82-83 Boys Basketball

82-83 Boys Basketball1982-83 Central Boys Basketball

The 1982-83 Salina Central boys basketball team was and remains to this day the only team in Kansas to win a state title with a sub-.500 record.

The Mustangs went 6-13 in the regular season, finished last in the I-70 League with a 1-9 record and were seventh in the Salina Invitational Tournament. Central's starting lineup did not include a player taller than 6-foot.

The team, playing under head coach Dennis Wahlgren, began its miraculous postseason run with a 31-30 victory over Salina South, its first win in three tries against the Cougars that season. Central defeated Liberal in the sub-state title game at Hays to earn a berth in the 5A state tournament.

Central opened the state tournament at Emporia's White Auditorium with a 58-56 win over Parsons, a team that was 21-0 and had a front line of 6-7, 6-4 and 6-4.

Todd Rhine's basket with two seconds to play proved to be the winning points in a 47-45 victory over Wichita Kapaun in the semifinals.

Central led its state title game against a 20-win Stanley-Blue Valley team by 13 points with nearly three minutes to play, but weathered a frantic comeback and defeated the Tigers 50-47.

The Mustangs won all five of their postseason games by three points or less. Central lost five games in the regular season by three points or less. The team's five postseason opponents had a combined record of 83-22 before losing to Central.