumper or to find a teammate streaking to the basket. Piper got 46 points in the paint because of the quick movement out front, and active cutters to the lane along the baseline.
With a 17-point lead going into the fourth quarter, Piper piled on, leaving no chance for a comeback. They continued to look for high-percentage shots, hitting 68 percent of their second-half chances.
Trey Bates led the scoring with 21 in his last game in a Piper uniform. Tamar Bates was right behind with 20 points, and Friday night’s hero Ty Shelley poured in 15, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
The state championship caps a 20-4 season, in which the Pirates also captured their first Frontier League title.