Kapaun’s Boys Basketball – State Championship – Presented by Farmers Insurance’s Brady Carter

Just a year ago, the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Crusaders found themselves in the championship game. But the senior-laden Andover Trojans were too much for the Crusaders.

Kapaun had another chance to write some history, this time capitalizing on the opportunity and avenging last year’s heartbreaking loss.

“It feels so good ever since that day last year I’ve been working my butt off to get back here and win it,” junior guard Corbin Johnson said. “There were so many early mornings, late nights and missed parties, but I knew that’s what it would take to win, and it feels so surreal.”

The junior made sure to finish the season off right this time, scoring 18 points, hitting five threes, and snagging four rebounds.

Johnson wasn’t the only big performer for the Crusaders. Senior William Thengvall continued his insane state tournament run with 29 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. The win wouldn’t be easy, though.

After knocking off the undefeated Maize South Mavericks 61-55, the Piper Pirates entered the championship game with a different type of confidence.

After a first-quarter lead of 16-14, Piper would continue to fight back and tie up the game 27-27 at halftime, led by Derrick Jackson’s nine points.

The Crusaders would finally pull away deep in the second half, limiting the Piper transition game, and some timely threes by Johnson would ultimately give the Crusaders their fifth state title win in school history and the first with legendary coach Steve Eck.