The Central Plains Oilers boys basketball team finished the season on a high note. Again.
After winning the 2A State Championship last season, the Oilers completed the job a second time, winning the consolidated 1A State Title with a 40-28 win over the St. John-Hudson Tigers Saturday night.
Senior Alex Hickel had a game-high 21 points for the Oilers. Senior Mason Osborne had a team-high 11 for St. John.
Oilers head coach Brett Rolfs said his team did just enough to win on offense, and hung their hat on defense and rebounding.
“We gave up some offensive boards there early, two, pry three in the first three or four possessions but then we settled down and did a better job there too,” Rolfs said.
The Tigers outrebounded the Oilers 21-17, but committed 11 turnovers versus just six by the Oilers, which Central Plains turned into 16 extra points, with 19 total off of turnovers. Rolfs, however, said it was hard to pinpoint certain times the Tigers turned the ball over because there weren’t a lot of fast breaks.
“It was a slow-paced game, like I said that’s the way they wanted it to be,” Rolfs said. “We were OK with that, we’re used to playing at a slow pace if we have to, but we like I said, we did just enough.”
The Oilers led 8-7 after the first, 18-13 at halftime, and 27-20 entering the fourth.
Amid the chaos of what is now back-to-back State Championships, Rolfs said his favorite part has been the personalities of the kids.
“I truly enjoy working with this group of kids, and that’s what makes them so good, I mean on the court and off of the court, they’re just fantastic kids,” Rolfs said. “They work their butts off. I mean people don’t understand how much work these guys have put in to get where they’re at, and a lot of that’s a testament to their parents too. It all starts at home and they’re kids and they’ve got great parents.”