The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced sub-state basketball pairings Wednesday, and most of the Saline County schools will be opening the playoffs on the road next week.

Only the Salina Central boys, Sacred Heart boys and Salina South girls will get an opportunity begin the postseason on their home floor.

The Central boys, 14-5 and state runner-up in Class 5A a year ago, will open their 5A sub-state against Hays (9-9) in a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, February 28 at the Central High gym.

The South boys (8-11) will go on the road for their sub-state opener and face Wichita Heights (15-5) at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Heights High gym.

The Central-Hays winner will face the Heights-South winner in the sub-state championship contest on Saturday, March 2 on the home floor of the highest remaining seed. The winner of the Central-Hays game will be on the road for the sub-state title game if the opponent is Heights, but would play at home if the opponent is South.

With Class 5A expanding from 32 to 36 teams this year, there will be two play-in games to fill out the brackets for both boys and girls.

The South girls (6-13) will participate in one of those play-in games. They will face Great Bend (1-19) in a 6:30 p.m. contest Monday at the South High gym.

The South-Great Bend winner moves on to play Goddard (18-1) in a Wednesday sub-state semifinal at Goddard High School.

The Central girls (10-9) will likely have to win two games on the road if they are to make their fourth consecutive state tourney appearance. The Mustangs will open at Andover Central (12-7) in a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday at Andover Central High School. The winner of that game will face unbeaten Maize South (19-0) or the winner of the play-in game between Valley Center (2-17) and Arkansas City (1-17).

The Sacred Heart boys are also attempting to qualify for state for a fourth consecutive year. The Knights (14-5) begin 2A sub-state play with a quarterfinal against Sterling (3-16) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sacred Heart gym.

The Sacred Heart-Sterling winner advances to the sub-state semifinals on Thursday, February 28 at Sterling High School and will face the winner of the opening-round contest between Ellinwood (6-13) and Ellsworth (5-14).

The Sacred Heart girls (9-10) won’t have to travel far for their sub-state opener. The Knights meet Bennington (12-7) in a 7 p.m. contest Tuesday at Bennington High School.

The Sacred Heart-Bennington winner plays in the sub-state semifinals on Friday, March 1 at Sterling High School and will face the winner of the opening round game between top-seed Inman and Ell-Saline.

Both Ell-Saline teams will start their 2A sub-state with games against Inman as part of a doubleheader Monday at Inman High School.

The Ell-Saline girls (0-19) will face the Teutons (16-3) at 6 p.m. Monday, followed by the Ell-Saline boys (3-17) against Inman (17-2) at 7:30 p.m.

Southeast of Saline boys and girls will also travel together next week for their 3A sub-state openers against Phillipsburg. Those games will be played Tuesday at Phillipsburg High School.

The Southeast (11-8) and Phillipsburg girls (12-8) will play at 5 p.m. Tuesday, followed by the Trojans boys (5-14) against the Panthers (17-2) at 6:30 p.m.