Sterling girls, boys lead HOA/CPL Challenge – Similar to the AVCTL/City League matchup at Koch Arena, the Heart of America/Central Plains League contests last week allows for multiple quality non-league games that otherwise would likely not occur. Sterling girls defeated Cheney, 46-43, in overtime.
Sterling is No. 2 in 2A, and Cheney is No. 2 in 3A. Sterling owns wins versus Cheney and Haven (No. 8 in 3A). Cheney’s Kylie Scheer, the reigning 3A Player of the Year, finished with 25 points. However, Sterling made two foul shots to tie the game at 40, and then defended on Scheer’s final shot in regulation to send the game to overtime. Sadie Beagley (13 points) and Makenna Linden (15 points) led the way for the Black Bears.
On the boys’ side, Berean Academy defeated Cheney, 67-61, in two overtimes. Sterling boys beat Belle Plaine, 57-45. BP is ranked No. 3 in 2A.
CPL boys won the challenge, 6-4. The CPL girls won the challenge, 7-3, including a 37-35 buzzer-beater by Douglass over Ell-Saline. The girls’ games featured one overtime game, two buzzer beaters and five single-digit differences.
2. Central Plains girls bolster impressive resume, Haven boys stay undefeated – Central Plains girls moved its all-time state record winning streak to 117 games after a 60-33 home victory Friday versus Haven. CP is ranked No. 1 in 1A, while Haven is No. 8 in 3A.
In a matchup of Division I players, CP’s Emily Ryan tallied 25 points, and Haven’s Faith Paramore made one field goal and tallied five points. Last year, Central Plains set the state record for fewest points allowed at 24.5 per contest. Thus far, CP is under that line with just 21 points per game. While CP is known for Emily Ryan, its excellent coaching (Pat Stiles, Jim Ryan) and strong team chemistry with Ryan, Rachel Lamatsch, Delaney Rugan, Addison Crites and Kassidy Nixon have contained multiple high-powered offenses.
Crites had 11 points, and Nixon, the fastest player Stiles has ever coached, had 10 points and four steals. Central Plains has one of the stronger early-season resumes with wins against Smith Center, Phillipsburg, Beloit/St. John’s-Tipton and Haven.
The quartet are a combined 19-1 when not playing the Oilers. Haven boys opened 3-3 last season and stand at 6-0 after a 48-24 victory at Central Plains. Senior Wyatt Carmichael had 18 points, including an impressive dunk in the contest.
3. Liberal girls with key WAC victory – One of the state’s biggest games occurred on Thursday in Dodge City in the Western Athletic Conference opener between Liberal and Dodge City. Both teams entered undefeated, while Liberal was No. 2 in 6A, and DC No. 10 in 6A.
In the first pre-Christmas WAC game in recent history, Liberal won 54-41. Liberal captured its 16th straight conference win, and 16th consecutive road victory, according to Redskin broadcaster Brock Kappelmann. Liberal’s Division I duo of Machia Mullens and Katie Horyna combined for 29 points and 10 of 20 shooting. DC standout Kisa Unruh finished with 14 points.
However, Liberal (5-0) again received a strong game from its supporting cast of seniors Audrey Gilmore and Reece Hay, junior Aubrey Warden and sophomores Ashley Carrillo and Bree Horyna. Liberal was plus-6 in rebounding margin, had five more blocks and nine fewer turnovers. Liberal lengthened the lead throughout, from 12-9 after the first to 23-15 at halftime and 36-26 after three. As well, Liberal won at Olathe West, 55-37, on Dec. 13, a one-way road trip of 387 miles.
4. Collegiate undefeated since Gradey Dick returns, Ellinwood boys upset Ellis – Collegiate was ranked No. 1 in 3A, and then fell to second after a 79-62 season-opening loss to Parsons, currently undefeated and ranked No. 3 in 4A. Collegiate sophomore Gradey Dick holds multiple Power 5 offers, including KU. He did not play in the Parsons game. Since his return, Collegiate has won four in a row against Labette County, Independence, Mulvane and Andale (60-50 on Friday).
Ellinwood boys won at Ellis, 47-43, on Friday. Ellis is ranked No. 5 in 2A. Ellinwood (5-1) has its two standout freshmen: Brit Dutton (19.2 points per game) and Tyler Stuhlsatz 12.8 ppg). Senior David Hammeke and the freshmen all scored between 12 and 14 points. The freshmen combined for 5 of 12 from 3-point range.
5. No. 1 Beloit boys falls to Southeast of Saline, then SES loses– Last Tuesday, Beloit, which had moved to No. 1 in Class 3A after Wichita Collegiate lost to Parsons, fell 69-66 to Southeast of Saline in overtime. SES trailed by eight entering the fourth quarter. Beloit senior Vincent Palen, a returning first team all-state player, delivered 29 points on 11 of 18 shooting. However, SES had four players in double figures, paced by 18 from senior Seth Eklund.
He sunk 5 of 9 on 3s. Overall, SES was 6 of 17 from beyond the arc, Beloit 3 of 13. On Friday, Beloit (4-1) bounced back with a 61-49 victory against Ellsworth. SES (4-1) then fell, 69-58, at home to Hillsboro on Friday. Both SES and Hillsboro are unranked.