1. Huge week for Ark City boys behind Cevin Clark – The Arkansas City boys defeated two ranked 5A teams this week. On Friday, Ark City held off Maize South, 66-61. The Mavericks were ranked tenth in 5A. On Tuesday, Ark City beat Goddard-Eisenhower, 72-67, in overtime. Eisenhower is ranked ninth in 5A. Currently, Maize, Andover Central and Ark City lead the pack in the west side of 5A.
AC is third in the 5A rankings, Maize fourth and Ark City is unranked, but likely will be next week after the big performances. Ark City’s Cevin Clark, one of the state’s top scorers and shooters, had 40 points against Maize South, including 18 of 18 from the free throw line. Clark has averaged 29.4 points a game this year. The game was tied at 61 with 43.7 seconds remaining before AC tallied the last five points.
2. HOA/CPL Challenge – The Central Plains League boys won the HOA/CPL Challenge against the Heart of America, 8-2. For the CPL, Garden Plain defeated Bennington (62-41), Cheney beat Berean Academy (67-49) and Wichita Independent handled Ell-Saline (69-52). Cheney is ranked second in 3A.
As well, Belle Plaine beat Marion (62-58), Douglass defeated Remington (41-35) and Medicine Lodge beat Sedgwick, 65-52. Chaparral handled Sterling, 69-57, and Trinity Academy won against Trinity Catholic, 51-38. Trinity Catholic is ninth in 2A.
For the HOA, Inman beat Kingman, 34-33, and Moundridge held off Conway Springs, 42-40. Trinity Academy gave Cheney (6-1) its only loss this season, 71-47, on Dec. 11, and is undefeated.
3. Garden Plain girls with key road victory against ranked Sterling – Garden Plain, the defending Class 3A state champions, earned a 56-48 win against Sterling in a CPL/HOA girls’ contest. GP is ranked third in 2A, and Sterling is No. 10 in 2A. Sterling led by seven early before Garden Plain trailed by just two at halftime.
Garden Plain went 20 of 23 from the free throw line and moved to 4-1. GP has captured three straight wins after a 46-40 loss to Rose Hill. Sterling has dropped back-to-back contests after a 58-40 loss to Conway Springs on Dec. 8.
4. Big win for Norton girls–Norton girls defeated rival Smith Center, 45-37. SC, ranked No. 5 in 2A, led most of the key statistics. Smith Center shot 50 percent from the field, made more free throws and had a plus-11 edge in rebounding margin. However, Norton, which shot 40 percent (19 of 47) had 17 more field goal attempts and forced 32 SC turnovers, 13 more than the Bluejays had. Taryn Kuhn finished with 16 points and three rebounds, and sophomore Tessa Hauser had eight points and seven rebounds.
Senior Hadley Hauser enjoyed a great defensive effort with eight points, four blocks, three steals and three rebounds. Norton is 4-1 with only a 51-36 loss to Wray, Colo. in the championship of the Goodland tournament on Dec. 8. Norton, TMP and WaKeeney have established themselves at the top of the MCL standings.
5. Other key results, milestones – Rural Vista girls earned a big victory, 58-28, at Little River. RV led 17-9 after the first quarter and outscored the Redskins in every quarter in a Wheat State League contest. RV (5-0) is eighth in 1A. The Heat had lost two of the last three in the series, including last season. … Plenty of streaks and history for TMP in its home opening sweep against Oakley. The TMP girls pushed its conference winning streak to 37 contests with a 45-37 win versus the Plainsmen. TMP boys, with new coach Bill Meagher, won its fourth straight contest with a 61-33 victory. Meagher is just the third head coach for TMP boys’ basketball since 1950. … Quinter boys have struggled this season with a 0-4 start, but senior Conner Havlas went over 1,000 career points in Friday’s 61-53 loss to Tribune-Greeley County. On Dec. 8, Havlas enjoyed a huge game versus Rawlins County, ranked fourth in 1A. In a 66-57 loss, Havlas had 28 points on 13 of 17 shooting and 11 rebounds. … Central Plains’ Emily Ryan had 34 points as the Oilers captured their 90th straight victory with a 57-24 victory versus Haven. The Wildcats were ranked second in 3A entering this week but lost twice. CP is No. 1 in 1A.