By Rick Peterson

Topeka West started fast and finished even faster on the way to a home 65-45 win over Seaman in Tuesday's Class 5A sub-state semifinal.

JalenFoySeamansubstate 1Topeka West junior Jalen Foy (22), who scored 20 points, drives to the hoop in Tuesday's 65-45 sub-state win over Seaman, while KaeVon Bonner defends for the Vikings. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

KeimaniPaulSeamansubstate 3Sophomore Keimani Paul scored 18 points in Topeka West's 65-45 Class 5A sub-state win over Seaman. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

With Tuesday's win the 14-7 Chargers advanced to Friday's West Sub-State I championship game at Andover, the defending 5A state champion, while Seaman finished its season 9-12.

Topeka West, which beat United Kansas Conference rival Seaman for the third time, jumped out to a 14-point lead late in the first half and led by 11 (33-22) at the break, but the Vikings battled back to make it a one-possession game at 45-42 early in the fourth quarter before the Chargers dominated things the rest of the way, ending the game with a 20-3 run.

"That's the best thing about this basketball game, the fact that things were going our way and then the roller-coaster ride started going down again and they responded,'' Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist said of his team. "They responded very well and the big thing was rebounding.

"We had to get more active on the boards and they adjusted to that. They acted like they were coached, and that was fun, the fact that they responded finally.''

Bloomquist said he knew that playing Seaman for a third time wasn't going to be easy.

"The whole thing is the fact that not only do we play three times, everybody knows everybody,'' Bloomquist said. "We're in Topeka and the kids play against each other all the time, on the weekends, during the week in the summer. They're very familiar with each other and that makes it hard, too.

"These are hard games to play. I feel bad that Seaman's good enough to be in another bracket and win without a doubt but that's kind of how it has to go sometimes.''

Junior Jalen Foy led Topeka West with a game-high 20 points while sophomore Keimani Paul added 18 points and junior Ja'Vian Chambers 10 points off the bench.

The Chargers shot 56 percent from the field on the night and also went 15 of 22 from the free throw line.

Foy hit 6 of 9 shots from the field and went 6 of 7 at the free throw line while Paul hit 7 of 9 shots from floor.

Foy said the Chargers had to forget about the fact that they were playing the Vikings for the third time and just play their game.

"It's really not hard,'' Foy said. "You just have to keep the same intensity, the same mental mindset and just try to win again.''

Foy said the key when Seaman rallied to get close was to just get back to what West does best.

"We have to keep our mindset right, just regroup, work as a team and it will all come together,'' Foy said. 

Senior Holden Finley and sophomore KaeVon Bonner led Seaman with 12 points apiece while sophomore Landon Wiltz added 10 points.

Andover (17-4) advanced to Friday's semifinal matchup against West with a 65-61 win over Salina Central Tuesday night.


Seaman           7 15 17 6  -- 45

Topeka West 11 22 12 20 -- 65

Seaman (9-12) -- Finley 4-11 0-0 12, Wiltz 3-7 2-2 10, Phillips 1-4 0-0 2, Bonner 5-16 1-4 12, Unruh 2-5 2-5 6, Toyne 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-2 0, Zuniga 0-0 0-0 0, Cochran 0-0 0-0 0, Chapman 0-4 3-4 3, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, McConnaughey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 8-17 45.

Topeka West (14-7) -- Young 1-5 1-2 3, Duncan 0-2 0-0 0, Paul 7-9 3-5 18, Foy 6-9 6-7 20, Ford 3-4 2-2 9, McGee 0-2 1-2 1, Traylor 1-1 0-0 2, Guest 0-1 0-0 0, Webb 0-0 0-0 0, Chambers 4-6 2-2 10, Noonoo 1-2 0-2 2, Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-41 15-22 65.

3-point goals -- Seaman 7 (Finley 4, Wiltz 2, Bonner), Topeka West 4 (Foy 2, Paul, Ford). Total fouls -- Seaman 15, Topeka West 15. Fouled out -- none. Technical foul -- none.

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