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Basketball in Kansas: Around the State Update (2/23/21)

Tristyn Kremeir of Herington.
By: Conor Nicholl
Feb 23, 2021

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By CONOR NICHOLL for Sports in Kansas

The last weeks in February normally bring plenty of Senior Night moments, school records and league titles. Plenty of history made in Wellington, Mulvane, Phillipsburg, Cheney, WaKeeney and Osage City.

We start this week, though, in Herington.

Kremeier breaks school career 3-point record; Roe closing in on 1,000 career points; Herington, with no games before Christmas, part of a underrated group of statewide girls’ squads

Herington junior Tristyn Kremeier broke the school’s career 3-point record with 113. The previous record was set in 2009 at 111. As well, Kremeier will have a strong opportunity to become the school’s most prolific 3-point shooter. The record is 33 percent, held since 2009.

Herington stands at 8-6 and is part of an underrated group of teams that SIK has tracked this winter. The group includes 6A Garden City (11-4), 5A K.C. Sumner (8-0), 4A’s Wamego (14-4), 3A Frontenac (12-2), Class 1A, Division I’s Victoria (14-4) and Division I Quinter (14-4).

None of these squads have been ranked this year recently – or at all. These squads have either had seasons curtailed at times from COVID-19, enjoyed a big turnaround this winter, and/or have a singular standout. GC, Sumner and Herington did not play before Christmas. Herington’s first game came in a 40-38 win versus Rural Vista on Jan. 12. RV is currently an 11-5 squad. Herington had lost seven in a row dating back to a 45-39 win on Dec. 9, 2016.

Victoria has won 10 straight is enjoying its best season in nine years – the Knights were 0-20 as recently as five years ago. Quinter, which has captured five in a row, is statistically one of the state’s best rebounding teams with two players averaging at least 11 rebounds a contest. Senior Kayler Getz is at 14.7 points and 11.2 rebounds, and sophomore Anna Briggs has 11.2 points and 11.3 rebounds. Quinter has a nine-win improvement from last fall.

Sumner has Jordyn Rowe, a terrific player with 1,000-plus career points. Frontenac, which also dealt with COVID-19 issues in football, played just three games before Christmas. While some teams are already finished with the regular season, the Raiders have three games this week.

Herington significantly relies on five players: seniors Carrie Roe and Karli Brott, along with juniors Kremeier, Halle Rutschman and Madi Becker. Roe is at 19.6 points and 6.9 rebounds a game. Kremeier averages 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Rutschman delivers 8.6 points and 3.8 assists. Becker is at 3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Brott logs 2.2 points and 2.1 assists. The quintet all average between 28.1 and 30.6 minutes per night, a heavy workload.

The 5-foot-10 Roe is close to 1,000 career points. She has 953 and has averaged 13.6 points per game in career. Roe has 492 career rebounds. Overall, Roe is 183 of 324 career from the foul line. In volleyball, Roe finished with 1,213 kills and a .402 hitting percentage in her last three years. Herington was a 30-3 squad this fall. Kremeier served as the setter, and Rutschman the digs leader. The seniors led a big turnaround for Herington volleyball with an 82-24 mark in the last three seasons.

Herington is now 2-1 in its last three games after its 50-41 win Friday versus Council Grove. Herington was ahead by one entering the fourth and outscored CG, 18-10, in the final quarter. Roe had 21, Rutschman with 16, and Kremeier with nine on 3 of 9 from long range. The 5-foot-9 Kremeier is 38 of 114 (33 percent) from 3-point this winter. Overall, she stands at 113 of 336 (34 percent) in her career. This season, Kremeier currently ranks tied for 12th in Kansas in 3-point field goals made, per Max Preps. However, she is ninth in 3s per contest  (2.7) because of Herington’s fewer games.

Herington is part of the manageable Chase County sub-state. CC leads at 12-5, and Berean Academy stands at 12-6. Herington is currently the third seed and the lone other squad with a winning record. Herington has never made the state girls’ basketball tournament, per Kansas historian Carol Swenson.

Koerner leads Senior Night memories

A lot of teams had neat Senior Night memories.

In a highly publicized, emotional moment, Wellington’s Rayce Koerner earned a standing ovation in the final seconds of the Senior Night loss to Mulvane. Koerner has served as a team manager for many Wellington sports since the sixth grade. Koerner made a trey from the top of the key and earned a standing ovation.

Junction City’s Andrea Davis tore her ACL on Jan. 22. She started on Senior Night and scored the final basket of her career on Senior Night.

Spearville’s Alissa Heskamp had a similar experience. Heskamp also suffered a torn ACL. The Lancers are 15-3 this winter. Heskamp is a three-sport standout and cleared 1,000 career points. Heskamp played in seven games and has 25.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, four steals and 2.7 assists a game. Spearville continues to have an impressive season despite four key players out with injuries.

 Junior Anna Stein has nine points and 9.1 rebounds and among the state leaders with 3.2 blocks a contest. Sophomore Tessa Kuker continues to rank among Kansas’ top 3-point shooters with 37 of 87 (43 percent) from long range. Sophomore Taegan Pedigo has 5.9 assists per game, which has been top-five in Kansas.

Abasolo continues to break Mulvane records

Mulvane's Trey Abasolo, detailed in SIK throughout the winter, continues to break Mulvane school marks. The Wildcats, ranked second in Class 4A, is looking for its best season since the ‘80s. Last week, Abasolo became the Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer. Mulvane is currently fifth in 4A.

He has 1,386 career points. Abasolo is also Mulvane’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (181), free throws made (343), charges taken (33) and charges taken in a single game (four). He is also second all-time in career rebounds (445), single game scoring (40), single season point total (504), single season free throws made (120), and single game 3-pointers made (eight).

Mulvane is 14-3. Overall, Abasolo, a Southwestern College signee, is at 20.1 points, eight rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.9 steals a contest. Ian Comer has 12.3 points, shooting 54 percent from the field, along with 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals a game. Landon Coe has 10.1 points and is shooting 49.6 points from the field. Mason Ellis has 8.3 points, and freshman Kaiden Abasolo has 6.8 points a game.

Pyle reaches 1,000 for McPherson

McPherson senior Grace Pyle, a Pittsburg State signing and the reigning 5A Player of the Year, reached 1,000 career points on Monday. In the historic Bullpup annals, Pyle is just the sixth girl to reach the milestone. McPherson is third in 4A.

Wamego’s Tanner Hecht with incredible performance

In possibly the game of the year, Wamego’s Tanner Hecht delivered 22 points, 17 points and 13 blocks in a six-overtime 84-78 win versus Concordia. Burk Springer delivered 27 points and five assists. Wamego is 13-4 and has won six in a row. Hecht has averaged 19.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, two assists and 1.7 steals a contest.

Junior Jake Fritz has 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Springer has 8.6 points and 4.9 assists a contest. Junior Ledjor Rowden has 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds a game.

Ty Sides clears 1,000 career points

Phillipsburg boys beat Concordia, 49-48. Senior point guard Ty Sides delivered 26 points and became the third player in Panther history to clear 1,000 career points. The other two are Dylan Frantz and Ty’s older brother, Trey. Dylan played at Missouri Western and Trey is currently a sophomore at Division I Jacksonville. Ty also holds the career assist record.

WaKeeney-Trego celebrates Senior Night

WaKeeney-Trego has three seniors: Emma Day, Tillie Malinowsky and Lili Shubert, and one more regular season game. Trego has posted back-to-back final four showings in Class 2A, the team’s best showings in more than 40 years. Trego set multiple school records last winter, including single season wins with a 23-1 mark. The trio has combined for 2,333 points, 1,214 rebounds, 457 assists, 348 steals and 74 wins entering Monday. The Golden Eagles are 16-3 and lead its own sub-state. Trego has picked up key recent league wins versus Smith Center (13-5) and Ellis (11-8). Shubert is a two-time 2A Player of the Year finalist. Trego is No. 7 in 2A, Smith Center stands No. 10 in 2A.

Cheney girls celebrate Senior Night

Cheney is long led by its senior duo of Kylee Scheer and Lexi Cline who is back from injury. The longtime friends have played together since third grade. The Cardinals are 18-0 and have a 29-game winning streak. Cheney has averaged 64 points and 17 steals a contest. Scheer recently moved to No. 2 on the all-time Cardinal scoring list ahead of current assistant Sarah McCormick. She has averaged 22.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 2.4 assists a contest this year. Scheer has tallied 1,634 career points.

Cline has played in five games this season after she came back from injury. She has three games, 3.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Brynn McCormick, Sarah’s daughter, had 10.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Junior Brooklyn Wewe has 8.1 points, 4.6 steals and 3.6 assists per game. Cline has 207 career assists. On Friday and Saturday, Cheney defeated Belle Plaine (81-31) and Kingman (66-25) in its last home games. Cheney is No. 1 in 3A.

Eureka girls capture another league title

Eureka girls won its fourth consecutive Tri-Valley League championship under legendary coach Shelly Hoyt. She has several granddaughters on the squad and her son-in-law, Brendan Ptacek, is her assistant. In track season, Ptacek is head coach, and Hoyt is an assistant. In ’19, Hoyt led girls’ basketball to its first-ever state tournament appearance. Before the stretch of ’18-21 league titles, Eureka had won titles in ’81, ’82, ’83, ’85 and ’98.

Eureka finished the regular season 18-2 after the key league win against West Elk on Monday. The Tornadoes lost, 53-29, to 3A Halstead in the season’s second game, and 50-34, versus 4A Clay Center on Jan. 19. Since then, the Tornadoes have posted an undefeated league record and won every game by at least 14 points. Eureka is in the same sub-state as undefeated and top-ranked Cheney. Clay Center is 17-0, and Halstead stands at 16-3.

Other key performances

Osage City girls’ basketball is 16-2. Hayden Serna, who has committed to Central Missouri softball, has recently cleared 1,000 career points. OC lost, 48-30, to Olpe in a key matchup of ranked teams. Olpe has the state’s current longest winning streak among girls’ basketball programs. The Eagles are 19-0 and first in Class 1A, Division I. OC is sixth in 3A.

Independence sophomore Easton Ewing is 6-foot-6.5 inches and 209. He averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds a game as a sophomore. Ewing has a 32-inch vertical and performed well at the SIK baseball combine this weekend. On Monday, Ewing delivered 34 points and 20 rebounds against Coffeyville.

Tonganoxie boys beat Bonner Springs, 51-35, and became the Frontier League champions with a 13-3 mark.

Rock Creek’s Dawson Zenger has enjoyed another big season with 28.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.7 steals a contest. RC is fourth in 3A.

Pittsburg’s Javon Grant has 29.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals a contest. Pittsburg is 12-6 overall and 9-2 in the SEK League, currently in first place in front of Fort Scott (9-9, 7-3 SEK)

Emporia’s Charles Snyder reached 1,000 career points. Stockton senior Ethan Means cleared 1,000 points, along with Ingalls’ senior Regan Ast. Stockton was a Forever Four squad last winter in 1A, and Ingalls qualified for the 1A state tournament.

Mission Valley’s Joel Deters hit a game-winning 3-point shot to beat Central Heights, 45-42. Deters finished with nine interceptions this fall.

In a key game last Friday, Cheney boys beat Belle Plaine, 67-54. Harrison Middleton tacked on 20 points for the Cardinals. On Monday, Trinity Academy beat Belle Plaine, 60-43. Christian Williams paced Trinity with 12 points, while Austin Hilton scored 26 for BP. Cheney is third in 3A, and BP is sixth in 2A.

Hoxie, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, held off Ellis with a buzzer-beater last week. Quinter also beat Oakley on the road in a buzzer-beater game.

Eric Dillinger is having a breakout year this season for the Erie boys who have been ranked in 2A all season after their state tournament appearance last year. Dillinger had 27 points on Monday in the win against Eureka. Sharpshooter Mark Bogner has also had a solid year averaging in double-figures for the second consecutive year. Erie has a talented cast of players that also feature Tyler Duling, Dawson Lehman, Garrett Ruark and Tyler Pasquarelli. 

Max Alexander continues his solid senior season with 25.2 points per game for the Buhler boys team in 4A.

Hayley Hughes has had a breakout season this year for Trinity Catholic in Hutchinson with 21.6 ppg and 2.6 spg. She had 36 points on Monday night. 

Tonganoxie boys captured the Frontier League Championship on Monday night. Rylee Beach has been the floor general for them all season with nearly five assists per game along with his 11 ppg. 

Taylor Cable continues to put up a big-time junior season for Ness City (1A-I) with 20.7 ppg and 14.7 rpg. He is also averaging over three blocks per game. 

Lili Shubert of Wakeeney-Trego continues her impressive career with 21.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, and 2.4 spg. Madison Walt has also had a big year with 4.1 assists and two steals per contest. Trego was a Forever Four team last season in 2A. 

Landon Boss, who had a very fine football season for a solid Osage City team, is averaging 19.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg this season for OCHS. Gunnar Fort also adding 16 ppg. 

Friday night against Bucklin, Ingalls senior Regan Ast went over 1,000 career points for the girls team. 

Danielle Howard continues to have a huge year for the Uniontown girls team with 20.4 ppg, 5.5 spg and 5.3 apg. Karleigh Schoenberger has also put in 16.6 ppg this year for the Eagles who are a team to look out for in 2A. 

J.C. Allen of Weskan has had an incredible senior year for the Coyotes as she has scored 458 points in 19 games for 24.1 ppg this season. She went over 1,000 points earlier this season. 

Burrton HS won the Heart of the Plains League for the second consecutive year. 

Little River girls won Wheat State League for the first time in eight years and are 16-3 while going to be the #1 seed in their sub-state. They went 8-0 in their league. 

Ethan Means of Stockton HS went over 1,000 career points and was presented with a banner on senior night this past Friday. 

Natalie Nitz from ACCHS hit a school record nine three pointers against Horton and had 32 points in the game. 

Cole Criss, senior at Cedar Vale/Dexter, having a big year for his team with 16 points per game along with nearly four assists per contest. Jordan Anderson also adding 8.5 rpg. 

Sophomores Alec Carlson (Pawnee Heights) and Brit Dutton (Ellinwood) have been lighting it up in the small school ranks this season with averaging 23 points per game a piece in 2020-2021. 

Devin Loudermilk (West Elk) and Dameion Hatten (Sedan) are both having big-time years in their area with averaging 20 and 19 ppg respectively in 2021. 

Manny Chavez was this seasons 8M-I SIK Football Co-DPOY in 2020 and has followed that up with a 19.9 ppg average in 2021 basketball season for Leoti-Wichita Co. Star quarterback Kayde Rietzke is right with Chavez at over 16 ppg. 

Sterling Chapman continues to impress and could be the favorite to repeat as 6A POY at this point with his 18.9 ppg and 13 rpg. Stevie Strong is also averaging 18 ppg for the Colts. 

Labette County girls have won four consecutive league titles and 21 in their program history in the SEK according to sportswriter Brian Thomas. Labette is currently 15-2 overall and 10-0 in the SEK league. One of the most consistent 4A's in Kansas. 

6-Man Football POY Colton McCarty went over 1,000 points in a game earlier this season and is averaging over 18 points per game for Bird City-Cheylin. Andrew Schields also over 1,000 career points.

Emmitt Jueneman has been the breakout player this season for Hanover in averaging 18 points per game. The high flying junior has also had several dunks this season.

Vance Shewey of Meade, who went over 1,000 points earlier this season, has had a big senior year. The 6'4" forward is averaging 18.6 ppg and 8.5 boards per contest. 

Jack Johnson of Andover is averaging 20.1 ppg this season for the Trojans of Andover. He is also racking up over seven boards per game. 

Amiah Simmons continues to impress with her 32.2 points per game for Osawatomie in 3A. She also is averaging 5 assists, 5 rebounds and seven steals in Kansas for likely this best overall on-paper stat line in Kansas.

Brittany Harshaw continues her big junior year and has recently cleared 1,000 career points. The Creighton commit is avearging nearly 19 ppg, over six boards, three assists and nearly three steals per game. The Andover Central team is loaded in 5A with Wilborn, Stearns, Newfarmer, Harshaw and Amekporfor. This could be the best overall team in the state. 

Trinity Lutters, sophomore of Osborne, is having a huge year for the girls team with 18.4 ppg in 2020-2021.

Lauryn Dubbert continues solid career for St. Johns/Tipton with 22.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.8 spg, 3.2 apg. Dubbert has been one of the best small school players in Kansas over the last several seasons and has signed with Newman. 

Tallon Rentschler has had a heck of a season for Smith Center after having a big time fall in volleyball. The 6-foot-0 junior is averaging 17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.7 spg in 2020-2021.

Kimalee Cook is avearging 17.3 ppg, four boards, four steals and two assists per game for Circle (4A) this year. 

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