After defeating El Dorado on Thursday, the Circle Thunderbirds advanced to the semifinals of the 50th Annual Bluestem Classic. The Thunderbirds knew they had their work cut out for them, being faced with 4A-DII No. 1 Wichita Trinity. Trinity came into the matchup 9-0 while Circle was sitting at 4-5 on the season. Trinity clearly had a height advantage, with Circle’s tallest player standing at 6’ 3”, while Trinity had seven players listed as 6’ 3” or taller. This led to a large discrepancy in rebounding between the two teams, as Trinity dominated the glass from start to finish as the Knights advanced to the championship game with a dominant 70-37 win over Circle.

Five different Thunderbirds scored in the first quarter, but Trinity was able to grab a 20-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, thanks to several second-chance baskets.

Trinity doubled their lead in the second quarter to go into the break with a 17-37 lead. Circle was able to knock down just three field goals in the second quarter.

Trinity continued to dominate the second half as they came out and scored the first 10 points of the half, and would go on to outscore Circle 24-7 in the quarter. Many of the Trinity starters rested the final quarter to prepare for Saturday’s championship. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Knights led 70-37.

Dylan Meier and Matt Hromek led the T-Birds with nine points each. Gunner Hutson added six. Lane Coulter and Jude Warren both finished with five.