By CONOR NICHOLL
Atchison Community High School junior Addison Schletzbaum has averaged 15 points a game in back-to-back seasons. This winter, the 5-foot-10 Schletzbaum delivered five rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals a contest. As a sophomore, she collected 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Schletzbaum was part of a talented group of Northeast Kansas League girls’ basketball players that ranked among the state’s leaders. Plus, she has helped ACCHS enjoy a turnaround in multiple sports, including volleyball, girls’ basketball and football.
Schletzbaum became a more efficient shooter this winter. Overall, she made 40 percent of her shots and posted a 47 percent effective field goal percentage (a measure of 2s and 3s where 3s have more weight). She improved from 32 to 39 percent from beyond the arc and 67 to 72 percent on free throws. She earned first team all-league and was a 2A SIK Player of the Year finalist.
That included 31 points on 58 percent shooting versus Horton on Dec. 17. Plus, she scored in double figures twice in wins versus Jefferson County North. Atchison County fell, 43-37, to Jeff County North in sub-state.
Atchison County lost twice to league foe Jackson Heights, a state qualifier, by 12 and 11 points. Overall, AC finished 17-5. JH has won 45 straight conference contests.
Horton’s Maliyah Soto had 18 points a game, while Kanyon Olberding paced Jackson Heights with 17.8 points a contest, and Kaylee Thompson had 14.1 points a game.
Both Soto and Olberding in the top-eight in 2A in scoring. This past weekend, Soto helped Horton to the 1A state powerlifting title. Tysaa Banks won at 105, while Soto (140) and Carley Hutfles (165) were runner-ups.
After three winters with a combined 13 victories, Atchison County is 15-7, 11-12, 16-5 and 17-5 the last four winters. Plus, Atchison County received 98 percent of its points from non-seniors.
Junior Natalie Nitz delivered 11.2 points, 2.8 steals, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds a contest. Six-foot junior Aleah Wallisch had 9.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Freshman Kinzee Bauerle had 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds a game. AC sank 33 percent of 3-point attempts. The 5-foot-3 Nitz made 65 treys, including 35 percent from beyond the arc.
Schletzbaum and Nitz were first team all-league along with Olberding, Soto, and JH junior Kaylee Thompson. Wallisch was second team, and Bauerle honorable mention. Schletzbaum plays for the Lady Prospects, a well-known basketball program in northeast Kansas.
Schletzbaum and Bauerle picked up all-tournament honors at Hiawatha in late January. AC finished third at the tournament for coach Austin Eckert. Highlights included a 53-51 overtime win against St. Marys, and a 50-35 win versus rival Atchison High School in the quarterfinals. It marked the first time Atchison Community and Atchison High had played in girls’ basketball since December 2017.
Two years ago, Nitz had 12.7 points, while Wallisch had 10.2 points and eight rebounds a contest. Nitz made 68 treys, including 39 percent from beyond the arc. As a freshman, Schletzbaum was second team all-league and honorable mention all-state.
In addition to the girls’ success, Kieran Courter was invited to play in the 36th annual Northeast Kansas All-Star basketball game this Sunday at Highland Community College. Courter was first team all-league and academic all-state. Trenton Kimmi earned honorable mention. In the fall, ACCHS finished 6-3 in football, the program’s most wins since 2011. Courter was the team’s yardage leader in a multi-purpose role.
Last fall, Atchison County finished 12-20 in volleyball, though it marked a massive improvement after 11 total wins in the last three seasons. AC has not won more than 12 matches in a season since a 23-14 mark in 2014. Nitz and Schletzbaum were first team all-league, while Wallisch was honorable mention.
On Tuesday, Atchison County boys won the season-opening Riverside meet with 133 points, 17 more than Oskaloosa. Courter and Cord Perry finished 1-2 in the 100 dash and long jump. Haeden Forbes collected the 800. Bricen Lee swept the hurdle events, while Keegan Lott won the shot put and javelin.
At 2A last spring, Lott was sixth in the shot put, and second in the discus, while Forbes finished sixth in the 800.