Sports in KS: Around the State Basketball Update 1/15/19

Kennedy Brown of Derby had 25 points over Wichita Heights. (photo: Jared Weinman)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas
Jan 15, 2019

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We highlight some impressive happenings of week one of the 2018-2019 high school basketball season in Kansas. Have something that you think is worthy of a mention or story you can suggest it anytime here

Boys Rankings from the KBCA can be viewed here

Girls Rankings from the KBCA can be viewed here

We highlight some impressive happenings from last week of high school basketball season in Kansas. Have something that you think is worthy of a mention or story you can suggest it anytime here

Class 6A

One of the biggest showcases happened last week when the annual AVCTL/GWAL (City League) three-day competition occurred between the top Wichita area schools. Arguably the biggest matchup came when the Derby girls, ranked No. 1 in 6A, beat Wichita Heights, 66-52. Heights was undefeated, leads the City League and bumped five spots from eighth to third in this week’s 5A rankings. Derby’s Kennedy Brown (Oregon State) led the team with 25 points.

Wichita Southeast boys moved up a place to No. 2 after a quality 82-72 overtime win versus previously undefeated Andover Central. SE received 34 points from sophomore Jackie Johnson.

Haysville Campus vaulted another three spots to seventh in Class 6A. In the last 10 days, Campus ended losing streaks of at least 20 games versus Salina Central and Derby. On Saturday, in the last big AVCTL/GWAL matchup, the 9-1 Colts rolled over Wichita East, 75-47. East entered the game No. 9 in 6A and fell out of the rankings.

Liberal girls, which will be the top seed at the Salina Invitational this week, rolled over Garden City, 53-22, in Western Athletic Conference play last Tuesday. The Redskins, ranked fifth in Class 6A, led 18-4 after the first quarter and 37-5 at halftime. The Redskins are 8-0.

All but four of Liberal’s points came from non-seniors. Liberal’s excellent junior duo of Katie Horyna and Machia Mullens combined for 12-21 shooting. Mullens had 17 and Horyna finished with 13. Junior Reagan Watt delivered 12 against a Buff squad that is 6-2.

Class 5A

Both Maize squads had big wins against Bishop Carroll. Maize boys changed the pecking order in Class 5A. Last week, Bishop Carroll pulled an upset versus Wichita Heights last Tuesday. On Friday, Maize beat Carroll, 56-52, in overtime. As well, Andover Central lost in overtime in the aforementioned game versus Wichita Southeast.

Last week, the rankings went Wichita Heights, Andover Central, Maize and Pittsburg. Now, it’s Maize, Wichita Heights, Pittsburg and Andover Central. In the Carroll win, Maize’s Caleb Grill (South Dakota State signing) sunk a 3-pointer in overtime and helped the Eagles to 9-0.

As well, Maize also beat Salina Central, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A, last Tuesday, 55-43. While Grill is well known, senior Brandle Easter Jr. continues to have a big season and led the team in scoring in both games last week.

Pittsburg earned a quality win against Coffeyville, 55-52, and improved to 8-0.

On the girls’ side, Maize stands fourth in 5A and beat a depleted Carroll squad, 54-44.

McPherson remained undefeated in league play with a 62-32 victory against El Dorado. McPherson (8-1, ranked sixth) received 23 points from its bench, including 10 from Andrea Sweat. The Bullpups led 16-15 after the first quarter before they pulled away. Emma Ruddle had 12 points, and Lakyn Schiefercke delivered 10 points.

Salina Central girls defeated Hutchinson, 61-56, in overtime behind 21 points from Aubrie Kierscht and 16 from Hampton Williams. SC is 5-3 after it survived a 16-0 Salthawk run.

Seaman girls defeated Hayden, 49-32, and collected its sixth straight victory to move to 6-2, 5-1 in league. Sophomore Camryn Turner delivered 14 points in the first quarter and finished with 24 in the game. Seaman’s defense limited Hayden to 26 percent shooting. Seaman is into the rankings at No. 10 in Class 5A.

Goddard girls defeated Wichita Northwest, 49-37, moved to 9-0 and replaced Aquinas as the No. 1 team in Class 5A. Goddard has not allowed more than 42 points in any game this season.

Class 4A

In one of the state’s biggest rivalries, Miege girls won at rival St. Thomas Aquinas, 56-46. Miege is undefeated and ranked first in Class 4A, and the Saints were top-ranked in Class 5A. Last season, Miege lost three times: once to an out-of-state school, in the state title game to McPherson and to Aquinas, 56-51, on Jan. 12.

This year, the Stags have captured every game by double figures and continue to get plenty of Division I attention. Alabama and Oklahoma were at a mid-December practice. Miege has played just one home game and has defeated two ranked Kansas teams in the last three contests. Miege is off until Jan. 22 when it faces Lincoln College Prep followed by the Newton tournament.

Miege remained No. 1 in Class 4A, while Aquinas slipped a spot to No. 2 behind Goddard in 5A. The 9-0 Lions have made a big climb through the poll after they opened the season ranked eighth in 5A.

In a critical North Central Kansas League girls’ contest between ranked teams, Abilene defeated Clay Center, 30-21. Abilene won at Clay Center for the first time in three years. Both teams had a scoreless quarter in the defensive battle.

CC led 4-0 after the first quarter, but Abilene held an 8-4 halftime advantage. The two teams were tied after the third quarter before the Cowgirls outscored Clay Center, 14-5, in the fourth quarter. Hannah Willey finished with 14 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the free throw line. Abilene is fourth in 4A, and Clay Center dropped three spots to fifth in 3A.

Topeka Hayden’s Levi Braun scored 30 points as the Wildcats defeated rival Seaman, 63-54. Hayden has captured four straight victories and moved to 6-2, 4-2 in the Centennial League. Hayden is ranked eighth in Class 4A.

Also in the NCKL play, Chapman girls defeated Concordia, 52-34. McKenna Kirkpatrick had 19 points. The tandem finished 7 of 12 from the free throw line.

In a high-profile contest, Trinity Academy, 9-0 and ranked No. 3 in 4A boys, defeated Belle Plaine, ranked No. 3 in 3A, 60-52. BP dropped to 10-1 as Trinity took control of the Central Plains League. The top-four teams have been very strong with Cheney and Kingman, both with just two losses.

Iola’s Derek Bycroft sunk a game-winner versus Wellsville with 5.2 seconds remaining for a 63-62 win.

Class 3A

Parsons’ Nena Taylor continued her great season when she cleared 1,000 career points against Fort Scott on Friday. Taylor, who overcame an injury earlier in her career, is averaging 28.1 points and nine rebounds a contest with 39 percent shooting from 3-point range this winter.

Burlington’s Kirsten Young signed with Emporia State University. Burlington defeated Osawatomie, 56-28, on Tuesday and has taken just two losses this season, to Baldwin and Wellsville and stand at 6-2.

Cheney girls enjoyed a great week and moved to 10-0 and is up a spot to No. 2 in Class 3A. On Tuesday, the Cardinals defeated Garden Plain, the defending Class 3A state champion and ranked first in Class 2A, 47-32. Cheney held GP to 28 percent shooting. Sophomore Kylee Scheer delivered 19 points and senior Layne Needham had 12 as Cheney shot 32 percent.

Senior Destinee O’Shea earned team player of the game honors with eight points on 3 of 5 shooting. Cheney led 10-4 after the first quarter and 27-12 at halftime. On Friday, Cheney beat Chaparral, 46-32.

Last year, Cheney went 15-7 and lost to Garden Plain four times, including 42-31 in sub-state and by three, 10 and 10 points during the regular season. The win marked the biggest margin of victory for Cheney in the series since a 69-50 victory on Feb. 23, 2010.

Cheney has upped its steals per game from 12.5 last year to 14.7 this season. The top three leaders in steals are all sophomores with Scheer (4.2), Lexi Cline (2.8) and Halley Jones (2.3). O’Shea is next at 1.9 steals a contest. The steals have helped Cheney improve from .61 points per possession in 2017-18 to .70 this year.

Norton girls (8-1) continued a highly impressive season with a 50-45 home victory Friday against Phillipsburg. The Bluejays still have not lost to a Kansas school this season and enter the Mid-Continent League tournament as the No. 2 seed this week. Norton is into the rankings for the first time this year at No. 10 in Class 3A.

In the NCKL, Sami Bartels tallied half her team’s points as Marysville defeated Wamego, 40-33. She went 14 of 20 from the free throw line. The Bulldogs had a 10-2 third-quarter burst for a 27-22 lead.

TMP girls and boys were involved in two wild finishes. Last Tuesday, the Monarch girls had a big matchup with previously undefeated WaKeeney-Trego in Mid-Continent League play. TMP won 44-43 when Jillian Lowe sunk a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Trego received a perfect shooting night from Libby Frost, who, despite missing all of the second quarter with foul trouble, had 19 points on 6 of 6 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line. WaKeeney dropped two spots from fourth to sixth in 2A. This week, the Golden Eagles are the top seed and host for the MCL tournament.

For the boys, TMP has won three straight and has moved into the MCL tournament semifinals. The Monarchs avenged a 53-49 road loss to Ellis on Jan. 4 with a 54-53 road win Monday in the MCL quarterfinals. TMP (7-4) is the tournament’s No. 7 seed. The Monarchs finished plus-17 on the glass and had another performance from 6-foot-7 senior forward Jared Mayers. He recorded 20 points and 12 rebounds versus SC and had 13 and seven against Ellis.

Ellis was down four with 17.8 seconds to go, but sophomore Brady Frickey, playing with a hurt nose, sunk a trey to pull the Railroaders within one. Then, Frickey’s 3-pointer at the buzzer narrowly missed. He finished with 19 points.

In a wild NCAA game, Minneapolis girls defeated Beloit, 58-56, in overtime and pulled an upset. Kersti Nelson had a 3-pointer to tie the game with 15 seconds remaining, and Kylie Fuller sunk a basket with 1.5 seconds left for the win. Minneapolis came back from eight points in the fourth quarter and five in overtime. Karisma Vignery had 24 points, including five 3s for the Lions.

Beloit is 5-3 and headed to the Sterling Invitational tournament this week. Minneapolis stands at 4-6. The Lions ended a nine-game losing streak to Beloit. Breezy Schroeder paced the Trojans with 13 points.

Nemaha Central, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, earned a 44-36 win versus Jefferson West. NC trailed 12-10 after the first quarter and led by three at halftime before an 18-5 advantage in the third quarter. Junior point guard Alleigh Kramer scored 19 points for the Thunder. Last Tuesday, the Thunder earned a 40-37 win against Sabetha in another Big Seven contest.

On Friday, Beloit boys, which improved from No. 8 to No. 7 in Class 3A, with a 73-44 win versus Minneapolis and moved to 8-1. Carsen Cox had 16 points, including 4 3s, while Tate Thompson scored 12 and Hudson Smith had 10.

They helped as Minneapolis held Beloit leading scorer Vincent Palen to eight points with two 3s. Palen averages 15.4 points a contest. Minneapolis dropped to 7-3. The Trojans bounced back from their first loss of the season when they fell 53-44 to Chapman last Tuesday.

Holton girls defeated Hiawatha, 58-29, as sophomore Saydee Tanking finished with 19 points, including four 3s and 3 of 3 from the free throw line. Holton is 5-3 and plays St. Joe Central at the Basehor-Linwood Invitational this week.

Before the win, Holton had been 1-3 after a 3-0 start. Last year, Holton was 15-6 as Tanking averaged 8.2 points per contest. Shay Tanking graduate after she led the team with 17.8 points, five rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals.

Holton has seen a significant improvement in offensive rebounding percentage from last year. In 2017-18, the Wildcats collected 33.7 percent of available offensive rebounds. This year, it’s at 41 percent. Tanking averages 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, while senior Lauryn Moore delivered seven points and 7.6 rebounds – including four per game on the offensive glass. As well, senior Sarah Holaday, in a rarity, is a better offensive rebounder than defensive.

Holaday averages 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds a game with 2.5 on the offensive side. Last season, Moore averaged eight points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds a game, while Holaday was at 2.5 points and three rebounds. They combined for 4.1 offensive rebounds a game last winter. Holton was ranked sixth in 3A last week but dropped out of the poll this week.

Columbus earned an upset win against previously undefeated Baxter Springs, 45-44. Jared Graham sunk the game-winning layup for the Titans. Baxter Springs moved up a spot from ninth to eighth in the 3A rankings.

Girard boys continue to rank No. 1 in Class 3A after wins against Riverton (63-38) and Frontenac (60-47) last week.

Class 2A

In one of the week’s biggest upsets, Moundridge girls defeated archrival Inman, 38-33. Inman was undefeated and ranked second in Class 2A. Ellen Durst sunk late two free throws. Moundridge is 7-2 and had lost to Inman, 47-32, earlier this season. Inman dropped to 9-1 and to No. 3. Moundridge had no double-figure scoring in the contest, and Durst delivered a game-high eight points. Ashtyn Schroeder paced Inman with 13 points.

Inman boys, ranked first in Class 2A, held off rival Moundridge, 49-47, for the second time this year. The Teutons defeated Moundridge, 57-30, earlier this winter. Payton Froese paced with 23 points. Inman led 44-35 before Moundridge made a big comeback.

Northeast Arma, led by head coach Russ Cramer, have started 7-1 with a four-game winning streak. Tre McLaughlin leads with 21 points per game, while Matt Cashero and Kadin Dugan average double figures.

Lakin’s Henry Chou continued his huge year with a game-high 26 points with a 61-56 win against Meade. Lakin is 6-3 and Meade dropped to 5-4. Chou sunk four 3-pointers. Lakin came back from a 46-43 deficit.

Bishop Seabury Academy, ranked second in Class 2A, defeated Veritas Christian, 51-50, on a buzzer-beater step-back 3 from Zach Bloch. Seabury, which is at the Baldwin tournament this week, is 7-1. Seabury has built an impressive resume full of close games. The Seahawks won at Hanover, 63-56, on Nov. 30.

On Dec. 13-14, Seabury beat University Academy Charter, 59-57, and then Sunrise Christian Academy, 55-50. Sunrise especially is full of Division I prospects. After an 11-point loss at Grandview (Mo.) Christian, Seabury won at Kansas City Christian School, 67-63, and then defeated rival Veritas Christian. Seabury is the only team to defeat 9-1 Hanover.

Hutchinson Trinity’s Luke Hammeke threw a great alley-oop pass for a dunk to his brother, Kaleb Hammeke. Trinity defeated Marion, 74-46. Trinity is ranked seventh in Class 2A after ninth last week.

Sacred Heart girls have enjoyed a nice turnaround with a 47-35 victory against Ellsworth. The Knights are 8-3, 4-1 in the NCAA. SH has already doubled its win total from last season. Ally Cochran delivered 16 points and 18 rebounds.

SH finished with a plus-13 rebounding margin and had three fewer turnovers. Earlier in the fourth quarter, SH led Ellsworth, 36-31, before Amber Palen sunk a key 3-pointer. Ellsworth led 31-30 early in the second half.

Sacred Heart boys defeated Ellsworth, 64-48, and the Knights moved to 9-2, 5-0 in NCAA play. With first-year coach Brian Gormley, Ethan Buckner paced Sacred Heart with 16 points on 5 of 6 shooting with five rebounds. SH is eighth in Class 2A and back in the rankings.

Stanton County, up a spot to No. 9 in Class 2A, defeated Moscow, 63-31, moved to 9-1 and bounced back from its upset loss to Leoti-Wichita County last week. Creed Puyear had 21 points and Francisco Corrales finished with 16 points.

Stanton County girls continued its great season with a 46-28 win against Moscow and moved to 9-0. SC held a 21-10 halftime lead and finished with three players in double figures. Kenia Caro delivered 16 points, Peyton Peterson had 12 and Chloe Chenoweth finished with 10 points. SC made four treys, three more than Moscow, and outscored the Wildcats in every quarter.

On Tuesday, SC cruised over Walsh (Colo.), 69-41, behind a 21-4 second quarter. Rylie Cook and Jordyn Tucker each finished with 16 points, and Chenoweth tallied 12. Cook leads the team with 15.3 points a game for a squad that has no seniors. SC is now ranked seventh in Class 2A after eighth last week.

Wabaunsee moved two spots from sixth to fourth in Class 2A and defeated Rock Creek, 46-26. Madelyn Hutley had 12 points, including two 3s. Abby Oliver finished with 15 points, while Alexis Hafenstine had eight points and Autumn Schreiner finished with seven.

Class 1A

Olpe girls are ranked second in Class 1A behind Central Plains and earned a 75-26 win against Hartford. Eagle sharpshooter Neely Davis, who has played a significant role since her freshman year, tallied 23 points, including six treys.

Down one in overtime to Caldwell, Cedar Vale/Dexter’s Devin Catlin sunk a last-second 3-pointer for the 45-44 victory. Catlin received the ball well beyond the top of the 3-point line near half court. Catlin spun and quickly attempted a shot. It went straight through the hoop. CVD is 10-1 and is unranked in 1A.

Rural Vista girls continued its dominant season with a 51-10 victory versus Elyria Christian against White City.  Standout Lauren Campuzano delivered 16 points, including a pair of 3s. Holly Brockmeier finished with 10 points. RV is sixth in 1A.

Little River boys defeated Centre, 70-58, behind 29 points from Jayden Garrison.

Little River girls moved to 8-3 with a 54-40 victory versus Centre. Kaylee Zimmerman led the Redskins with 19 points and had a plus-27 rebounding margin.

Rural Vista boys defeated Elyria Christian, 47-22. EC is the defending Class 1A, Division II runner-up and moved to 7-4. RV’s defense held Elyria to just 23 percent shooting.

Osborne boys held off Beloit/St. John’s-Tipton boys with a 53-47 victory in a unique game. Osborne led 18-0 and 28-2 before the Blujays had a big comeback. Freshman Grady Wolters and Darnell Holloway each had 13 points for the Bulldogs. BSJT stands at 6-2, and Osborne is 9-0 and has been No. 10 in 1A.

Beloit/St. John’s-Tipton girls are 7-0, 3-0 in the Northern Plains League after two big wins last week versus struggling Hill City (47-12) and at Osborne (50-23). Lauryn Dubbert, one of the state’s top sophomores, had 20 points with four 3s. BSJT has the state’s top-two rebounders with seniors Kara Eilert and Elle Eilert. Dubbert leads the team with 14.1 points, 3.9 assists and 3.9 steals a contest.

Kara Eilert is at 12.9 points and 14 rebounds, and Elle stands at 5.7 points and 14.4 rebounds. Together, they combine for 19.8 offensive rebounds a contest. The Blujays have permitted just .49 points per possession and collected 60 percent of available offensive rebounds, both remarkable rates. BSJT is eighth in 1A.

Spearville girls ranked third in 1A, earned a key Southern Plains Iroquois victory with a 45-42 home win versus 8-3 Bucklin. The Lancers remain undefeated.

Ness City’s John Pfannenstiel didn’t play last week because of a postponement due to weather against WaKeeney-Trego. However, Pfannenstiel, who averages more than 20 points a game, did pick up a scholarship offer from Bethel College.