5 Things to watch for in High School Hoops: Week 9

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1.Goddard/Maize South; Maize South with big week – Goddard, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, plays host to Maize South on Tuesday in a huge girls’ matchup in AVCTL Division II play. Both teams are 12-0 and have virtually identical average margin of victories.

They are the only two perfect teams in Class 5A girls and have continued to move up the rankings. Goddard has an average margin of 55-30, and Maize South is at 57-32. Goddard leads 5A West in scoring defense, Maize South is first in margin.

At the state of the winter, Goddard was No. 5 and Maize South was No. 7. Maize South, which then faces rival Maize (11-1) at home on Friday, rolled through its tournament this past weekend.

Maize South had a 57-40 victory Friday against Augusta and 67-17 on Saturday in the championship versus Mill Valley in the Lady Cat Classic. MV is No. 7 in Class 6A and Augusta has been ranked in 4A.

In addition to Goddard, Maize is third in 5A, and Maize South is fourth in last week’s and this week’s rankings.

Goddard heavily relies on three players: junior Kade Hackerott, sophomore Brooke Sullivan and senior Torri Vang. Through the team’s first eight games, Hackerott averaged 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals a contest, all team-highs. Sullivan has 12 points, three assists and 2.1 steals. Vang delivers 10.1 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Goddard had won six straight before Maize South gathered a 50-48 victory last season. Two years ago, Goddard won 54-52, so this could be another close contest.

2. Maize boys and girls with big weeks – Maize only has one game this week, the road contest with Maize South. Maize has been ranked No. 1 in 5A most of January.

The Eagles defeated a solid Newton team, 59-50, last Friday after three blowout victories. The 12-0 Eagles have seniors as its top-five scorers. Caleb Grill continues to put up a big season with 19.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals a game.

Brandle Easter has 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, and senior Devon Koehn has 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds. Maize and Maize South have only played twice in its history.

Maize boys have won both games in the series with a 78-64 victory in 2017 and 66-55 last season. Maize South boys (9-3) have had big seasons from three players: senior Kael Kordonowy and juniors Trey Reid, and Tai Johnson.

Kordonowy delivers 17.9 points and 13.6 rebounds. Reid has 17.4 points a game, and Johnson has 10.4 points and 2.9 rebounds. Maize South is ranked No. 9 in 5A.

The Eagle girls have only lost to undefeated Derby, 50-40, on Dec. 11. Since then, the Eagles have picked up several quality victories, including versus Lawrence Free State, 59-38, on Friday.

3. Carroll boys against Southeast – Bishop Carroll has a key game in the City League on Tuesday when it travels to Wichita Southeast. Carroll still has an outside shot to win the league crown, chances that would significantly improve with a win versus Southeast, ranked No. 4 in 6A.

Currently, Wichita Heights is 12-2, 9-1 in conference, while Southeast stands at 11-2, 9-1 behind standout sophomore Jackie Johnson, who has averaged more than 20 points a contest throughout this career. Carroll is 10-4, 7-3 but is the only team to beat Heights in league. SE’s lone defeat came against Heights.

Carroll has plenty of depth with four players who average between nine and 11 points a contest, led by 11 points and 8.4 rebounds from sophomore Alex Littlejohn.

This has generally been a very close series, with Southeast holding a 15-11 advantage in the last 26 matchups. SE won 56-55 last year, the tenth time in last 11 games the contest was within single figures.

4. Haven at Hesston in key girls’ game Tuesday – Haven bumped up a spot in the Class 3A poll, from No. 3 to No. 2 behind Nemaha Central. Haven earned big wins versus Nickerson and Cheney in tournament play last weekend. Both victories came by double figures. This week, Haven travels to Hesston, which dropped back from No. 6 to No. 8 in Class 3A, in a key Central Kansas League matchup.

Haven won 56-51 last season, which broke a seven-game losing streak in the series. Hesston has three defeats, and Haven has just two losses.

5. Norton girls look for Mid-Continent League title, WKLL tournament crown on tap – Norton girls are took another big jump in this week’s Class 3A rankings, going from No. 7 to No. 3. The Bluejays are 12-1 with no losses against Kansas teams. On Friday, Norton plays at TMP, which was 9-4 entering its Monday makeup road game versus Smith Center.

Currently, Norton, which defeated TMP and WaKeeney-Trego in the league tournament, is undefeated in league play. TMP beat WaKeeney-Trego at home earlier this season and has defeated two ranked teams at home this year. Norton does have a key non-conference home game Tuesday versus Colby, a team that Norton defeated 40-37 on Dec. 7. Colby is 8-4.

As well, the Western Kansas Liberty League tournament takes place this weekend in Colby. Golden Plains girls, ranked No. 10 in 1A at 12-0, and Almena-Northern Valley boys, up to No. 4 in 1A, headline the field. B

Bird City-Cheylin girls, led by a nice season from senior Jesie Frisbie, are 7-3 and could provide some resistance. Cheylin lost 49-40 to Golden Plains on Dec. 7, which is the second closest game for GP this year. Frisbie averages 15.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a contest.

NV (11-1) has 17 points a game from senior Riley Sides and 11.4 points a contest apiece from seniors Caden Bach and Ross Cole. NV continues to shoot the 3-pointer well, including 42 percent from Sides and 44 percent from Cole.