By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director
The 2011 SPVA boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments are history. The Hershey boys and the St. Pats girls came out as champions for this season.
I don’t know if this year’s tournament had as high quality of teams as in the past, but I do know that it was as competitive as ever. In order to win it you had to put together some good efforts.
The Hershey boys were able to do that against a pretty good St. Pat’s team. The St. Pats boys are 13-2 with the two losses to Hershey. The St. Pats girls on the other hand got a revenge win over Sutherland. Sutherland had defeated St. Pat’s early in the season and NPSP won the one that counted.
The St. Pat’s girls win stopped a five-year winning streak of the Perkins County girls and one of the questions asked was if that was a record for one team winning consecutive championships. I didn’t get an opportunity to check with the school about some of the records that have been kept, but I do know that the Perkins County boys teams won the SPVA in 1989, 90, 91, 92 and 93.
There could be a really good chance that Perkins County boys got five in a row in the 80s also. My memory just doesn’t go back that far. I will check with the high school and see if we can find out if five in a row is a record.
It appeared that the crowds were pretty good for this year’s tournament. Sally Thalkin who runs the tournament for the SPVA and has done that for a number of years said that the gates had been pretty good through the week. Saturday night’s championship games drew big crowds.
The games were natural draws, as you had Hershey-St. Pats in the boys’ finals and St. Pat’s and Sutherland in the girls’ finals.
The girls’ portion of the tournament was played truly with young players. There were only eight seniors listed on the six rosters of the SPVA schools, and one of those seniors was hurt.
It would appear that the tournament will be played with pretty much the same rosters again next year. The boys’ rosters had 24 seniors listed.
It would be nice if there were a couple more teams in the SPVA. Eight teams make a nice tournament with everyone getting three games if you play them all out like the design of the tournament is currently.
In years past the conference was bigger and at one time even had two divisions. I don’t know if we can find more teams but it would be nice.
This week the basketball will be at home as the Plainsmen host Sedgwick County. Come and support the Plainsmen.