Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Silver Lake's Undefeated Run Surprising, Impressive for Ziegler

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Silver Lake's Undefeated Run Surprising, Impressive for Ziegler

Article excerpt

HUTCHINSON -- On the bus ride home from his team's Class 3A sub- state at Council Grove, Silver Lake coach Loren Ziegler couldn't help but do the math.

The Eagles had just wrapped up another sub-state title with a 63- 52 victory over the host Braves, running their record to 23-0 in the process. The victory was the third over a Council Grove team that had only lost to 4A state qualifiers Paola and Clay Center.

Going back and reviewing Silver Lake's march to perfection, the numbers astonished the longtime Eagles coach.

"Out of our 23 games, there were 16 where I thought those teams could beat us on a given night if we didn't play well," Ziegler said. "To win every one of those 16 is impressive because that's getting it done every night. I told the girls (Saturday) night in the locker room, 'I never expected this.' I just felt we had so many good teams we would play there would be one night where things just didn't go right and we'd come up on the short end. I can't believe we ran the table."

The last unbeaten left in Class 3A, Silver Lake naturally is the No. 1 seed for this week's 3A state tournament in Hutchinson. The Eagles open play in the Sports Arena at 3 p.m. Thursday against No. 8 seed West Franklin (15-8).

Silver Lake was third at state last year, falling to Cimarron 68- 53 in the semifinals before edging Sabetha 51-50 in the third-place game. Even with the bulk of that squad back to lead this year's undefeated run, Ziegler doesn't consider his squad the overwhelming favorite to win the program's second state title in the past five years and sixth overall.

Instead, Ziegler sees plenty of serious threats in the 3A tourney field, teams like Sterling (22-1), Sabetha (22-1), Garden Plain (21- 2), TMP-Marian (21-2) and Southeast-Saline (18-5).

"There's five or six teams that can win it with the talent they have," Ziegler said. …

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