Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Class 2a Scoring Leaders

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Class 2a Scoring Leaders

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- A sea of fans wore blue Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum to cheer on St. John in the Class 2A boys state championship. The Tigers rewarded them by claiming a second straight 2A title and third straight state title overall with a 49-44 win against Central Plains.

The small town of St. John has produced one of the most recognizable basketball programs in the state over the past three years, and it is something that has made the community proud.

"You can see by the number of fans that we have here that it is really important," St. John coach Clint Kinnamon said following the win. "Our fans have traveled really well all year; it's not just coming to the state tournament. We couldn't have done a lot of things that we do without their support. They get right behind us and cheer for us and help us defensively to work really hard, and it's great for the whole community."

Six-foot-9 senior Dean Wade was a big reason for the success. Wade's stature makes him easily recognizable among high schoolers in Kansas. His skills on the basketball court made him recognizable to college coaches across the county.

Rivals.com lists Wade as the nation's 109th overall prospect. He received scholarship offers from more than dozen Division I programs but decided to stay close to home and play for Kansas State.

On Saturday, he wore a St. John Tiger jersey for the final time on the same court where he will play his college ball.

"It's just amazing," Wade said with the state championship medal around his neck. "Not many people ever get to have that really -- end their high school career where they're going to play college basketball and end on a win, too, with a state championship. It's just an amazing feeling; emotions are flowing. It's awesome."

Wade was the leading scorer in Manhattan during the week, averaging 24.3 points over the three-game stretch. Not too far behind him was his teammate, sophomore Cole Kinnamon.

Kinnamon, the son of the Tigers' coach, scored 22 points in the semifinal round against Washington County and finished with an average of just under 15 points. Kinnamon highlights the young nucleus that was built around Wade, who was one of only two Tigers seniors this year. …

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