A point guard that facilitates an offense with minimal flaw, a forward that can step inside or outside whenever needed and a post that can bring in nearly any rebound will bring any team plenty of success.
The trio of guard Jett Little and forwards Morgan Davis and Randall Friesen provide exactly that for the Meade Buffaloes and they’ll get a shot at redemption that they’ve been seeking since last March.
A 25-point, 15-rebound performance from Davis helped propel the Buffaloes (24-0) back into the state title game in a 74-54 win over Moundridge (19-6).
Meade advances to play Belleville-Republic County in today’s state championship at 6:15 p.m.
After losing in last year’s state championship, the Buffaloes have had their eyes set on a return to the title game and have gone about their way in strong fashion.
Moundridge head coach Vance Unrau said Meade has used its prior experience well and is a team very much on a mission.
“There is no question,” Unrau said. “They used some of that experience to add to their motivation to get there again and to take care of some unfinished business.”
Keeping within arm’s reach at a 30-21 deficit at halftime, the Wildcats were well within reach of knocking off the No. 1 seed but the post defense of the Buffaloes prevented Moundridge from establishing its offense inside.
The Wildcats shot just 37.7 percent from the field and were 20-53 from the field.
“We couldn’t finish,” Unrau said. “We got the ball where we wanted to against their size and we just had a hard time finishing.”
Davis and Friesen, standing at 6-4 and 6-8 respectively, give the Buffaloes a formidable frontcourt duo and despite plenty of shot attempts against the unit, Moundridge was unable to find consistency offensively.
“I use the word distracted,” Moundridge head coach Vance Unrau said. “It’s easy to get distracted when you’re going against size like that and certainly it’s more size than what we’re accustomed to. Credit them, they contest every shot.”
Guard Daniel Ratzlaff put together one of his strongest performances of the season for the Wildcats, scoring 26 points on the afternoon.
The senior’s 9-23 shooting performance was noteworthy but it couldn’t quite carry the load.
“There’s just no quit in Daniel,” Unrau said. “Obviously he’s put a lot of time into his game and he’s not a vocal leader. I call him our silent warrior because he just goes out and plays.”
Page 2 of 2 - Losing a chance at a state championship is difficult but Unrau said a good opportunity awaits his team in today’s third-place game against Ness City.
“The good news is we get a chance to come back tomorrow,” Unrau said. “I tell our kids to always end on a make. Before you leave the court, you end on a make. We’re coming back tomorrow to end on a win.”
Tipoff is at 2 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum on the K-State campus.