By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The Meade High School boys basketball team lost only once last season: 71-49 to Sterling in the Kansas Class 2A Tournament championship game.
The Buffaloes have returned to Manhattan after that stellar 25-1 effort.
They’re 22-0 and hungry, first-year coach Austin Lewis said Monday.
“We have 10 players off that state tournament roster,” Lewis said. “They’ve talked about last season quite a bit. Our players are very hungry. We should be ready to go.”
Standing in the way of the top-seeded Buffaloes in the first round is Oswego (14-9).
Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday in Bramlage Coliseum at Kansas State University.
Oswego coach Jeff Schreppel, who’s assisted by Larry Sanders, said the Indians are returning to state for the first time since 1992-93. Those Indians, 21-5 overall and co-champions in the Mineral Belt League with St. Paul at 8-2, placed fourth in Class 2A for Dave Bisnette.
“Meade, which won football titles in 2010 and this past fall, is legitimate,” Schreppel said. “They have size. They’re very athletic. They will try to speed you up. We’d like to control their speed. Their guards really can shoot the ball.
“We have to keep our focus,” said Schreppel, a 1989 Oswego graduate. “We have to play with confidence do what we’ve worked on each day during the season.
“We knew, entering the season, we could be a good team,” Schreppel said. ‘But injuries and sickness combined to slow us down.”
Schreppel said a victory at Girard on Feb. 14, when the Indians rallied from a 9-point deficit in the third period to triumph, was a “turnaround moment.”
“Things started clicking and we’ve continued to improve since that game,” Schreppel said.
Three starters return for Meade, Lewis said, in 6-foot-8, 230-pound senior Randy Friesen, 5-10 junior point guard Jett Little and 6-4 junior Morgan Davis.
Davis and Little are averaging about 15 points apiece, Lewis said, while Friesen is adding some 11-12 points and 10-11 rebounds.
Friesen, a tight end-defensive end, plans to walk on at Kansas State in football.
Just two seniors are on the Oswego roster — 6-2 Zac Dickerson and 5-8 Tay Hairston.
The probable starters, Schreppel said, are Dickerson, 5-9 sophomore Weston Eckermann, 6-0 junior Tag Oldham, 6-6 junior Travis Schenker and 6-1 junior Brant Yeoman.
Oldham had four treys in scoring 19 points in the Indians’ 48-35 win against West Elk to win the Arma Northeast Sub-State. Yeoman added 11 points.
“I thought Dickerson and Schenker controlled the boards (against West Elk),” Schreppel said.
Schreppel said he will use several players off the bench. They include Brant Yeoman’s brother — 6-5 sophomore Kel.
Others are juniors Mason Carter (5-9), Ethan Elliott (6-3), David Kirkpatrick (6-0), Drake Sheddrick (6-0) and Tristen Williamson (6-2).
Schreppel, who’s in his 15th season at Oswego, has won 202 games.