Emporia State’s men’s basketball team has recently punched their ticket to compete in the MIAA basketball tournament. They are currently ranked four out of 14 after having consecutive losing records the past four seasons. As of Feb. 18, the team is 18-6.

Head coach Craig Doty is in his fourth season with the team and said he thinks this is “one of the better seasons Emporia State’s men’s basketball has had in decades.”

The team recently beat the #1 team in the conference which is also the #2 team in the nation, Northwest Missouri State.

Success is found further than just on the court, according to Doty.

“Whether we are having the success we have had this season, which has been substantial on the court, every year we have made the great progress with our student athletes,” Doty said. “We have graduated student athletes, we’ve done a substantial amount of community service projects on an annual basis, we are in the community making an impact and ultimately we are advancing young men to be future husbands, professionals off the basketball court and community members.”

The coaching staff is purely focused on the team that is in the program now. They want to live in the moment and embrace the boys in the locker room, according to Doty. The boys are still hungry for more. Doty said the boys are eating well, have good grades and taking care of business at practice and in the weight room.

The women’s side is slightly less successful, but they have had unforeseen complications. A few players were injured and COVID-19 has also impacted the team. The past four years the women have had winning records and this season’s record is currently 12-12. They are going into the MIAA ranked#10.

Fans can’t count out the Lady Hornets yet, according to head coach Toby Wynn. Wynn has said that it is very rare for the #1 seed to win the tournament. He has seen it where the #9 team has comeback and won it. Either way, Wynn expects the Lady Hornets to come back next season with healthier players that will be hungry for a win.

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