By CONOR NICHOLL
Goodland’s stellar and experienced senior class yielded a dominant December – and extended Kansas’ currently second-longest winning streak in girls’ basketball. The Cowgirls are the defending 3A state basketball champions and have qualified to state three consecutive falls in volleyball.
Goodland has its well-known senior trio: 6-footer Talexa Weeter, 6-foot-1 Lindsey Cure, 6-footer Olivia Lehman and juniors Hailey Biermann and Jaxi Mitchek. The quintet was part of Goodland’s top-six last winter.
Weeter recently signed with Fort Hays State University basketball. FHSU, the defending MIAA champions, is 11-4 this winter. Weeter was a SIK 3A Player of the Year finalist and first team all-state pick last winter. Cure, also Goodland’s javelin record holder, was honorable mention all-state basketball.
Goodland has enjoyed great athleticism and height with its 1-3-1 defense under coach Bill Biermann. He has led a big turnaround and was SIK’s all-classes coach of the year last winter. Goodland won its first state basketball title since 1980.
Goodland has opened 6-0 and has a strong statistical case for the most dominant December of any Kansas girls’ basketball team. MaxPreps, which includes strength of schedule and quality of victory, ranks Goodland fourth for all classes behind 6A Blue Valley North, 2A Berean Academy and 3A Phillipsburg.
Goodland is currently ranked first in 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. The Cowgirls have won 19 straight contests. This is the second-longest current winning streak in Kansas girls’ basketball behind 21 in a row from Pretty Prairie.
All of Goodland’s victories of come by at least 24 points. The Cowgirls have scored at least 60 points in each contest. That included three blowouts in the Goodland Topside Tipoff tournament earlier this month.
Weeter scored 40 points in Tipoff championship and delivered 92 points across the three Topside games. Both were tournament records. The single game total broke the mark of 36 held by her mom.
Weeter has cleared 1,000 career kills in volleyball and 1,000 career points in basketball. She averaged 26 points a game after the first four contests this year after 17 a contest as a junior.
On Friday, Goodland (6-0) has a huge GWAC contest against Cimarron (5-1). Cimarron defeated Hugoton, 58-43, on Dec. 16 in the last game before holiday break. Cimarron has senior McKayla Miller, who has signed with Creighton basketball. Both teams are in the Lakin sub-state.
Last season, Goodland went 24-2 and won its last 13 contests. The Cowgirls’ last defeat was a 57-48 loss to Life Prep, a non-KSHSAA school, on Jan. 22, 2022.
Before then, Goodland last lost against Hugoton, 42-38, in overtime on Jan. 14. Goodland defeated Hugoton, 48-47, for the 3A championship in Hutchinson.
Of the defending state champs, Goodland, 5A’s St. Thomas Aquinas and Pretty Prairie are the lone ones that have not lost yet this year.
Overall, Class 6A has three undefeated teams left: Blue Valley North (5-0), Shawnee Mission South (3-0) and Liberal (5-0), per KSHSAA standings. Liberal has the best average margin of victory at plus-13.4.
In 5A, Topeka Seaman is 5-0, and St. Thomas Aquinas stands at 4-0. On the west, Emporia is 6-0, Hutchinson 5-0 and Bishop Carroll 4-0. Seaman has the best average margin at plus-14.2.
Seven 4A squads are perfect with Wellington the best average margin of victory at plus-14.5 in six games.
In 3A, Goodland, Haven (6-0), Nemaha Central (6-0), Atchison County (4-0), Rossville (5-0), Silver Lake (4-0), Southeast of Saline (5-0) and Phillipsburg (5-0) are perfect.
Ten 2A squads haven’t lost, though only 6-0 Riverside has played more than five games.
In 1A-I, Little River and Pretty Prairie are both 7-0, Burlingame and Madison are 6-0, Norwich is 5-0 and Quinter is 6-0. In the Washington County sub-state, three teams are perfect: Clifton-Clyde (6-0), Frankfort (6-0) and Osborne (5-0).
Three teams in 1A-II are undefeated: Hanover (2-0), Wilson (5-0) and Lebo (6-0).
Bishop Miege lost to Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias, 63-62, on Dec. 17. The loss bumped the Stags to 4-1 entering Christmas. The defeat ended Miege’s 19-game winning streak.
St. Thomas Aquinas won the last six games of last winter, including the 5A state championship. The Saints are currently 4-0 and have won 10 consecutive contests.
Pretty Prairie, which defeated Centralia by one point for the 1A-I state championship last year, last lost in a 38-37 defeat to rival Norwich on Jan. 14.
Defending champions Washburn Rural, Sterling and Central Plains have each lost at least twice this winter.