By CONOR NICHOLL
A litany of midseason tournament action occurred this past weekend. We start in Sterling, Dodge City and McPherson:
All rankings from Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. Because of weather, the Mid-Continent League and Colby Orange and Black, among some other games, will conclude Monday.
Hugoton sweeps Sterling titles
Hugoton was a perennial power in 3A the last several years. The Eagles moved to 4A this winter. Since December, SIK has noted Hugoton boys as a significant state contender – even though the Eagles have not been ranked very high this winter.
The girls were final four and state runner-up in 3A the last two years. Senior Mikyn Hamlin, a Wyoming signee and among the state’s best players, suffered a knee injury in the summer. It was open ended when Hamlin would return. Hugoton opened 3-4 without Hamlin, including a 45-42 loss to Scott City.
Hamlin saw limited time Jan. 10 in a win against Hooker (Okla.). On Jan. 13, Hamlin hit several key 3s and gave her team energy in 54-46 road loss to undefeated 3A No. 1 Goodland in a rivalry matchup.
Last weekend, both Hugoton teams swept the Sterling Invitational with impressive showings – and showed more evidence the Eagles will be legit contenders in 4A.
Hugoton boys won its third Sterling straight title. In the last eight Sterling girls’ tournaments, Hugoton has won four and Sterling has four.
On the boys’ side, 4A No. 1 McPherson and No. 2 Bishop Miege lost at their tournament.
Hugoton boys, which has only fallen by six to 6A No. 1 Olathe West and at 5A Hays High in overtime, has offensive efficiency and a resume to match any 4A squad at the midseason mark.
Hugoton boys are 10-2 and have won nine straight. The only losses came in the December Hays City Shoot-Out. Hugoton has 66.3 points per game.
The boys’ Sterling tournament dates back to 1973. Hugoton boys became the first team to win three straight titles since Minneapolis from ’03-05.
Hugoton boys, led by second-year coach Trey O’Neil, are currently ranked eighth in 4A. Hugoton girls have tumbled out of the top-10. By record, Hugoton boys is now seeded second in the 4A West – and would have to take several upset losses to not host a sub-state.
Hugoton girls stand at 7-5 and currently seeded ninth in 4A West, per KSHSAA. However, a healthy Hamlin, and likely an easier strength of schedule in the second half of the year, could propel Hugoton well up the 4A West standings.
On the girls’ side, Hugoton, led by coach Emmanuel Adigun, defeated Smoky Valley (56-46), Southeast of Saline (50-39). In the championship, Hugoton had a rematch with Scott City and delivered a 51-37 victory.
In the Smoky Valley victory, Summya Adigun delivered 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Hamlin delivered six points and five assists. Gianna Vos finished with 16 points, while Julienne Salazar delivered 16 points. Hugoton led by one entering the fourth quarter. Adigun and Vos are both signed to a Division II school. Vos and Adigun were named to all tournament team. Vos exceeded 1,000 career points. She, Hamlin, Katy Heger and Amy Scott are the lone four in Hugoton girls’ history to reach 1,000 career points.
Against SES, Hugoton was plus-9 on the glass and held the Trojans to 34 percent shooting. Adigun had another huge contest with 19 points and nine rebounds. Hamlin moved into the starting lineup with 13 points and four assists. Emily Tinococ finished with 10 points.
In the final, Hamlin delivered 22 points, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Adigun had nine points, while Vos finished with 15 points.
For the boys, Hugoton beat Kingman (68-53), Sterling (67-60) and Southeast of Saline (55-47). Southeast of Saline is currently ranked No. 1 in 3A. SES was 10-0 entering the championship game.
Against Kingman, Ryle Riddlesperger and Carson Bennett delivered 22 and 20 points, respectively. Hugoton continued to be a strong shooting team with 9 of 21 (42 percent) from long range.
Against Sterling, Hugoton was 9 of 22 (41 percent) on treys and had just 10 turnovers. Riddlesperger played all but seven seconds and finished with a remarkable line: 11 of 20 shooting, 7 of 12 on treys, and eight of nine from the foul line for 37 points.
In the championship against SES, Hugoton led for just over 30 minutes. Hugoton went 8 of 16 (50 percent) from beyond the arc. Carson Bennett finished with 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Riddlesperger delivered 15 points and four assists. El Sawyers delivered 29 points on 11 of 19 shooting.
Hutchinson wins Tournament of Champions
On Saturday, Hutchinson won the Dodge City Tournament of Champions with a 67-56 championship against Maize South. The Salthawks improved to 11-0. Hutchinson has enjoyed one of the state’s top turnarounds after a 12-10 mark last year. Two years ago, Hutchinson was 7-14. All of Hutchinson’s wins have come by at least nine points.
Hutchinson and Highland Park are the lone undefeated squads in 5A.
In the finals, Hutchinson’s Terrell King delivered 17 points, including 9 of 14 from the free throw line. Garrett Robertson delivered 19 points, including six of 11 from the field. Wade Meyer had 12 points with eight of eight from the foul line. The final featured 61 free throws and three players fouled out.
For Maize South, Jaylen Maze delivered 23 points with 14 of 18 from the foul line. Hutchinson shot 53 percent from the field.
In the semifinals, Hutchinson rolled over Junction City, 56-29. Junction City has statistically been one of Kansas’ better offenses. Dauntay King and Terrell King each has 12 points, while Wade Meyer delivered 11 points. Hutchinson held Junction City to 26 percent shooting.
Hutchinson also rolled over Newton, 53-25, in the first game. Hutchinson was up 32 points. The Salthawks held Newton to 30 percent shooting. Terrell King finished with 10 points.
Hutchinson is currently ranked third in 5A, Maize South is fifth in 5A.
St. James boys win at McPherson
St. James Academy boys, ranked fourth in 5A, won the McPherson Invitational tournament title. Brian Hawthorne, a key four-year player, is at 20.7 points per game, along with 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists a contest. The Thunder are 10-2. Hawthorne was named McPherson MVP. Hawthorne has exceeded 750 career points. His sister, Faith, was a former standout player at Bishop Miege and St. James who currently plays for Division II Maryville (Mo.).
McPherson had its normal stacked field with 4A No. 1 McPherson, Wichita East, Manhattan, Shawnee Mission East, Blue Valley West, 6A No. 9 Lawrence Free State and Olathe East. St. James defeated Blue Valley West, 76-56, in the quarterfinals, defeated Lawrence Free State, 60-58, in the semifinals and beat Manhattan, 61-39, in the finals. Free State defeated McPherson, 62-56, for third place.
The all-tournament team featured: Blue Valley West’s Eli Lovich and Quentin Robertson, McPherson’s Mason Miller, Lawrence Free State’s Zeek Brown and Jailen Thompson, Manhattan’s Collins Elumogo and Jack Wilson, McPherson’s Cory Muehler, Blue Valley West’s Quentin Robertson, Shawnee Mission East’s Dillon Mong, and St. James’ Gabe Sydzyik.
Sydzyik led all players with 21.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Mong shot 68 percent (17 of 25) from the field. Wes Edison, who also serves as Free State’s starting quarterback at 6-foot-5, plays in the post. However, he has had a penchant for steals all season and has 2.7 steals a game.
McPherson, ranked No. 1 in 4A, will face Andale, 3A No. 1 Wichita Collegiate and Hays High in the next three games.
Kapaun boys win Bluestem Classic
Class 5A No. 2 Kapaun (10-1) rolled over Great Bend, 65-50, in the finals of the 55th annual Bluestem Classic. GB is 6-6, and GB 6-foot-4 freshman post Ian Premer delivered 13 points. In the third-place game, 3A No. 1 Collegiate beat Arkansas City, 71-57. Coach Steve Eck crossed 1,000 career victories at all levels earlier this season.
At Bluestem, the all-tournament team was Kapaun’s Will Anciaux, Will Thengvall and Corbin Johnson, Great Bend’s Ian Premer and Maddox Spray, Arkansas City’s Trevor Pierce, Wichita Collegiate’s Jaden Parker and Sebastian Hines-Turner and El Dorado’s Logan Garner.
Great Bend’s Premer earned tournament MVP, and Anciaux was the tournament’s top player. Arkansas City’s Cadon Clark was the top all-hustle player, and Goddard’s Nick Rogers the best foul shooter.
Great Bend has enjoyed a nice turnaround after 4-15 and 7-14 the last two winters. Premer has posted an impressive season, including a 61-55 win against Wichita Collegiate on Jan. 20.
Stacked field in St. John, other boy tournament champions
Wichita Independent boys won the St. John Mid-Winter Classic against Macksville in the final. Sunrise Christian Academy took third, Larned fourth. The championship was moved to Sunday because of the weather. Independent is ranked first in 2A, Macksville is third in 1A-I.
Andover Central boys won the Chanute midseason tournament and improved to 10-2. The Jaguars beat two-time defending 4A champion Bishop Miege in the championship game. Andover Central is ranked eighth in 5A.
Sabetha boys improved to 12-0 and won the Burlington tournament championship. Sabetha is ranked second in 3A.
Circle boys won the Chaparral Roadrunner Classic. Circle is ranked fourth in 4A.
Mill Valley sophomore Carter Kaifes hit the game-winning shot to win the Spring Hill Invitational. He finished with 22 points.
Atchison boys won the Nemaha Central tournament with a win against Marysville. Atchison is ranked fifth in 4A.
Elyria Christian won the Centre Cougar Classic behind 24 points and 14 rebounds in the championship from Ryland Hawkinson. Elyria Christian is ranked tenth in 1A-I.
Beloit St. John’s-Tipton boys won the Northern Plains League title with a 66-63 win against Osborne. Thunder Ridge was third and Lakeside fourth. Sylvan-Lucas took fifth. BSJT is unranked, and Osborne ranks eighth in 1A-I.
For the girls, St. John’s/Tipton rolled over Lakeside, 60-31, in the finals. Osborne was third and Wilson fourth. Sylvan-Lucas took fifth.
BSJT and Lakeside are unranked. Osborne is ranked second in 1A-I. Wilson is ranked fifth.
Camryn Smith leading undefeated Shawnee Mission South girls
Sunflower Smack, which regularly covers the eastern Kansas girls’ teams, provided its weekly Sunflower League girls update. Shawnee Mission South and Lawrence are both 5-0 in league play for the 14-team league. Olathe North is 4-1. Shawnee Mission Northwest is 4-2. Overall, SM South is 8-0, Lawrence stands at 8-1, Olathe North is 8-4 and SMNW is 6-4. Olathe Northwest is 6-3.
South, led by elite junior Camryn Smith, is the lone undefeated team left in 6A girls.
Abigail Long paces the league with 23.3 points per game, S’Mya Nichols is at 20 points, Jillian Huckabey averages 17 points, and Camryn Smith is at 16.6 points per game.
Long has committed to Yale basketball. Nichols, a top-100 national recruit, is headed to Kansas basketball. Huckabey has committed to Division I Florida International volleyball.
Five players average at least eight rebounds per game: SM East’s Lauren McGuire, Olathe South’s Ella Anderson, Northwest’s Paige Cheffey, South’s Camryn Smith, and Lawrence’s Daphne Bracker Sturm.
West’s Izzy Joyce leads the conference with 4.6 steals a contest, while Gardner-Edgerton’s Brenley Cunningham is at 4.1 a game. Olathe East’s Braylee Rogers has 4.3 assists.
Smith is top-four in all four categories with 16.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.9 steals a game.
Other top performances
Garden City boys’ basketball has started 12-0, the best start in school history. Jace Steinmetz scored 23 points. Garden City is ranked seventh in 6A.
Cheney sophomore Josh Burdick scored 34 points against Winfield. Cheney won 88-64 and moved to 9-4.
Highland Park’s Bo Aldridge delivered eight dunks against Wichita Southeast. Aldridge finished with 27 points in the 86-48 win. Highland Park is ranked No. 1 in 5A. Aldridge is one of the best players in the state this season and holds at least four Division I offers.
Wichita County’s Colton Harbin continued his big season with 28 points in a 63-57 win against Elkhart. WC has been ranked in 2A. WC is 9-2. Harbin has 15 points and 9.2 rebounds a game.
Centralia’s Trenton Talley scored 28 points, including 15 in the first quarter. Centralia is ranked second in 1A-1.
Halstead sophomore Braxton Creed scored 42 points. He has averaged 16.6 points per game.
Troy’s Reagan Hartman scored 35 points. Bonner Springs junior Kalen Streit delivered a career-high 28 points, along with four dunks.
Lily Brown has been one of the best in Kansas this season, averaging over 26 points per game. Brown, a junior, along with junior Lauren Torrance form one one of the best 1-2 punches in 2A basketball this season for St. Mary’s Colgan. The Panthers cruised to the tournament title in Liberal.
Abilene’s Claira Dannefer delivered 26 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks in a key win against Highland Park.
Triplains-Brewster’s Brook Woolf delivered 25 points in a 63-35 win against Golden Plains. Woolf has signed with Kansas State football.
Hattie Pyle of Frontenac, one of the states top multiple sport athletes in 3A, is having quite the season for the Raider girls. Pyle averaged over 26 points per game for the Raiders over four contests last week (105 total points, 49 rebounds) as they went 2-2 against schools much larger than their size in enrollment.
Mia Sarwinski of Galena is averaging 24 points per game this season as she became the schools all-time leading scorer after scoring 36 in a consolation game of the Liberal tournament last week.