1.Derby girls roll – This week marked the second week of midseason tournaments, mainly girls’ action. Derby, ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, had a big week with a 66-27 championship victory against Topeka Seaman in the Emporia Glacier’s Edge tournament Saturday. Kennedy Brown earned tournament MVP honors, the same week she collected McDonald’s All-American. Brown is the first KSHSAA sanctioned player to gain a McDonald’s nod.
The Oregon State commit had a team-high 16 points, Sydney Nilles collected 15, and point guard Tor’e Alford, the Missouri State signee, tallied 11. Derby finished the third quarter on an 11-0 run. The 11-0 Panthers defeated Wichita Northwest, 55-26, in the semifinals behind a season-high 29 points from Brown. She sunk five treys. In the tournament opener, Derby rolled over Shawnee Mission North, 65-17, as Brown tallied 17.
2.Wichita Heights girls with big win – Wichita Heights collected a signature victory, 68-62, against Washburn Rural in the Lady Thunderbird tournament championship at Shawnee Heights on Saturday. Rural was 13-0 entering the contest and hadn’t played a game within single figures since a 49-46 victory against Topeka on Dec. 14. Heights has only lost to Derby and improved to 12-1.
Heights earned a quality victory against Kapaun, 60-43, last Tuesday, and then opened the tournament with a running clock victory versus host Shawnee Heights, 59-34. Heights beat Life Prep Academy in the semifinals. Washburn Rural is No. 2 in 6A, while Heights is fifth in 5A.
3. Central Plains girls roll, win No. 97 – Central Plains, ranked No. 1 in 1A, moved to 13-0 and won the Hilltop Classic at Barton County Community College for a sixth straight season, 60-19, against rival St. John. The Oilers led 18-5 at the end of the first quarter and then outscored SJ, 22-0, in the second quarter.
Earlier this season, SJ had provided some resistance to the Oilers in December when Central Plains had a 22-15 halftime lead before the Oilers pulled away in the second half. This time, CP easily won for its 97th straight victory, which is 10 away from the all-time mark set by Hoxie.
Last Tuesday in a victory against Macksville, Ryan nearly broke the state record for single game steals when she tallied 17, two off the state mark. Ryan and Avery Hurley collected all-tournament team honors. Rachel Lamatsch was the tournament’s 3-point champion, and Ryan was the free throw titlist.
4. Wildcat Classic at Haven – The Wildcat Classic enjoyed a stacked girls’ field with multiple ranked teams, including Cheney, Nickerson, Haven and Rose Hill. In the semifinals, host Haven, ranked No. 3 in 3A, gave Nickerson, No. 3 in 4A, its first loss of the season and faced Cheney in the championship contest. The game featured 12 lead changes.
Haven’s Faith Paramore delivered 32 points in the semifinal victory. For Cheney, Kylee Scheer finished with 24 points in the semifinal win against Rose Hill. Cheney is No. 2 in 3A, and Rose Hill is ninth in 4A.
In the finals, Haven gave Cheney its first loss with a 52-40 victory. Haven consistently led throughout the contest with a 10-9 advantage after the first quarter, 25-15 at halftime and 31-17 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter. Haven had a 51-35 advantage with 1:38 remaining in the contest.
5. South Central teams win SPIAA, SG boys end winning streak at 39 – The Southern Plains Iroquois tournament, one of the state’s top small-school conferences, completed this weekend at Dodge City’s United Wireless Area.
The Kiowa County girls, the No. 8 seed, had lost to No. 1 Spearville and No. 3 Bucklin earlier in the season, but defeated both squads en route to a third-place finish. Spearville girls are No. 3 in 1A.
In the third-place boys, Hodgeman County earned a 64-50 victory against Kiowa County.
The championship games both featured Coldwater-South Central and Montezuma-South Gray. SC girls are ranked No. 8 in 1A, and SG boys are second in 1A.
South Central captured both titles in thrilling games. SC girls beat South Gray 44-40 behind 21 points and seven steals from senior Bri Rutherford and six big fourth-quarter points from freshman Hadley Lohrding. It was the third straight league tournament title for the SC girls.
On the boys’ side, South Central trailed 15-2 and came back to win 61-60. SC had 20 points from Owen Alexander and ended the Rebels’ 39-game winning streak. The T-Wolves hit eight treys and contained Rebel senior sharpshooter Clifton Miller in the second half.