It didn’t take long for legendary coach Steve Eck to take the Kapaun Mt. Carmel boys basketball team to a No. 1 ranking.
The Crusaders showed why they are currently the top team in Class 5A on Tuesday, winning a crucial City League showdown in a 41-38 road victory over Class 6A’s No. 3-ranked Wichita Heights on Tuesday. Kapaun also picked up the season sweep in the series between two of the best Kansas high school basketball teams in the state.
Kapaun (12-1) has its eyes on its first City League title since the 2016-17 season, as the Crusaders improved to a perfect 9-0 in league play and began to distance themselves from Wichita Heights (11-2, 7-2 GWAL) and Wichita Northwest (9-3, 6-2 GWAL).
It was a disappointing finish for Heights, which was coming off an impressive title run at the Dodge City tournament this past weekend and built a double-digit lead at various points throughout the game. The Falcons led 38-31 early in the fourth quarter, but went the final 7 minutes, 25 seconds of the game without a single point, missing their final eight shots and committing three turnovers.
Kapaun capitalized on its defensive excellence, as the duo of Will Anciaux (11 points) and Henry Thengvall (13 points) mostly powered a 10-0 run to end the game. Thengvall scored the game-tying basket with 3:37 remaining, then Anciaux used his 6-foot-6 frame to score inside to put the Crusaders in front, 40-38, with 2:21 left.
Heights star sophomore T.J. Williams (game-high 17 points) was brilliant in helping the Falcons build their lead and had a potential game-tying floater just miss with 21 seconds left. After Kapaun’s Luke Porter tacked on a free throw with 11.7 seconds left, Heights had two potential game-tying shots from beyond the arc but both failed to draw iron to end the game.
Kansas high school basketball scores: Tuesday, January 25
Bishop Carroll 43, Wichita South 36
Kapaun Mt. Carmel 41, Wichita Heights 38
Wichita Southeast 66, Wichita East 53
Wichita West 67, Wichita North 42
Andale 57, Augusta 37
Andover Central 51, McPherson 37
El Dorado 63, Clearwater 42
Maize South 67, Goddard 45
Wichita Collegiate 77, Rose Hill 54
Cheney 61, Inman 41
Hesston 62, Solomon 34
Hillsboro 47, Lyons 35
Humboldt 72, Bluestem 63
Smoky Valley 53, Hutchinson Trinity 27
Bishop Carroll 44, Wichita South 33
Wichita East 58, Wichita Southeast 27
Wichita Heights 59, Kapaun Mt. Carmel 23
Wichita North 43, Wichita West 38
Mulvane 44, Conway Springs 40
Winfield 45, Arkansas City 40
Belle Plaine 44, Chaparral 41
Berean Academy 41, Hutchinson Central Christian 36
Bluestem 45, Humboldt 30
Central Plains 49, Hesston 35
Ell-Saline 53, Wichita Home School 39
Fairfield 64, Wichita Central Christian 27
Hillsboro 35, Lyons 32
Smoky Valley 35, Hutchinson Trinity 20
Sunrise Academy 64, Moundridge 31