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Wellington boys open sub-state play tonight against Rose Hill; updated sub-state schedule

Wellington has had several personnel changes since this picture was taken in December. The team begins sub-state play tonight against Rose Hill.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Class 4A schools are the last to jump into the sub-state post-season fray, but tonight and tomorrow they get their turns as well.

The Wellington boys will travel to Rose Hill to play the host in the first round of sub-state tonight at 7:30 p.m. The girls will play host to Winfield Friday at 6 p.m.

In other Sumner County news, Argonia girls will be battling No. 2 ranked Cunningham tonight at 6 p.m. followed by Caldwell against Attica at 7:30 p.m. in the Attica sub-state. The boys teams at Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, Caldwell, South Haven and Argonia will play Friday night.

The Rose Hill sub-state for both the boys and girls will be interesting. Both teams could end up in the Class 4A state tournament and both teams could be starting spring sports on Monday. The sub-states for both squads could arguably be a 50-50 proposition.

The boys sub-state is especially muddled. Wellington (7-13) is battling Rose Hill (5-11). Mulvane (7-13) is battling Winfield (2-18) in the first round game.

An interesting note, Wellington, Rose Hill and Mulvane have split against the other. Wellington defeated Rose Hill in December but lost in February. Rose Hill beat Mulvane in December, Mulvane beat Rose Hill in February. Mulvane beat Wellington in December. Wellington beat Mulvane in February. Mulvane also beat Wellington in the Chaparral midseason tournament.

Go figure.

In other words, this sub-state is for the taking, and who knows if Winfield will be making noise as well.

Wellington head coach Rick Roitman said the Crusaders are playing their best ball of the season.

“We have a real opportunity to make the state tournament for the second time in three years,” Roitman said at Crusader Club on Monday. “It all depends which team shows up for the tournament.”

Wellington has been on a roller coaster ride for most of the season. Two weeks ago, it lost to Rose Hill 62-55 on a road in a game best forgotten. But then the Crusaders pieced together two of their best wins simultaneously, a huge 73-65 win at home against the Wildcats, who had beaten them twice before. Then they traveled to Clearwater, rattled off an 11-point half-time lead, and survived for 63-58 overtime win.

Friday’s Senior Night 72-51 loss against Collegiate was probably best forgotten as well.

Tonight, a relatively young Wellington team will take to the court against a Rose Hill squad, who distributes the scoring evenly. In the Feb. 14 contest, three Rose Hill players were in double figures.

For Wellington to win, it is obviously going to depend on the Crusaders three-year junior starting duo: A.J. Snipes and Ian King.

“A.J. is the best player in the league every time he steps on the court,” Roitman has said numerous times. “He is the first player in Wellington since I’ve been here who can create something out of nothing.”

Snipes is averaging 16.4 points a game. And any Crusader fan realizes how essential he is in the clutch.

King, at 6-6, needs to have a strong inside presence. He is averaging 13.5 ppg and nabbing 7.5 rebounds.

Look for Wellington to play a seven-man rotation. Hopefully the Dukes can stay out of foul trouble. This team isn’t deep.

This should be a really fun tournament. Crusaders could take a major step toward Salina by knocking out the host tonight.

Sumner Newscow will have live tweets tonight from Rose Hill.

Wellington girls preview will be featured tomorrow morning.

———

Updated Sumner County sub-state schedule for Thursday:

Monday –

Boys:

Class 2A – Bluestem 44 Oxford 23.

Girls:

Class 3A – Cheney 37 Conway Springs 34

Class 3A – Caney Valley 60 Belle Plaine 28

Class 1A – Argonia 44 South Haven 25.

Tuesday –

Boys:

Class 3A – Belle Plaine 67 Eureka 47

Class 3A –  Conway Springs 69 Sedgwick 56

Class 1A at Attica – South Haven 66 Stafford 28, Argonia 60 Cunningham 39.

Girls:

Class 2A – Flinthills 67 Oxford 36.

Thursday –

Semifinals –

Boys: Class 4A — Rose Hill (5-15) vs. Wellington (7-13), 7:30 at Rose Hill.

Girls: Class 1A — Argonia vs. Cunningham, 6 p.m. Caldwell vs. Attica, 7:30 p.m. at Attica.

Friday –

Semifinals –

Boys:

Class 3A  — Conway Springs vs. Halstead, 7:30 p.m. at Garden Plain.

Class 3A — Belle Plaine vs. Douglass, 6 p.m. at Fredonia

Class 1A — Caldwell vs. South Haven, 6 p.m., Attica vs. Argonia, 7:30 p.m. in Attica.

Girls:

Class 4A — Winfield (9-11) vs. Wellington (15-5), 6 p.m. at Rose Hill.

Saturday:

Sub-State Championship.

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