By CONOR NICHOLL
Galena girls had a half-court possession against Pittsburg St. Mary’s Colgan with just under 3 minutes and 50 seconds left in the first quarter Tuesday. Colgan led 8-4.
Bulldog point guard Mia Sarwinski, one of the state’s top sophomores after she averaged 15 points per game as a freshman, had the ball on the left side. Sarwinski executed a backdoor pass to junior Raylynn Downey, just out of the reach of Colgan senior Kaitlin Crossland.
Downey, still on the left, drove in. However, Colgan 5-foot-10 sophomore forward Greta Ison immediately rotated across the block. Ison met Downey and put up her hands. Ison’s hustle forced a guarded missed shot. Crossland grabbed the rebound.
The play helped Colgan eventually lead 16-4 after the first quarter. The Panthers bumped the advantage to 23-4 and eventually earned a quality 54-30 win.
Colgan, part of the Humboldt sub-state, remains unranked in Class 2A. The Panthers, led by their experience and defense, have opened 6-0 and have permitted just 23.5 points per contest. Colgan has won every game by at least 25 points. Tenth-year coach Abby Farabi has been highly pleased with the defense. She has more than 130 career victories.
“They are all great defenders right now,” Farabi said. “That is our bread and butter at this point.”
The Galena victory marked Colgan’s only game this week. SMC was scheduled to face Iola on Monday, and Maranatha on Friday. Both opponents were unable to play because of COVID-19 issues.
Last season, the Panthers had zero seniors and finished with 14 wins. Colgan advanced to the Class 2A state tournament and lost, 55-41, to undefeated Spearville in the quarterfinals. SMC is still looking for its first-ever state tournament victory.
Colgan went 6-6 in CNC play and tied for third. The Panthers had an average score of 44-35. That included three losses to Galena, all in a month span. From Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, Colgan fell 35-32, 44-40 and 33-28 to Galena.
Colgan returned every player except Grace Carson. Crossland averaged 10.7 points and five rebounds last winter. Junior Lauren Yaghmour delivered 7.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 steals as the top returners.
Crossland, a former Sports In Kansas 2-1A softball Player of the Year, also finished with more than 700 digs, 900 kills and 1,000 assists in her prolific volleyball career. Crossland carries a 4.0 GPA and 33 ACT, according to her NCSA Sports recruitment page.
For basketball, Crossland served as the first player off the bench as a sophomore and started last winter en route to honorable mention all-state. Known for high athleticism and coachability, Crossland always guards the team’s best player. Farabi labeled Yaghmour a great on-ball defender, and 5-foot-10 senior Riley Root a great help defender.
Colgan’s starting five is Crossland, Yaghmour, Root, junior Gabi Radell and 6-foot-1 sophomore Lauren Torrance. Last season, Torrance averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. She finished with 24 points in a 45-13 win versus Riverton on Jan. 8. Colgan shutout Riverton in the second quarter. Torrance has grown several inches and often plays at the top of the defense. She missed some time with an ankle injury and has played in four contests.
Overal, Crossland is at 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists a contest. Yaghmour delivers 7.7 points, 4.2 assists and 3.2 steals. She has 3.5 deflections a contest. Root is at 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. As a team, Colgan shoots 53 percent from the field and has averaged 16 points off turnovers. Colgan has delivered 12 deflections and 16 steals a game.
The reserves are Ison, Emily Imhof, Ellie Smith, Audrey Goetting, Lily Brown, Katelyn Ware and Ava Glover. Last fall, Colgan golf captured the 3-2-1A state championship. Three girls finished in the top-five, including fourth for Root and fifth for Ison. Smith tied for 18th. It marked the first Colgan girls’ golf title – the program has existed for just two years.
Colgan had contributions across the board in the first quarter against Galena. Yaghmour collected two steals. Crossland recorded one. She went down on the fast break, drew the foul and made both free throws.
Colgan’s man-to-man defense held Galena to 2 of 10 shooting. The Bulldogs missed a pair of foul shots. Of Galena’s eight misses, three were air balls and another missed the rim against Colgan’s tough defense. Similar to Ison’s nice play, Colgan consistently forced guarded shots and didn’t permit offensive rebounds, a trademark thus far this winter.
Craw-Kan “Your Technology Partner" and Sports in Kansas will once again be in partnership over the 2020-2021 school year to release a "Craw-Kan Team of the Week" for the seventh consecutive season.
"I am looking forward to this partnership again for another year with Craw-Kan and highlighting teams from the SEK area to not only a local platform but also giving them statewide reach on our network, it's became quite the popular feature over the last six or seven years," said Sports in Kansas CEO, Chet Kuplen. "Not only does this help athletes and teams to be promoted for their achievements, it also lets the area know what all the new products that Craw-Kan has to offer, including new gigabit fiber now in the area. Also that Craw-Kan is now in Frontenac and Pittsburg. It's also going to several other areas in Southeast Kansas. We are also doing a Craw-Kan All-Access show this year with video of interviews with athletes that will feature reporter Bethany Bowman.”
"Craw-Kan offers all your technology needs in the area from internet to web design and cell phones to security systems." said Craw-Kan Marketing Manager, Zach Adams. "We have a lot of new products including the fastest internet in the area in the new gigabit fiber, we are also in Frontenac and Pittsburg with our service. We are very excited with all the new products we have to offer to the area."
Nominations will be accepted from every Friday-Sunday, with the "Craw-Kan Team of the Week" being released every Monday-Wednesday on Sports in Kansas (Kansas-Sports.com). Teams must be nominated via email or twitter.
Teams must be from the following leagues in the Southeast Kansas area to be eligible: SEK, CNC, TRL, plus Erie, Pittsburg and Parsons.
Craw-Kan and Sports in Kansas will also partner in releasing a "All Craw-Kan Team" for the Southeast Kansas area after postseason play has wrapped up.
How to nominate?
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