By CONOR NICHOLL
The second weekend of midseason tournaments featured major girls’ competitions, including Haven, Newton, McPherson and Mulvane. The Southern Plains Iroquois tournament, featured boys and girls, concluded Saturday night at Dodge City’s United Wireless Arena with great games.
Several standouts, including Colby’s Brooklynn Jones, Dodge City’s Camree Johnson and Blue Valley’s Aidan Shaw, cleared 1,000 career points. Plus, Salina Central’s Aubrie Kierscht and her team continue to move closer to multiple state records. Burlingame girls won the first Lyon County League tournament title in program history. Plus, several Macksville ties in big wins this weekend.
Andale coach Ted Anderson passes; Cheney beats Andale
The biggest story, though, came with the sudden passing of Andale coach Ted Anderson, who had great success with the Indians and Valley Center. Andale girls elected to continue with the Haven tournament and won its semifinal contest against Garden Plain. Andale and Garden Plain are part of the Renwick school district and took a photo together after the contest. Anderson led Valley Center to an undefeated regular season in ’05 and had started at Andale in ’09.
He is the last coach to lead Valley Center to the state tournament with showings in ’04 and ’05. VC has two other state appearances, in ’79 and ’89.
Andale girls had final four showings in ’17, ’18 and ’21. Before then, the Indians had not reached the final four since ’02, per Kansas historian Carol Swenson. Multiple teams, including Dodge City and Mulvane, wore yellow to support Andale.
“There was not a better person,” veteran Wellington coach Eric Adams told SIK on Saturday. “I could call him, and we could talk Xs and Os, and then it could turn into the game of life. I have known him for well over 12, 13, 14 years, and he always made time for you. And we could just swap stories and learn from each other. I learned so much from that man.”
“(Friday) was a very tough day for me, and I can’t imagine the Andale community and obviously his family,” Adams added. “It was just shock, and one of those head-scratchers. … He’s just one of a kind.”
Andale is currently ranked fifth in 4A. Cheney defeated Andale, 49-24, in the tournament title. Cheney captured the Haven tournament for the second straight year. Brynn McCormick paced the Cardinals with 13 points. Cheney held Andale to two first half field goals. The all-tournament team featured McCormick, Brooklyn Wewe and Campbell Hague.
In the semifinals, Cheney earned a 53-35 win versus Nickerson, which was ranked No. 1 in 3A and undefeated. Cheney outscored Nickerson, 15-4, in the first quarter and led 35-10 at halftime. McCormick finished with 18, and Wewe delivered 12. Nickerson junior Ava Jones, an Arizona State commit, had 12 points.
Back-and-forth battle atop 3A
The intra-classification game between Cheney and Nickerson again showed the closeness of 3A girls.
Nickerson is ranked first in 3A, Cheney fifth. Hugoton third and Goodland seventh.
Nickerson (12-1) and Cheney (10-3) are both in the Nickerson sub-state.
Cheney, the defending 3A champion, has now beaten Nickerson. Hugoton beat Goodland in OT – and Goodland has a win against ranked 6A Dodge City.
Plus, No. 8 Southeast of Saline has defeated Hugoton. SES has also lost to Smoky Valley, which has been ranked in 3A.
Both Southeast of Saline and Smoky Valley are 10-3 and are in the same Minneapolis sub-state.
Class 3A No. 4 Eureka has a victory against Clay Center, ranked tenth in 4A. Eureka does have its only loss to Berean Academy, which is undefeated in 2A.
Hiawatha (11-1) and Silver Lake (11-1) are both in the Silver Lake sub-state. The Goodland sub-state features Goodland (12-2), Thomas More Prep-Marian (11-2) and Phillipsburg (10-3). TMP lost to Hugoton in December, though missed two starters. TMP has won 10 straight games.
Class 3A and 1A-I girls are arguably the deepest top-to-bottom classes in Kansas, especially with quality teams across the state.
The classification has multiple Division I/II players with Nickerson’s Jones (Arizona State), Phillipsburg’s Taryn Sides (Kansas State) and Hugoton’s Mikyn Hamlin (Wyoming). All three are juniors. Plus, TMP senior Emilee Lane has signed with D2 powerhouse Nebraska-Kearney volleyball, Cheney’s McCormick is an elite player, and Goodland is loaded with talented tall girls. Even Galena (7-6) has top point guard Mia Sarwinski.
Macksville ties abound with successful SPIAA teams
On Saturday, Hodgeman County girls and Bucklin boys won Southern Plains Iroquois tournament titles. It marked the first crowns for both programs in more than 13 seasons. Each squad is having a special year. HC remains undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 1A-I girls with coach Trent Bright.
Jetmore is 34-5 since the start of last season after years of 12 wins or lower. Bright, in his third season with the girls, is the architect of an elite defense paced by Kaylee James, Grace Shiew and Malynn Beil.
Bucklin has enjoyed a massive turnaround with coach Derek Bevan and seniors Scott Price and Nathan Bowman. Bucklin is ranked sixth in Class 1A, Division II. Bucklin has a strong chance for the best year in school history.
Both Bright and Bevan played at Macksville, which has longtime coach Jeff Kuckelman. This season, Macksville boys are 12-1. Both Hodgeman and Bucklin will play Macksville in February. Macksville boys are fifth in Class 1A, Division I.
Macksville is 2-1 against Bucklin since Bevan took over. The last two games were decided by a total of four points. All four of the Macksville teams that have and will face off against Bevan’s teams feature his nephews: Kaleb and Lance Lickiss.
The 6-foot-7 Bevan played collegiately at McPherson after he averaged 10.6 points and 7.6 rebounds during his career and helped Macksville win a state title in 2011.
Additionally, Macksville girls coach Megan (Wood) Schroeder and Bucklin girls’ coach Craig Bowman are Macksville graduates.
Dodge City girls win Newton tournament
In a marquee matchup, Dodge City girls defeated Andover Central, 48-40, to win the Newton tournament. The contest featured stars across the board. DC senior Camree Johnson cleared 1,000 career points and has committed to Hutchinson Community College. Johnson tallied 74 points in three games at Newton, per DC broadcaster Sean Boston.
Dodge City is ranked ninth in 6A and stands at 12-2.
Overall, Johnson finished 8 of 10 from the field for 24 points, nine rebounds and seven fouls drawn. AC had 16 fouls, Dodge City had just eight. DC was 12 of 21 from the free throw line, and AC 6 of 6. Victoria Gonzalez delivered 11 points.
Andover Central, ranked fifth in 5A, features Brittany Harshaw, a Creighton commit, and Ellie Stearns, headed to Fort Hays. Harshaw has delivered 20.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 steals a contest. Stearns has 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists a contest. AC stands at 9-3 with losses to Salina Central, McPherson and Dodge City – all highly ranked teams.
Dodge City shot 46 from the field, and AC shot 33 percent. Harshaw delivered 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting. Maddie Amekporfor finished 5 of 7 for 14 points.
Burlingame girls win first-ever Lyon County League title
Burlingame defeated Lebo, 49-40, and won the first Lyon County League championship in school history. Burlingame standout Daelyn Winters had missed four games with a knee injury. Winters came back Friday and Saturday in the tournament semifinals and finals.
Burlingame, which has been No. 1 in 1A-I earlier this year, had dropped to tenth after losses to Lebo for the LCL regular season championship and a non-conference defeat at Little River. Burlingame lost, 45-33, to Lebo on Jan. 18, and 43-29 on Jan. 21.
Lebo is ranked second in 1A-II and lost for the first time this season. The Wolves are 13-1. Golden Plains, which has not lost in the regular season since Feb. 15, 2018, is the lone undefeated team in the classification.
In the semifinals, Gracie Simmons tallied a team-high 16 points, Kaylin Noonan had 15 and Kenna Masters tallied 10. In the finals, Winters and Kaylin Noonan delivered 16 points, while Simmons scored nine.
Burlingame stands at 13-2, per KSHSAA standings as of Sunday morning. Coach Jeff Slater, also notably the Bearcats’ successful football coach, has done a great job with turning around the program. Burlingame is 5-15, 10-11, 15-8, 19-3 and 13-2 in the last five seasons.
Olpe boys, the defending 1A-I state champion, captured the Lyon County League boys’ title.
Salina Central girls stay perfect, close in on records
Salina Central, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, improved to 12-0 and pulled away from a much improved Hays High squad in a 68-43 win Friday. SC has still won every game by at least 19 points. Senior Aubrie Kierscht continues her remarkable career with 32 points on 12 of 16 shooting, including 8 of 11 on treys.
Kierscht, a Navy commit and Kansas’ best shooter, helped SC make 14 of 26 (54 percent) from long range. Senior Hampton Williams, who has committed to Division I Abilene Christian, finished 3 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Kierscht and Salina Central continue its march to break several state records. Kierscht has 1,446 career points and has delivered 18.3 points per game in her career. She has 67 treys this winter.
In her career, Kierscht has made 271 of 629 (43 percent) from long range. This season, SC is 126 of 292 from 3-point range for 43 percent. SC is on pace to easily break the Kansas single season record for 3-point percentage. The record is 40.2 percent from Frontenac in 2002, a season when it finished 49 of 122.
Per the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Moundridge’s Laurie Koehn set the 3-point field goals made mark with 331 from 1997-2000. The single season mark is 132 set by Hill City’s Lexi Hardiek in 2010. Koehn is a Kansas legend who played at Kansas State and in the WNBA. Hardiek played at Division I University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In addition to Kierscht, Williams has delivered 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. Senior Chaliscia Samilton has 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. Junior Mykayla Cunningham has 8.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, five assists and 3.2 steals a contest. Senior Landry Stewart has 5.8 points a contest.
Sterling’s Briar commits to Sterling College – will play on court named for grandfather
Sterling’s Kali Briar has committed to Sterling College. Briar is a four-year starter from Sterling and the reigning 2A Player of the Year. Briar has led Sterling (No. 1 in 2A) to a state title last season and the current longest winning streak in Kansas basketball.
Briar has significant ties to Sterling College. Her grandfather is Lonnie Kruse. The Sterling College basketball court is named the Lonnie Kruse Court. He delivered a 706-244 record in 33 years leading the Sterling women, including 10 trips to the NAIA Sweet Sixteen. Kruse, who passed away in 2016, was Kansas’ winningest coach in women’s basketball while at Sterling.
Kali’s dad, Jason, played basketball at Sterling and has served in a variety of roles for the Warriors, including vice president of Student Life.
No. 1 Wellington remains undefeated
Wellington, undefeated at 13-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, defeated Winfield, 48-28, to win the Mulvane tournament. Wellington, the significant favorite entering the tournament, received 16 points from Airalyn Frame. Senior Alli Zeka earned tournament MVP honors. Wellington is the lone perfect team in 4A.
Ness City rolling with huge offensive numbers
Ness City boys earned a 1A-I Final Four appearance last winter. NC had two losses to Macksville and WaKeeney-Trego, which completed December undefeated. NC is rolling now with a 94-71 win versus Wheatland-Grinnell and continues to put up huge offensive numbers.
After a 2-3 start, Ness City has won seven straight. NC has averaged 66.3 points a contest this year and are a legit state contender. The Eagles and Hodgeman County have pulled away in its sub-state. The teams have split twice this season. Ness City beat Hodgeman, 56-54, for third-place in the Trego Purple and Gold championship on Dec. 11, and then lost, 60-56, on Dec. 14. Ness City has not lost since.
That included an 80-60 win versus Tribune-Greeley County in the Northwest Kansas League tournament championship on Jan. 22. In its last four games, NC has delivered 78, 77, 80 and 94 points.
Taylor Cable delivered 25 points and 10 rebounds. Corbin Ross has 20 points and 17 rebounds. Jose Guzman delivered 17 points and six assists. Gavin Schreiber finished with 17 points. Jackson Seib delivered 11 points. Overall, Cable has 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds a contest. Ross is up to 13.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Guzman has 10.5 points, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Ness City is putting up some highly efficient offensive numbers at a high pace. The Eagles have averaged .99 points per possession and allowed .80 points a contest. NC has turned the ball over on 23 percent of possessions and collected 34 percent of offensive rebounds.
Ness City remains unranked in 1A-I. Greeley County is ranked third in 1A-II, and Wheatland-Grinnell is fifth in 1A-II. For W-G, standout junior Jett Vincent scored 30 points. W-G is 9-5 and is at 16.8 points and 9.5 rebounds a contest. Greeley County stands at 11-2 after a 61-60 upset loss to Dighton on Friday. Junior Jaxson Brandl continues to be one of the state’s leading scorers and has cleared 1,000 career points.
SM Northwest wins stacked field at McPherson girls tournament
Shawnee Mission Northwest, the defending 6A state champions and the consensus No. 1 team in Kansas last winter, won the McPherson tournament Saturday with a 51-46 victory. SMNW defeated Olathe South for the championship. Saige Grampsas delivered 16 points and five rebounds. Tamara Harris-Webster finished with eight and 10 rebounds with the program’s third all-time MAC title. SM Northwest stands at 9-2.
Grampsas and Ella Mackiewicz earned all-tournament team honors. Grampsas has paced the Sunflower League with more than six assists a game, per Sunflower Smack, which regularly covers the league. Harris-Webster has more than three assists a contest.
As always, the tournament featured excellent competition and close games. In the semifinals, Northwest beat McPherson, 51-47. In the third-place contest, McPherson fell, 51-50, to SM South. Camryn Smith, the Sunflower League’s leading scorer, delivered 25 points.
Northwest is ranked seventh in 6A, McPherson eighth in 4A, and Clearwater ninth in 4A.
Clearwater girls enjoyed a 68.3 percent effective field goal percentage Saturday in the McPherson tournament in a 69-59 win versus Manhattan in the fifth-place contest. Effective field goal (EFG) measures 2-point and 3-point attempts with greater weight to 3s. That included 85.7 percent in the second quarter.
Clearwater received 20 points from Carli Carlson and 19 from Elizabeth Tjaden. Clearwater stands at 9-3. Carlson, who was hurt part of last season, has delivered a huge year with 15 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 5.3 steals a contest.
Top Tournament Showings
Berean Academy girls remained undefeated and won its own tournament with a 32-27 win versus Trinity Academy. In a key semifinal win, BA delivered a 41-36 victory versus Central Christian in the tournament quarterfinals. Lillie Veer led Berean Academy with 16 points. Kaylee Kauffman paced CC with 14 points. Leia Shank went out with injury in the first quarter.
Berean is ranked fourth in 3A, and Hutchinson Central Christian is fifth in 1A-II.
Emporia’s Gracie Gilpin earned MVP honors of the Glacier’s Edge tournament. EHS won the tournament with a 64-35 win versus Great Bend in the championship. Gilpin delivered 28 points, including eight treys, in the championship contest.
St. Marys’ Hayden Heim and Brenna Smith earned all-tournament honors at the Hiawatha Invitational.
MCL big games; neat moment for Trego boys
In a cool moment, Trego won 54-35 at Plainville and improved to 11-1. The Golden Eagles bounced back from their first loss in the Mid-Continent League tournament championship to Thomas More Prep-Marian last Saturday. Trego plays host to TMP on Tuesday in a conference contest. Afterward, coach Sean Dreiling lit a birthday candle on a cupcake in the locker room and his team sang Happy Birthday to his young son.
TMP boys defeated Sacred Heart on Thursday, 53-42, and ran its win streak to nine. On Friday, the Monarchs lost, 47-43, at Abilene, ranked sixth in 4A.
The Monarch girls improved to 11-2 and have won 10 in a row after wins against Sacred Heart (67-47) and Abilene (56-26).
In a thrilling contest, Smith Center girls held off rival Phillipsburg, 52-51, in a home victory Friday. Smith Center, the defending volleyball state champions, stands at 11-2 and is another legit Class 2A contender. The Lady Red have close losses to Central Plains (No. 1 in 1A-II) and TMP on a shot in the final 10 seconds. SC has won three in a row.
Stars reach 1,000 career points
Pawnee Heights’ Alec Carlson, featured on SIK in January as he closed in on 1,000 career points, cleared the milestone Friday. Carlson, a junior, is a returning first team all-state selection and comes from a highly impressive athletic family. PH, a final four squad last winter, is 6-5. He has 20.3 points, 4.3 steals, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists a contest. Senior Braden Colglaizer has 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Colby’s Brooklynn Jones reached 1,000 career points. She has committed to Division II Metro State (Colo.) for basketball and javelin.
Wetmore’s Kenzie Strathman cleared 1,000 career points.
Blue Valley’s Aidan Shaw reached 1,000-career points. He is on the short list for best boys’ basketball player in Kansas and has committed to Missouri. His sister, Aubrey, is a freshman and has multiple Power 5 offers.