Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertShawnee Heights Thunderbirds

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  • A1 Lock & Key Performers February 6, 2023

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    JackBachelormugJack Bachelor

     JACK BACHELOR, Washburn Rural

    Bachelor, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, scored a total of 44 points in two Washburn Rural boys basketball wins on the week as the Junior Blues improved to 11-4 on the season. Bachelor scored 27 points in a 65-60 non-league win over Blue Valley last Tuesday, going nine of 13 from the field with three 3-pointers and six of seven at the free throw line. Bachelor followed that up with 17 points and five 3-pointers on Friday as Rural fought back from a 14-point deficit in the first half to take a 50-42 Centennial League win over Emporia. Bachelor hit six of nine shots and five of six 3-point attemps in the win over the Spartans.

    AlexisFredricksonnewmug2Alexis Fredrickson

    ALEXIS FREDRICKSON, Washburn Rural

    The Junior Blues' senior 135-pound girls wrestler, Fredrickson reached the 100-victory milestone for her career in last Saturday's Centennial League tournament. Fredrickson, who began wrestling as a sophomore, went 3-1 with three pins, including a win over a No. 1-ranked (Class 6A-5A) wrestler as Washburn Rural rolled to its third straight league championship. Rural went 4-0 in the dual event, outscoring its four opponents by a 285-33 margin.

    MadisonFreelandmugMadison Freeland

    MADISON FREELAND, Shawnee Heights

    A sophomore, Freeland captured the 135-pound championship in last Saturday's United Kansas Conference girls wrestling tournament at Seaman. Freeland went 3-0 on the day with pins in 48 seconds, 1 minute, 21 seconds and 1:42 to help lead Shawnee Heights to its fourth straight UKC team title by a 78-52 margin over tournament host Seaman. Freeland improved to 27-5 going into this Saturday's Class 6A-5A regional tournament at Seaman.

  • Shawnee Heights continues UKC girls wrestling championship run

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Despite losing senior returning state medalist and team leader Molly Busenitz to a season-ending knee injury earlier in the year, Saturday resulted in another United Kansas Conference team championship for Shawnee Heights' girls wrestling team.

    Shawnee Heights, which has now won all four UKC girls titles that have been contested, had three individual champions crowned Saturday at Seaman, but it was the T-Birds' depth that made the difference in a 78-52 win over runner-up Seaman, with Heights adding eight runner-up finishes.

    ShawneeHeightsgirlsUKCShawnee Heights' girls wrestling team won its fourth straight United Kansas Conference team title Saturday at Seaman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    MadisonFreelandShawnee Heights sophomore Madison Freeland celebrates her 135-pound United Kansas Conference championship Saturday at Seaman. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Heights coach Chad Parks admitted that losing Busenitz was a blow for the team but said that Busenitz and the T-Birds have done a great job of handling that setback.

    "They've responded well,'' Parks said. "One thing is Molly had ACL surgery and literally was at practice that afternoon. She's still there, the girls love her, they look up to her, so she's still in there supporting them and cheering them on.

    "They were all upset but then just jumped right back into business, which is what she wants.''

    Shawnee Heights got individual titles from sophomore 135-pounder Madison Freeland (27-5 on the season), senior 155-pounder Cianna Graves (13-4) and senior 190-pounder Lilly Blair (16-9) while freshman Connie Burns (100 pounds), junior Odessa Schmidt (110), freshman Anissa Gonzales (115), freshman Addison Cooper (120), sophomore Reece Taylor (125), sophomore  Isabel Reyes (130), senior Hannah Sixkiller (140) and junior McKenna Haltom (145) posted runner-up finishes and junior Emberlynn Phillips (105) finished third.

    "Our girls battled,'' Parks said. "We know Seaman's really good and they're really good in a lot of weights we're good at, but we have depth. The thing I love about our girls is they come out and battle every single time no matter what and they're supporting each other. And to see their work ethic in the room pay off on the wrestling mats is big.''

  • Thomas' win gives Seaman UKC boys wrestling title in dramatic fashion

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

     A few weeks ago, a boys wrestling dual between Seaman and Shawnee Heights went down to the final match of the night before Viking standout senior 285-pounder Jaxon Thomas gave his team the win with a pin.

    It was deja vu all over again Saturday at Seaman, with Thomas' final-match win giving the host Vikings their first Uniited Kansas Conference team title by a scant 184.5-179 margin over Shawnee Heights, which had won every UKC boys wrestling title since the league's inception.

    SeamanboysUKCSeaman's boys wrestling team poses for a team picture after winning the UKC team title by 5.5 points over Shawnee Heights Saturday at Seaman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    JaxsonThomasUKCSeaman senior 285-pounder Jaxson Thomas gives the Vikings their first UKC wrestling championhip with a pin in the final match of the tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN

    Seaman entered the 285-pound match trailing Shawnee Heights by a half point, but Thomas didn't know exactly what the team title situation was, just that the race was close. He got an idea of just how close when Viking coach Tony Pena said a few words to him right before he went out on the mat.

    "I didn't know it was the full league tournament that was on the line,'' Thomas said. "I knew that we were really close. I didn't know who was up but I like the pressure of having that last match being on me.

    "A couple of seconds before the match coach was like, 'This is on you, we're close. Finish the deal.' ''

    ThomasPenaUKCSeaman standout 285-pound wrestler Jaxson Thomas is congratulated by Seaman coach Tony Pena, the UKC coach of the year, after Thomas gave the Vikings the team title with a pin. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • A game by game look at Friday night's Shawnee County girls basketball contests

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    'By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MANHATTAN (6-8, 2-2) at HAYDEN (8-4, 1-3)

    No. 8-ranked (Class 4A) Hayden has been off since winning the Wellsville Top Gun Tournament last Saturday with a 48-39 win over Spring Hill. The Wildcats have now won four straight games and put sophomores Brylee Meier and Kaliya Fulton and junior Lauren Sandstrom on the all-tournament team. Manhattan is coming off a 46-35 win over Dodge City and has won two straight games for the first time this season.

    BrooklynDeLeyeJCSenior Brooklyn DeLeye scored 19 points in Washburn Rural's 54-52 overtime loss to Blue Valley Northwest on Tuesday. [File photo/TSN]

    EMPORIA (12-2, 3-1) at WASHBURN RURAL (9-4, 4-0)

    No. 4-ranked (Class 6A) Washburn Rural will be looking to protect its lead in the Centennial League race while No. 4 (5A) Emporia will be looking to pull even with the Junior Blues. Both teams are coming off losses, with the Spartans dropping a last-second 46-43 decision to Seaman in the Glaciers Edge championship game last Saturday while Rural fell to non-league foe Blue Valley Northwest in overtime on Tuesday, 54-52. Senior Brooklyn DeLeye scored 19 points against Blue Valley Northwest while senior Chloe Carlgren added 11 points and sophomore Tenly Bunck nine points on three 3-pointers.

    LEAVENWORTH (2-11, 2-7) at SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (9-5, 7-3)

    Ninth-ranked (Class 5A) Shawnee Heights is coming off a tough 37-33 United Kansas Conference loss at Basehor-Linwood Tuesday night while Leavenworth is coming off a 59-26 loss to Bonner Springs. Shawnee Heights took 49-36 UKC win over the Pioneers earlier in the season. All five of Shawnee Heights losses have been by four or fewer points. Senior Riley Showalter led the T-Birds with 11 points against Basehor-Linwood while seniors Emari Doby and Taylor Rottinghaus added 10 and seven points, respectively.

  • A game by game look at Friday night's Shawnee County boys basketball tilts

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MANHATTAN (8-6, 2-2) at HAYDEN (6-6, 1-3)

    Hayden was off Tuesday after a 58-51 non-league home loss to Shawnee Heights last Friday. Manhattan is coming off a 67-59 loss to Blue Valley, its third straight loss. Senior Joe Otting and junior Jacob Padilla scored 14 points apiece in the Wildcats' loss to Shawnee Heights, with Otting going six of six at the free throw line. Senior Jake Muller also cracked double  figures for Hayden with 11 points.

    JackBachelorWR1Washburn Rural senior Jack Bachelor is coming off a 27-point performance in Tuesday's 65-60 non-league road win at Blue Valley. [File photo/TSN]

    EMPORIA (10-4, 3-1) at WASHBURN RURAL (10-4, 3-1)

    Senior Jack Bachelor scored 27 points in Washburn Rural's 65-60 non-league victory over Blue Valley on Tuesday. Bachelor went nine of 13 from the field and six of seven from the free throw line against the Tigers while sophomore Kaden Ballard added 13 points while hitting four of seven 3-point attempts. Emporia is coming off a 41-39 win over Manhattan. 

    LEAVENWORTH (4-9, 2-8) at SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (10-4, 7-3)

    Shawnee Heights posted a 57-48 United Kansas Conference road win at Basehor-Linwood on Tuesday, giving the T-Birds a regular-season sweep over the Bobcats. Sophomore Jaret Sanchez led Heights with 16 points while junior Brennon Dodge added 15 points, seniors Jeremyah Kendrick and Q Stovall eight points apiece and sophomore Deacon Pomeroy seven. Leavenworth has lost four straight games, including a 67-60 non-league loss to Bonner Springs on Tuesday. Heights beat Leavenworth 61-40 in an earlier game between the two teams.

    JahmirKingcannonWash2Senior Jahmir Kingannon scored 18 points with five 3-pointers in Thursday's 79-48 Meadowlark Conference win over KC-Schlagle. [File photo/TSN]

    HIGHLAND PARK (13-0, 6-0) at KC-WYANDOTTE (3-10, 3-4)

    Highland Park, top-ranked in Class 5A, will be playing its third game in four days. The Scots are coming off a 79-48 Meadowlark Conference home win over KC-Schlagle Thursday night, with seniors Tre Richardson and Jahmir Kingcannon scoring 18 points apiece and senior Bo Aldridge adding 11 points. Kingcannon canned five 3-pointers on the night. Highland Park took a 95-42 win over Wyandotte earlier in the season. The Bulldogs are coming off a 65-62 league win over KC-Harmon on Tuesday.

  • Shawnee Heights boys ride defense to 69-32 UKC rout over Pioneers

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    While fans, players and even some coaches may get more fired up by slam dunks, acrobatic scoring plays and long-distance 3-pointers, it's defense that excites hall of fame high school basketball coach Ken Darting more than any other facet of the game.

    JaretSanchezLeavSophomore Jaret Sanchez scored a game-high 18 points, with three 3-pointers and a 4-point play, in Shawnee Heights' 69-32 UKC romp past Leavenworth Friday night. [File photo/TSN]

    And Darting had plenty to get excited about Friday night in Shawnee Heights' 69-32 United Kansas Conference romp past Leavenworth at Heights.

    Leavenworth jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first three and a half minutes of the game, but the Pioneers were held scoreless over the next 10 and a half minutes as the T-Birds went on a 26-2 run to take charge.

    "Defense just sets up everything, it just does,'' Darting said. "We walk in and see some of those athletes and you think, 'Oh my God, what are we going to do with them?' But we just help each other so much.

    "What's making the difference this year over the last four years, and certainly the last two, is the kids believe the same thing I do. They believe that defense wins, that they can't go out and get in a shootout and win.''  

  • Shawnee Heights girls enjoy rare blowout after string of tight games

    Rick Peterson

    By Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    After having five of its previous six games decided by four or fewer points, including a tough four-point loss at Basehor-Linwood Tuesday night, ninth-ranked (Class 5A) Shawnee Heights enjoyed a rare blowout Friday night, rolling to a 62-43 home United Kansas Conference win over Leavenworth.

    EmariDobyLeavSenior Emari Doby scored a game-high 18 points as Shawnee Heights rolled to a 62-43 UKC win over Leavenworth Friday night at Heights. [File photo/TSN]

    "I think we set the tone in practice this week after coming home from the Basehor game and understanding that it's one game, it's not life or death,'' Shawnee Heights coach Bob Wells said. "Lets just play this season out and play the best that we can play.

    "We changed some things up in practice and played with a lot more freedom tonight.''

    All five of Shawnee Heights' five losses have come by four or less points and Wells said it was important for the T-Birds to get a statement win Friday.

    "I think that was eating on them that we were losing by three and that we were losing by four and all those games it was like a layup here, some free throws there, and that was leading to missing free throws and that was leading to missing some of those layups,'' Wells said. "Hopefully they're understanding that that's in the past and we can't change it now, so let's do our best to not let it happen in the future.''

  • KBCA rankings: Hi Park boys, Seaman girls hold No. 1 spots in Class 5A

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Highland Park's boys and Seaman's girls held on to the No. 1 spot in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Class 5A state rankings, released Tuesday night.

    BoAldridgedunkTITSenior Bo Aldridge and the Highland Park boys remain No. 1 in the KBCA 5A boys rankings for the fourth straight week. [File photo/TSN]

    TaylinStallbaumerEmpTaylin Stallbaumer and the Seaman girls remain No. 1 in the KBCA Class 5A girls rankings after winning last week's Glaciers Edge Tournament. [Photo by Brent Maycock/KSHSAA Covered]

    The undefeated Scots held the top spot in the 5A boys rankings for the fourth straight week while Seaman's girls are No. 1 for the second straight week after regaining the top spot.

    Highland Park and Seaman are two of eight Shawnee County teams in this week's KBCA rankings.

    Washburn Rural's girls fell to No. 4 in 6A while Topeka High's girls moved up to No. 5.

    Shawnee Heights girls are still ranked No. 9 in 5A while Hayden's girls moved up to No. 8 in the 4A rankings.

    Silver Lake's girls moved up a sport to No. 6 in 3A.

    Topeka West remained No. 9 in the 5A boys rankings.

    KANSAS BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION STATE RANKINGS

  • Tuesday prep BB roundup: T-Bird boys improve to 10-4 with win over Bobcats

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Five Shawnee Heights boys players scored between seven and 16 points as the T-Birds posted a 57-48 United Kansas Conference road win at Basehor-Linwood.

    JaretSanchez1Sophomore Jaret Sanchez led a balanced Shawnee Heights attack with 16 points as the T-Birds posted a 57-48 UKC road win at Basehor-Linwood Tuesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    The T-Birds improved to 10-4 overall and 7-3 in the UKC while earning a regular-season sweep over the Bobcats.

    Sophomore Jaret Sanchez scored 16 points to pace the T-Birds while junior Brennon Dodge joined Sanchez in double figures with 15 points.

    Seniors Jeremyah Kendrick and Q Stovall added eight point apiece while sophomore Deacon Pomeroy had seven points.

    BASEHOR-LINWOOD GIRLS 37, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 33 -- No. 9-ranked (Class 5A) Shawnee Heights dropped a tough 37-33 United Kansas Conference road decision at Basehor-Linwood Tuesday night, with the T-Birds falling to 9-5 overall and 7-3 in the league.

    The Basehor-Linwood win Tuesday night avenged an earlier 48-40 loss to the T-Birds. The Bobcatss improved to 10-3, 8-2.

    Senior Riley Showalter led Shawnee Heights with 11 points while seniors Emari Doby and Taylor Rottinghaus added 10 and seven points for the T-Birds.

    IMG 2052Washburn Rural senior Brooklyn DeLeye scored 19 points in the Junior Blues' 54-52 non-league overtime loss to Blue Valley Northwest Tuesday night. [Photo by Trevor Falcon/Special to TSN]

    BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST GIRLS 54, WASHBURN RURAL 52 (OT) -- Blue Valley Northwest held a 9-7 scoring edge in overtime to take a 54-52 non-league win over No. 4-ranked (Class 6A) Washburn Rural.

    Rural, which fell to 9-4 on the season, led 21-14 at the end of the first quarter but the Huskies outscored the Junior Blues 12-2 in the second quarter to take a 26-23 halftime lead.

    IMG 1952Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick talks to his team during Tuesday's 54-52 overtime loss to Blue Valley Northwest. [Photo by Trevor Falcon/Special to TSN]

    Northwest (6-7) led 37-31 at the starf of the fourth quarter, but Rural held a 14-8 edge over the final eight minutes of regulation to force ovetime.

    Senior Brooklyn DeLeye led Washburn Rural with 19 points while senior Chloe Carlgren added 11 points and sophomore Tenly Bunck nine points on three 3-pointers.

    Washburn Rural will be at home Friday to host Emporia in a Centennial League game.

  • A game by game look at Tuesday night's Shawnee County boys basketball games

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    PIPER (10-4, 7-3) at SEAMAN (7-5, 4-4)

    KaedenBonnernewSenior Kaeden Bonner (right) and the Seaman boys basketball team will be looking for their fifth straight victory in Tuesday night's United Kansas Conference home game against Piper. [File photo/TSN]

    Seaman has posted four straight victories, including a 68-41 United Kansas Conference victory over Lansing last Friday. Piper is coming off a 62-56 UKC loss to De Soto. Tuesday night will be the second game of the season between Seaman and Piper, with the Pirates taking a 61-48 win over the Vikings in the earlier meeting.

    BoAldridgeWSESenior Bo Aldridge and the Highland Park boys ran their winning streak to 11 games with a pair of non-league victories last week. [File photo/TSN]

    KC-WASHINGTON (5-7, 3-2) at HIGHLAND PARK (11-0, 4-0)

    Highland Park, the top-ranked team in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Class 5A state rankings, continued its dominating season with a pair of non-league victories last week The Scots took a 76-45 win over state-ranked Eudora on Tuesday and then rolled to an 82-21 victory over Kansas City-East, Mo. on Friday. The league-leading Scots return to Meadowlark Conference play against KC-Washington.