Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertTopeka West Chargers

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  • Topeka West's Cusick twins, Seaman's Druse named Dan Key Farmers Insurance Agency Athletes of the Week

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON                                                                                                          

    CusicksleagueTopeka West's Miles and Ian Cusick are the Dan Key Farmers Insurance Agency Boys Athletes of the Week after winning city and Centennial League doubles titles. [Submitted]

    IAN and MILES CUSICK, Topeka West

    Ian and Miles Cusick, junior twin brothers, teamed up to win the city tennis championship in No. 1 doubles for the second straight last Thursday's city tournament at Kossover Tennis Center.

    The Cusicks took an 8-1 win over Washburn Rural's Kyler Knudtson and Nick Luetje in the championship match, helping the Chargers win a share of the city team title with Rural.

    The Cusicks followed that up with a second straight Centennial League doubles title at Emporia on Tuesday.

    Bethany DruseSeaman junior Bethany Druse is the Dan Key Farmers Insurance Agency Girls Athlete of the Week after setting a school record and a current state best in the 800 meters in 2:15.19 last Friday. [File photo/TSN]


    A junior, Druse set the Seaman school record in the girls 800 meters in last Friday's Bob Camien/Claudia Welch Invitational at Seaman.

    Druse won the event in a time of 2 minutes, 15.19 seconds to eclipse the previous school record of 2:16.2.

    Druse's time was the best girls 800 meters clocking in the state this spring.

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

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


     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]

  • Shawnee Heights continues UKC girls wrestling championship run

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    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.''

  • Weekend prep BB roundup: Seaman girls battle back to top De Soto, 43-35

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Seaman's girls, the top-ranked team in Class 5A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, dug themselves a hole Friday night against De Soto before fighting back to take a 43-35 United Kansas Conference road victory.

    MattTinsleynewMatt Tinsley's Seaman girls rallied for a 43-35 UKC win over De Soto Friday night, improving to 13-1 on the season. [File photo/TSN]

    The Vikings, who improved to 13-1 overall and 9-1 in the UKC, trailed 13-4 at the end of the opening quarter and Seaman still trailed by nine at the half, 23-14.

    Seaman rallied to take a 30-28 lead by the end of the third quarter and the Vikings outscored the Wildcats (9-6, 7-5) by a 13-7 margin over the final eight minutes to take their seventh straight win.

    Seaman will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Kansas City-Turner in a UKC contest.

    DE SOTO BOYS 68, SEAMAN 39 --Eighth-ranked (Class 5A) De Soto jumped on short-handed Seaman early Friday night and cruised to a 68-39 home United Kansas Conference decision.

    Seaman, which fell to 7-7 overall and 4-6 in the league, played without standout seniors Kaeden Bonner and Aron Davis due to injuries.

    De Soto (13-2, 11-1) led 17-9 at the end of the first quarter and 31-15 at the half before using a 23-8 third quarter to force a running clock over the final eight minutes.

    Seaman will be at home Tuesday to host Kansas City-Turner in a UKC game.

    KikiSmithTWest 1Topeka High senior Kiki Smith had 22 points in Friday's 62-25 Centennial League win at Junction City. [File photo/TSN]  

     TOPEKA HIGH GIRLS 62, JUNCTION CITY 25 --Topeka High, fifth-ranked in Class 6A, ran its winning streak to five games with a 62-25 Centennial League romp at Junction City.

    The Trojan, who improved to 12-3 overall and 3-2 in the league, were never seriously threatened by the Blue Jays, opening up a 16-11 first-quarter advantage and using a 19-6 second quarter to take command at halftime, 35-17.

    High outscored Junction City (3-12, 1-5) in the third quarter by a 14-5 margin to take a 49-22 lead and the Trojans forced a running clock down the stretch.

    Trojan senior Kiki Smith scored a game-high 22 points while junior Ladaysha Baird continued her hot streak, adding 14 points. 

    Topeka High will be at home Tuesday to face Manhattan.

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

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    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


    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.

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

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    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.


  • Topeka West girls rally for late league win over Lansing, 31-30  


    Special to

    It doesn't matter how it looked or how many points were scored, all that mattered to coach Jeff Skar and the Topeka West girls Tuesday night was that the Chargers won their third game in the last five with a 31-30 United Kansas Conference win over Lansing.

    BrooklynAlexanderLanTopeka West junior Brooklyn Alexander scored a team-high eight points in the Chargers' 31-30 UKC win over Lansing Tuesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    “I was proud of them, that’s kind of our personality, we have done that all season,” Skar said of the Chargers' gritty style of play. “I liked our energy most of the game and I liked our effort.”

    In December the Chargers (4-10, 3-8) lost a 58-53 decision to the Lions (3-9, 2-8) on the road in overtime, which served as some extra motivation to avoid the same result in another close game.

    “Our team personality is that we always battle back but we also let teams back in the game, we haven’t put teams away when we had the chance … I knew that they were going to make it a battle,” Skar said. “After losing in overtime to them the first time around I think our kids probably felt like we owed them a bit tonight.”

    The Chargers scored only one point in the third quarter and trailed by four early in the fourth after leading by as many as 10 in the first half.

    A 10-1 run in the fourth quarter served as the comeback and put the game away for Topeka West.

    Most of the offense for the home team came in the first quarter, with four starters scoring buckets to put the Chargers up 12-7 after eight minutes.

    “I think our energy helped us, we were getting some turnovers and attacking the basket,” Skar said.

  • No. 9 West boys blow past Lansing 73-44 behind 21 from Austin, 18 from Berg


    Special to

    A hot shooting start for the visiting Lions from Lansing did not dissuade No. 9-ranked (Class 5A) Topeka West from running away with a dominant 73-44 United Kansas Conference win Tuesday night at West.

    “There’s a time in the first quarter where the game settles and it's about how you are playing when the game settles,” said Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist. “We talk about that a lot and we did a great job of maintaining our intensity and maintaining our poise.”

    SincereAustinLansingSenior Sincere Austin scored a game-high 21 points as Topeka West rolled to a 73-44 UKC win over Lansing Tuesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    The Chargers (11-3, 8-2) outscored the Lions 49-14 in the middle two quarters and used a full roster to do it. Even as the teams’ win streak extended to four games, it was Tuesday night’s win that showed Bloomquist that his team was truly moving in the right direction.

    “Tonight I feel like that, and I hope I feel like that on Friday, too,” Bloomquist said. “They responded to what I asked them and what they needed to do and change and that’s why I like coaching at Topeka West, kids here really sincerely want to do well.”

    Topeka West has now played and defeated Lansing three times already this season, with scores of 65-49, 55-32, and now 73-44, by far the most lopsided of the three.

    “No question (we have grown) from the first time we played them … I was pleased with the way we attacked them,” Bloomquist said. “We like to play up and down the floor, and when you play like that every night is going to be different.”

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

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    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.