By CONOR NICHOLL
On Jan. 17, an industry observer who closely follows basketball sent me a note about Frontenac.
“Frontenac never gets any respect, much less attention … All Frontenac has done is win.”
This marks the fourth straight season Frontenac girls have qualified for the Class 3A state tournament. The Raiders made final fours in 2020 and ’21. Last season, Nickerson beat Frontenac, 47-40, in the state quarterfinals.
Frontenac was not ranked by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association to finish 2022 and was not ranked to finish 2023. KBCA ranks the top-10 in each class.
Frontenac (17-6) faces Goodland (23-0) in the 6 p.m. start Wednesday at the Hutchinson Community College Sports Arena. Goodland has Kansas’ longest current winning streak for all genders at 36 straight.
Can Frontenac upset Goodland?
Hattie Pyle is one of Kansas’ best players with 20 points and 10 rebounds a contest. Frontenac’s supporting cast includes Annie Lee, Rylee Green, Mia Brown, Kynlee Lakey and Madison Hamm.
As SIK has noted throughout the season, this is an historically great Class 3A state grouping. The eight teams have combined for 20 losses. Goodland has wins against 5/6A teams.
Silver Lake has double-digit wins against 4A schools. Phillipsburg has won every game by double figures. No. 8 seed Riley County has three wins against squads that won at least 20 games.
The other six girls’ classifications have between 24 and 39 losses among the eight state qualifiers.
Frontenac won its last four games, all by at least 14 points. The Raiders rolled over Cherryvale, 67-48, in the sub-state title game. The Raiders have been in the top-10 percentile in offense for all classes. Frontenac has averaged more than 60 points a game.
Multiple basketball players helped Frontenac win state softball.
On Dec. 13, Frontenac beat Bonner Springs, 58-57. Bonner went 17-5 in 5A, and had the state’s leading scorer with Mariyah Noel, an Ole Miss commit.
On Dec. 15, Frontenac defeated Louisburg, 42-39. Louisburg finished 15-7 in 4A.
On Jan. 17, the Raiders beat Providence Academy out of Rogers, Ark. The Raiders won 61-56 in overtime. Providence is currently playing in the Arkansas postseason and stands at 25-5.
On Jan. 19, the Raiders beat Blue Valley Southwest, 55-45. BVSW won just five games this season but is a 5A Eastern Kansas League school. Frontenac lost twice to Nevada (Mo.), a 19-win team.
Frontenac fell twice to rival Pittsburg Colgan this season. Colgan is undefeated in 2A.