Player of the Year honors were determined by a statewide media vote (Over 25 media members from all parts of the state) of people that work in media, radio, newspaper, television and finalized by Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas and Conor Nicholl of Sports in Kansas. Players of the Year and Finalists are eligible for a Sports in Kansas Patch. Stay on our feed over the next few days for updated coverage and all-state teams for both boys and girls.
2021 Sports in Kansas 2A Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Kali Briar, Sterling
Sterling junior Kali Briar has started for three years at point guard. Briar helped Sterling to a state runner-up to Garden Plain in 2019 and a state quarterfinalist in ’20. Sterling fell to GP in the quarters. This year, Sterling beat a highly experienced WaKeeney-Trego squad, 57-43, in the state quarterfinals. Then, the Black Bears earned a 69-52 win versus Garden Plain the semifinals, and held off Pittsburg Colgan, 52-36, in the championship game. Briar tallied a team-high 12 points in the final. Sterling, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A all season, finished 25-1 and won the first girls’ basketball title in school annals.
This season, Briar averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and two steals per game. She shot 43 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free throw line. Briar upped all of her numbers from sophomore season. In her career, Briar has 751 points, 310 assists, 260 rebounds and 127 steals. Briar has shot at least 78 percent from the foul line each year. Sterling had an excellent supporting cost with Bennie Horsch, Sadie Beagley and Makenna Linden. Sterling is 67-9 with Briar as the point guard. All five starters on the team this season have played together since the third grade and are all five juniors.
However, the Black Bears missed key senior Kayla Morris all year after she suffered a knee injury in volleyball. Briar delivered 10.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. She was first team all-league as a sophomore. This season, Briar earned multiple honors, including 3-point champion and Most Inspirational Player at the midseason Sterling Invitational tournament.
Briar is a three-time Kingman Classic and Sterling Invitational all-tournament team selection. Coach Jill Rowland said Briar will compete with former Black Bear standout Kylah Comley on the career record list. Comley is Sterling’s all-time leader in points and assists. Comley currently finished an All-American (top-10 nationally) season for 30-1 Sterling College this winter. Briar loves basketball and it is her passion.
Congrats to Sterling HS Junior Kali Briar on being named the 2021 2A Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas from Alden State Bank – Sterling
First Bank is a proud supporter of the Sterling Black Bears. From everyone here at First Bank, we want to say Congratulations to Kali Briar for being named 2A Player of the Year by Sports in Kansas! This honor is well deserved, and we are proud of your hard work and dedication
Wheat State Elite is a proud supporter of high school girls basketball in Kansas. Congrats to our very own Kali Briar on the 2A POY and state title for Sterling. We are proud of you & your teammates. - Wheat State Elite, Dylan Evans.
Sports in Kansas 2A Player of the Year Finalists
Grace Eck, Ellis
Kali Briar, Sterling
Lili Shubert, WaKeeney-Trego
Tallon Rentschler, Smith Center
Emma Yungeberg, Valley Heights
Danielle Howard, Uniontown
Carrie Roe, Herington
Bennie Horsch, Sterling
Makenna Linden, Sterling
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