Reflections from Week Eleven of High School Basketball

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1.Circle’s Jude Warren scores 50 points in win against McPherson – Circle’s Jude Warren tallied 50 points in an upset 81-65 home win against McPherson, ranked No. 10 in Class 5A. He had 21 points at halftime as Circle trailed 9-1 early but led 36-31 at intermission. The T-Birds made eight first-half treys.

Circle improved to 10-8 and has enjoyed its best season since a 12-9 record in 2015-16. It marked the first time the T-Birds had beaten the Bullpups in seven tries, a stretch that went back to 2013.

On Jan. 4, McPherson defeated Circle, 71-60. McPherson lost an AVCTL Division III contest for the first time in seven years, according to Bullpup broadcaster Jim Joyner, and moved to 13-5.

Warren finished 16 of 20 from the field, including five treys, and 13 of 19 from the free throw line. He had 35 points at the end of the third quarter. Warren had previously set the school record against Clearwater with 46 points in a 77-70 win on Feb 5 in a game where the T-Birds shot 52 percent on 3s.

He also added 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Last year, Warren delivered 20.2 points and 6.3 rebounds a contest. McPherson can still capture the league title with a win against Augusta on Tuesday.

2. McPherson girls win again – In a matchup of two ranked teams, McPherson girls captured the AVCTL Division III title with a 58-47 road win against Circle. The Bullpups are 17-1 and have won 15 straight. McPherson has only lost to Derby, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in 6A.

Sophomore Grace Pyle had another big game with 15 points. McPherson improved to 8-0 against Circle since 2013 and swept the season series.

McPherson girls are fifth in 5A, and Circle is sixth in 4A. Class 5A continues to be dominant on both the boys’ and girls’ side.

Maize South improved to 18-0, while Goddard and McPherson are 17-1, and Wichita Heights stands at 16-1. Heights is first in offense at 65 points a game, while Maize South, Goddard, and McPherson have either allowed 32 and 33 points a contest to lead 5A West.

All 5A East teams have at least two losses. McPherson boys are currently tied for sixth in 5A West. Maize has clinched the top seed at 19-0.

3. Garden City boys win the WAC – Garden City, with coach Jacy Holloway, has enjoyed a nice turnaround and captured the Western Athletic Conference with a home win against Hays High, 55-49, on Friday.

GC stands at 15-4, currently fifth in 6A West. The Buffs have captured six in a row, including the last two by a combined seven points. Two weeks ago, Garden City defeated HHS, 50-39, on Feb. 2. The game was played at historic “The Garden,” which the Buffs had their games in until 2012. “The Garden” is now GCHS’ middle school, but the contest was moved because of 6A regional wrestling in the main gym.

HHS is 9-9, 4-3, while GC is 15-4, 6-1 with its only loss against Dodge City. Kyler Lamb tallied 20 points, while Carlos Acosta and Jarrod Springston had 11. It marked the Buffs’ most victories since 2013. Garden City has enjoyed a great winter sports season with conference titles in wrestling, swimming and girls’ bowling. Holloway has coached since 2010-11 and has posted four straight years of wins improvement.

4. South Central girls win SPIAA, other league titles – On Friday, Coldwater-South Central and Spearville were both undefeated in league play and matched up in the final regular season contest for the SPIAA crown. For the second straight season, SC posted an undefeated year in conference action and rolled over Spearville, 50-25.

Senior Bri Rutherford had another big game with 28 points on 10 of 27 shooting, eight rebounds and six steals. SC is No. 5 in 1A, Spearville is eighth. This week, Rutherford also announced via Twitter that her top-three college choices are junior colleges: Hutchinson, Barton and Neosho. Hutchinson is a national powerhouse, while Barton has had significant success with western Kansas players in the last several years. Neosho is in southeast Kansas, where Rutherford grew up.

Maize boys stayed perfect with a 58-45 win against Salina Central, which ended their season last year. Maize is No. 1 in 5A, while Salina Central is ninth. The Eagles clinched AVCTL Division I.

Wichita Southeast boys had a leg up on in the City League race after results the last 10 days. Then-league leader Heights dropped two straight, including to Southeast, 72-64, last Tuesday. SE captured the title when defeated Kapaun, 74-57, on Friday for its first outright league title since 2008.

5. Ness City boys, Hoxie boys with big wins – In Friday’s Senior Night game, Ness City, ranked third in 2A, delivered a 71-53 win against Victoria. John Pfannenstiel finished with 39 points, and Andres Rios had 16. The Eagles are part of the highly challenging Meade sub-state that also features Pratt-Skyline, Stanton County and Syracuse. NC is the highest ranked of the three teams with Skyline eighth and Stanton County ninth in 2A. … Before Friday, Ness City was the only team to defeat Almena-Northern Valley, ranked fourth in 1A. However, Hoxie, 17-2 and ranked No. 3 in 2A, bounced back from a big loss against Phillipsburg (No. 4 in 3A) last week and delivered an 80-77 win against the 18-2 Huskies. Since the loss, Hoxie has won four games, including an overtime contest versus Norton. …Andover Central’s Xavier Bell had 33 points and exceeded 1,000 career points as the Jaguars defeated Valley Center, 76-53, and captured AVCTL Division II.