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After leading most of the championship game, the WHS Boys basketball team fell short in the final seconds against Circle in the Chaparral Roadrunner Classic. The Crusaders lost the game by just one point with a final score of 49-48.

“I’m very proud of this group,” said head coach Joe Newman. “We got better every game throughout the tournament and played championship-caliber basketball.”

The circle game ended in a turnover. The Crusaders had 20 and the Circle scored 15 points from those mistakes.

“I learned a lot about the team in the circle, so I will continue to focus on improving,” Newman said. “We’re still chasing the league title, chasing the playoffs. This loss will make us better.”

Sr. Banks Hinshaw led the Crusaders to 19 points and trailing 7 rebounds against the Circle. He was 10-7 from the field, 3-2 from the three-point line, and 7-3 from the free-throw line.

Seniors Jack Wright and Montell Tate and sophomore Carter Burnett were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Newman said Burnett’s ability to play as a sophomore is a promising sign for the future of WHS basketball.

“Carter makes a lot of plays because of his efforts,” Newman said. “Combining that with his length and athleticism gives him the tools to become a special player.”

In the semifinals, the Crusaders defeated homeschool team Reno County, 60-24. Senior Monterteit led the team with his 18 points scored.

In the first match of the tournament, Wellington faced another Sumner County team, Conway Springs. The Crusaders beat the Cardinals, he 56-48. Senior guard Jack Wright scored his 20 points against Conway. Barnett scored 11 points.

“Jack has the ability to score in multiple ways,” Newman said. “He hits the rim, gets layups, free throws He’s at his best when he gets to the line. He’s been in and out of the arc this season. When he’s hitting, we open up the floor to the whole team.”

Championship Game vs. Circle Box Score:

Circle 49-48 Wellington

Malachi Rodgers – 11 points; 6 rebounds. Jack Wright’s 2 steals – 3 rebounds. 6 assists Montell Tate – 11 points. 4 rebounds; 1 assist; 2 Steel Banks-Hinshaw – 19 points. 7 rebounds; 1 assist; Cope Henry – 2 points; 1 rebound; 2 assists Carter Burnett – 3 points. 8 rebounds; 1 assist Brody Weir – 2 points

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