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Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertTopeka High Trojans

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  • Rural wraps up undefeated Centennial League title, 7-1 over High

    Rick Peterson

    E1E0yhPXsAQFXMQWashburn Rural junior Reagan Allen (12) tries to control possession as Topeka High sophomore Molly McGuire closes ground. Allen had a pair of assists in the Junior Blues' 7-1 Centennial League win over the Trojans. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls soccer team still has bigger heights it wants to scale this spring, but the Junior Blues took the first step in that process Monday night at Hummer Sports Park, wrapping up a perfect Centennial League season with a 7-1 romp past Topeka High.

    The league title was Washburn Rural's 16th in school history and the Junior Blues' eighth in the past nine seasons. Rural has won 41 straight games in league play.

    "I think we're playing at a pretty high level,'' said Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel, whose team improved to 12-2-1. "We're scoring goals and we're a pretty good possession team and we create lots of chances.

    "Our goal is always at the end of the season to be there (in the state title hunt). We've been in the last two state championship games and our goal obviously is to be back here (at Hummer) in two and a half weeks and try to win it because we've been really close. We think we have the team to do that, but there's still some things we have to fine tune.''

    The Junior Blues needed just 1 minute, 35 seconds to get on the scoreboard against Topeka High, with junior Hunter McWilliams finding the back of the net, and Rural was in command 3-0 with 20:06 left in the first half after goals from junior Emma Krueger and senior Brynn Fitzgibbons.

  • Veteran Baumgardner takes reins of Trojan boys basketball program

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Ty Baumgardner has enjoyed his time as Topeka High's athletic director the past year, but still had the overwhelming urge to coach basketball after a 25-year career as a high school and college coach.

    Ty BaumgardnerTy Baumgardner

    Topeka High will give Baumgardner the opportunity to fill both of those positions moving forward, naming Baumgardner the Trojans' new boys coach on Monday. Baumgardner takes over for Eric King, who resigned after two seasons.

    Baumgardner admitted that he missed coaching more than he thought he would over the past year, making the opportunity to do double duty at Topeka High an attractive option.

    "Coaching is all I've ever done,'' Baumgardner said. "I was pretty good in the fall, but then once the season rolled around and I was watching games every Tuesday and Friday night, I missed it a lot, just working with kids and the camraderie and those types of things.''

    Baumgardner takes over a Trojan team that won just three games last season, but he is familiar with High's returning players and is eager to get started.

    "There's a lot of work that needs to be done, a ton of things that need to be improved on,'' Baumgardner said. "You will see a much different Topeka High program next year, but that's not unusual any time you have a coaching change because new coaches are going to come in and do things their way.

    "I think we've got a total of 8 points returning next year from this year's team, but on the flipside of that, there's a lot of opportunity for playing time, a lot of opportunity for guys to step up and take advantage of the things that are there in front of them.''

    Baumgardner said the Trojans will go to work this summer as soon as the state allows.

    "I think June 1st is the first day and we'll be in the gym June 1st,'' Baumgardner said. "We've got to take advantage of every day that we can be in the gym to get better. They need to learn our philosophy and our terminology and how we're going to do things.

    "It's going to be a very critical summer, no doubt about it.''

    Baumgardner served as a head high school coach for 19 years in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina, including a state title in North Carolina's largest class, following six seasons as a college assistant at Emporia state and Elon University (N.C.).

    An Emporia native, Baumgardner was a multiple-sport athlete at Emporia High before playing basketball at Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State. Baumgardner also served as a graduate assistant at ESU under legendary Hornet coach Ron Slaymaker.

    Baumgardner has compiled a career coaching record of 370-154 for a 71 percent winning percentage over his high school career.

    He spent 10 seasons at Olympic High School in Charlotte, N.C., where he amassed a 222-63 record while winning seven conference championships and the 2013 state shampionship in Class 4A, the largest classification in the state.

    Olympic finished the 2012-13 season 30-0 and ranked No. 5 in the country by MaxPreps.

    While at Olympic Baumgardner also won a city-record 59 straight conference games with a 42-game home winning streak.

    Baumgardner then moved on to Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga., where his team captured only the second regional championship in school history while also setting a school record for most wins in a season at 25-5.

    Baumgardner captured another regional championship at Westwood High School in Columbia, S.C., the second in school history with a school-record 25 wins in a 25-2 season. Baumgardner has coached more than 50 players that went on to play collegiately, 18 at the Division I level.

    Baumgardner said he had some initial reserversations about filling the dual role of athletic director and basketball coach, but said he thinks the support system is in place to allow him to be successful in both positions.

    "It's very rare, but I visitied with some really good coaching friends of mine who have done both and are doing both and just kind of picked their brains and got some thoughts,'' Baumgardner said.

    "There's such great leadership here at Topeka High with Miss (Rebecca) Morrisey (High's principal) and the assistant principals and our athletic secretary. There's a lot of help that can play a part in maybe taking some of the stuff off my plate during basketball. Fall and spring I'll have my AD hat on.''

     

  • Rural track sweeps team crowns in Joe Schrag City Invitational

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Very little has been routine for Washburn Rural's track and field team for the past season and a half.

    First, like everybody else, the Junior Blues had the 2020 season wiped out by COVID-19 and then Rural began the current campaign without a home track to train or compete on while work wrapped up on a resurfacing project. 

    But for the past two weeks Rural has had a brand spanking new track to prepare on, and Friday night at Hummer Sports Park Keith Wetzel's Junior Blues had something else to celebrate, sweeping the team championships in the Joe Schrag City Invitational.

    Rural's girls won by a 177.5-131-point margin over Topeka West while the Junior Blues won the boys division by a 164-116 margin over Hayden.

    "These kids needed some good vibes and they've been resilient, not only last year in losing a season, but with not having a facility the first part of the season,'' Wetzel said. "They've handled it very, very well, extremely maturely, and just continued to get better each day.''

    E06DHl XIAMxFijWashburn Rural senior Keely Wagner (right) and sophomore teammate Madeline Carter placed 1-2 in the 3,200 meters, helping the Junior Blues win the girls team title in Friday's Joe Schrag City Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The Rural girls got a big early boost with a 1-2-3 finish in the 1,600 meters, led by senior Keely Wagner, who destroyed her previous personal best with a win in 5 minutes, 18:26 seconds while Rural sophomore Madeline Carter was second in 5:24.06 and junior Sydney Laster third in 5:43.95.

    "I've run in windy and hot conditions the last three weeks, so it was nice to get a really good day," Wagner said. "No wind, no sun really. It was a good day. It was a pretty big (personal-record) goal for us and each lap, it was like, 'Don't slow down.' I just felt really good, better than I thought I was going to feel."

  • Prep athletes get the chance to strut their stuff in Junior Combine

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's no secret among local high school football coaches that there's an abundance of athletic talent in the Topeka area.

    The major objective of Tuesday's Topeka Area Football Coaches Association Junior Day Combine was about making sure that knowledge is no secret to college coaches either.

    Seventy-four prep players, most from the class of 2022, were on hand Tuesday at Shawnee Heights to show off their talents while representives from 18 area Division II, NAIA and junior college football programs were in attendance to take a first-hand look.  

    "We've done this 14 out of the last 15 years,'' said camp organizer Jason Swift, head coach at Shawnee Heights. "Last year was the only year we didn't do it, because of COVID.

    "This was a good number (of participants). We've got good football players in Northeast Kansas and this is a chance to promote it.''

    E0oJV9aXoAAB07dTopeka West junior Mikael Glenn goes through an agility drill at Tuesday's Junior Combine at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • Shawnee County athletes sign college letters of intent

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Editor's note: If Shawnee County athletes would like to have their college letter of intent signing pictures in any sport published on TopSports.news, submit them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any pertinent information. Congratulations on your signing!

    Nesbitt TuckersigningCair Paravel Latin senior Basia Nesbett-Tucker has signed a volleyball letter of intent with Calvary University. [Photo courtesy of Jan Pabitzky]

    MikeMercer 2Washburn Rural senior pole-vaulter Mike Mercer has signed a track and field letter of intent with McPherson College. [Submitted]

  • Luke Leonetti, Junior Blues claim Centennial League golf titles

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Individual champion Luke Leonetti led the way as Washburn Rural's boys golf team posted an 11-stroke win (312-323) over Emporia in Monday's Centennial League tournament at Village Greens Golf Course.

    Leonetti, the city champ, took league medalist honors with a 74, topping Topeka West freshman Myles Alonzo by two strokes.

    "I am proud of the way Luke responded to some early adversity and finished strong to get the win,'' Washburn Rural coach Jared Goehring said.

    LukeLeonettiLeagueWashburn Rural junior Luke Leonetti captured the Centennial League individual title Monday with a 74, leading the Junior Blues to the team championship. [File photo/TSN]

    Leonetti was one of three Washburn Rural players to crack the top 10 individually, with junior Joe Morse tying for third and finishing fourth in a scorecard playoff with a 78 while junior Turner Depperschmidt finished sixth with a 79.

    Rural junior Giles Frederickson narrowly missed a top-10 finish, placing 11th with an 81.

    RuralteamWashburn Rural's golf team poses with its championship trophy after winning the Centennial League championship Monday at Village Greens Golf Course. [Submitted]

    "We managed our games well enough today to get the job done,'' Goehring said. "I would like for our approach and toughness to continue to improve as we move closer to postseason play.''

    Seaman's Gavin Wilhelm tied for sixth and finished seventh with a 79 while the Vikings' Jake Moss tied for eighth and finished ninth.

    Team runner-up Emporia topped third-place Manhattan by five strokes while Seaman was fourth.

    The Spartans put Caden Massey and Dylan Smith in the top 10, with Massey finishing third with a 78 and Smith eighth with an 80.

  • West's Cusick twins outlast Emporia to claim Centennial doubles title

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West tennis standouts Ian and Miles Cusick faced off against a familiar foe in Monday's Centennial League doubles final, taking on Emporia's Brenden Kienholz and Taylor Moorman for the second time in three days.

    But the Cusick twins were.up to the challenge, surviving a Spartan rally to claim the league title with an 8-6 victory to lead city-champion West to a second-place team finish behind Manhattan, which won its sixth straight championship.

    E0gojJRXsAA1fp8Topeka West sophomores Miles Cusick (left) and Ian Cusick followed up their city doubles title with the Centennial League championship Monday at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Ian and Miles Cusick, who had taken an 8-4 win over Emporia on Saturday in the finals of the Emporia tournament, jumped in front 4-1 Monday but Keinholz and Moorman were down just 7-6 before the Chargers closed out the win.

    "I think (Emporia) played extremely well today,'' Miles Cusick said. "It was a tough match, especially seeing them two days ago. I think we both tried not to take that for granted that we beat them last time.''

    "(Emporia) really stepped it up in the second half (of the match),'' Ian Cusick added. "Those close matches are hard and it's really good that we can win close matches going forward.''

  • Bears make Jenkins highest NFL draft pick in Shawnee Co. history

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High product Teven Jenkins had to wait longer to hear his name called in the 2021 NFL Draft than most draft forescasters thought he would.

    But when the Chicago Bears traded up to pick the Oklahoma State star offensive lineman in Friday's second round with the 39th overall selection, Jenkins made history in his hometown, easily becoming the highest-ever NFL draft pick from Topeka or Shawnee County.

    Most draft prognosticators had Jenkins going in Thuesday's first around, with some 11 mock drafts predicting that the Bears would pick Jenkins with the 20th overall pick, but his name was not called until early second.

    "You know coming into yesterday my agent let me know there's a strong possibility for the first, but he made sure I definitely wouldn't get my hopes up for everything because there was a strong possibility of going second also," Jenkins said in a teleconference.

    TevenJenkins2Topeka High graduate and former Oklahoma State standout Teven Jenkins (73) became Shawnee County's highest-ever NFL Draft selection on Friday when the Chicago Bears picked Jenkins with the No. 39 pick overall. [Photo/okstate.com]

  • History! Davids' Chargers capture first city tennis title, 28-27 over Rural

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Kurt Davids has put together an impressive list of accomplishments in his 28 years as Topeka West's boys tennis coach, coaching state champions in both singles and doubles and leading the Chargers to top-three state team finishes.

    But one thing had always eluded the veteran coach... until Thursday that is.

    Sweeping the No. 1 singles and doubles titles and adding a pair of runner-up finishes in No. 2 singles and doubles, Topeka West edged perennial city champ Washburn Rural by a single point (28-27) for the team crown.

    E0MRMYXXsAAoTKsTopeka West sophomore Carter Cool won the city title in No. 1 singles Thursday at Kossover Tennis Center, helping lead the Chargers to the city team title. [Photo by Rick Pet

    "It was our goal coming into the season to get coach a win because he hadn't ever won since he's been here and that was our goal, to get him the win,'' said city No. 1 singles champion Carter Cool, a sophomore. "It was great to come in as a team and do what we wanted to.''

  • Hayden soccer bounces back from rout to top Topeka High, 3-1

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Hayden's girls soccer team suffered through a long day Monday and had a short turnaround from that 7-0 loss to Spring Hill to get ready to face Class 6A foe Topeka High on Tuesday at Hummer Sports Park.

    The Wildcats got the bounce-back Centennial League win they were looking for, however, dominating the second half to take a 3-1 victory over the Trojans.

    "We did take a beating yesterday and I think we played better and I think (the girls) took it to heart,'' Hayden coach Klaus Kreutzer said. "From a coaching standpoint it was good to see them doing things that we work on in practice.

    "I think they had a lot more fun today and I think they're getting the idea.''

    KateRoeder_2.jpgTopeka High's Avery Zimmerman (2) battles Hayden's Kate Roeder (15) for the ball in Tuesday's 3-1 Hayden win at Hummer Sports Park. Both players scored goals in the game. [Photo by Craig Strever/Special to TSN]

    Hayden sophomores Sloane Sims (5) and Piper Wrench (14) celebrate the Wildcats' 3-1 soccer win over Topeka High Tuesday at Hummer Sports Park. Wrench scored midway through the second half to put Hayden ahead to stay. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN] Hayden sophomores Sloane Sims (5) and Piper Wrench (14) celebrate the Wildcats' 3-1 soccer win over Topeka High Tuesday at Hummer Sports Park. Wrench scored midway through the second half to put Hayden ahead to stay. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 27, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    ZoeCarylmug2Zoe Caryl

    ZOE CARYL, Topeka High

    Caryl, a senior who will play collegiately at Illinois, went 9 of 11 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and 12 runs batted in as Topeka High's softball team remained unbeaten with a 10-0, 27-8 Centennial League doubleheader sweep over Emporia last Tuesday. 

    Bethany Druse Bethany Druse

    BETHANY DRUSE, Seaman

    The Viking sophomore continued her dominating season in the girls 800 meters Monday at Lawrence, posting a win in the Free State Barrier Breakers track and field meet in 2 minutes, 21.02 seconds, winning by nearly two seconds. Druse ranks among the top 10 in the state (all classes) in the 800.

  • Luke Leonetti, Junior Blues claim city golf championships

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's boys golf team didn't quite get the day it was looking for in Monday's city boys tournament/Topeka West Invitational at Topeka Country Club, but there were two notable highlights for the Junior Blues.

    Rural finished a disappointing fifth in the Topeka West tournament, held in conjuction with the city event, but the Junior Blues ran their streak of city team titles to 11 straight with a 32-stroke victory over runner-up Shawnee Heights while Rural junior Luke Leonetti turned in a dominating eight-stroke victory to claim his first city individual title despite fighting through a gusty wind all day.

    "It was a battle out there today,'' Rural coach Jared Goehring said. "Luke gave us some spurts and we had some guys step up, but quite frankly we just weren't consistent enough today when it came to guys stringing some holes together. It would be one good hole and two bad holes and one good hole and three bad holes.

    "Ultimately our goal was to come out and win the city today, which we accomplished and I'm proud of them for that, but the big goal was to win the Topeka West Invitational because we had won the previous two times. We didn't have enough in the tank and we didn't handle the conditions as well as we should have.''

    LukeLeonettiCityWashburn Rural junior Luke Leonetti won the city golf title by eight strokes Monday at Topeka Country Club, leading the Junior Blues to their 11th straight city team championship. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Leonetti carded a 27-hole total of 114 strokes, while Seaman junior Tim Biggs placed second at 122 and Topeka West freshman Myles Alonzo was third at 124.

    "It was interesting out there for sure,'' Leonetti said. "I didn't bring my best stuff ball-striking, but the short game was on today. The putter was hot. I got up and down from everywhere.''

    In addition to Leonetti's win, Washburn Rural got fourth and fifth-place finishes from Cole Kucera and Joe Morse, who both finished at 125, while Giles Frederickson was seventh (126) and Turner Depperschmidt eighth (127).

    Washburn Rural won its 11th straight city boys golf team title Monday at Topeka Country Club. [Submitted]Washburn Rural won its 11th straight city boys golf team title Monday at Topeka Country Club. [Submitted]

    Leonetti said it was important for the Junior Blues to continue their string of success in the city tournament.

    "City is a good event to win,'' Leonetti said. "Our guys usually do pretty well in this event and we know TCC pretty well. We get to practice out here pretty often. It was tough conditions, but the team was able to get it done today.

    "City's always a good one to win. Coach loves it.''

  • TopSports.news to host 2021 Topeka Shawnee County sports awards/Hall of Fame induction

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TopSports.News, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key will become the new host of the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards/Hall of Fame induction ceremony, continuing a longstanding tradition for the Topeka and Shawnee County sports community on June 30, 2021 at the Capitol Plaze Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.

    RonBowenWashburn Rural coaching legend Ron Bowen (center) was inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. TopSports.news will host the 2021 sports awards banquet and Hall of Fame ceremony on June 30. [Submitted]

    General admission tickets are $25 per person and includes dinner.

    The most recent Topeka Shawnee County banquet was held in 2019 before last year's ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19.

    TopSports.News is proud to preserve and continue this annual event, which recognizes Shawnee County's top senior student-athletes while also continuing to add to the prestigious Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. For the first time, TSN will also honor an oustanding female and male athlete from Washburn University.

  • Topeka High's Hendricks signs letter of intent with Tabor

    Rick Peterson

    JaNeshaHendricksTopeka High senior Ja'Neysha Hendricks has signed a letter of intent with Tabor College after leading the city in assists this past season. [File photo/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High senior Ja'Neysha Hendricks signed a women's basketball letter of intent with Tabor College Thursday at High.

    Hendricks, the Trojans' 5-foot-7 point guard, helped Topeka High advance to the Class 6A state tournament three straight seasons, including second-place state finishes as a sophomore and this past season. High advanced to the 6A semifinals Hendricks' junior season before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

    As a senior Hendricks led the city in assists, averaging 4.5 a game.

    Hendricks will be joining a Tabor College program that posted a 19-8 record in 2020-21.Tabor, located in Hillsboro, advanced to the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship game.

  • Washburn Rural extends city swimming title streak to 18; Walz twins star for Seaman

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural had the depth and Seaman the star power in Friday's city girls swimming and diving championships at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.

    Despite winning just one event -- Ellie Armstrong's victory in one-meter diving -- the Junior Blues rolled to their 18th straight team championship by a 536-433 margin over Seaman while Seaman freshman twin sisters Avery and Tauren Walz both won four gold medals as the Vikings won seven events overall.

    AveryWalzCitySeaman freshman Avery Walz captured four gold medals in Friday's city's girls swimming championships, including individual wins in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    TaurenWalzCity 2Seaman freshman Tauren Walz captured four gold medals in Friday's city's girls swimming meet, including individual wins in the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • Trojans twirl no-hitter, score 37 runs on the day in twinbill sweep

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's softball team continued its dominating undefeated season Wednesday at Emporia, rolling to a 10-0, 27-8 Centennial League sweep over the Spartans.

    Trojan junior NiJaree Canady and sophomore Quincy Smith combined on a no-hitter in the first game, with Canady striking out 13 and issuing four walks before Smith came on to pitch the seventh inning, striking out two.

    Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady combined for a no-hitter and hit a pair of home runs and a double in the Trojans' doubleheader sweep over Emporia. [File photo/TSN]Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady combined for a no-hitter and hit a pair of home runs and a double in the Trojans' doubleheader sweep over Emporia. [File photo/TSN]

    ZoeCarylSeaman2Topeka High senior Zoe Caryl had nine hits, five extra-base hits, and 12 RBI in Wednesday's doubleheader sweep over Emporia. [File photo/TSN]

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 20, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    A junior, Canady pitched a three-hitter with 17 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Centennial League rival Washburn Rural last Tuesday and followed that up with a two-hit, 11-strikeout performance in a 10-0 second-game win over the Junior Blues while also hitting a home run. Canady added two more pitching wins over Olathe West and Shawnee Mission North and allowed just one earned run on the week while hitting three home runs.

     Tyler Clark-ChiapparelliTyler Clark-Chiapparelli

    TYLER CLARK-CHIAPPARELLI, Washburn University

    Clark-Chiapparelli, a sophomore left-fielder, had a big day at the plate as Washburn's baseball team split a doubleheader with Rogers State Sunday to win its second straight MIAA series. Clark-Chiapparelli went 3 for 4 in the opener with a home run, two runs batted, a stolen base and three runs scored and went 3 for 3 in the second game with a three-run homer, a run-scoring double and four RBI.

  • Depth carries Rural, Hayden to top two spots in West swimming invite

    Rick Peterson

    GabbyGraceSeaman's Gabby Grace won the 100-yard backstroke and the 100 freestyle in Wednesday's Topeka West Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural and Hayden rode their depth to a one-two team finish in Wednesday's Topeka West Invitational swimming meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium, while Seaman and West combined for seven individual victories.

    Washburn Rural's Ellie Armstrong won the one-meter diving event with a score of 208.50 points and the Junior Blues' Mara Bare, Aubrey Fritsch, Jeisscafaith Ndungu and Makenna Pritchard won the 200-yard free relay in 1 minute, 50.96 seconds, but it was depth that paved the way for a 473-392 team victory over Hayden, with Rural posting top-three finishes in eight of 12 events.

    Makenna PritchardMakenna Pritchard anchored Washburn Rural's 200-yard freestyle relay to a win in the Topeka West Invitational and finished second in the 100 and 200 freestyle. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN] 

    Hayden, meanwhile, did not post a win, but the Wildcats finished in the top three places in five events, including a second-place finish in diving by Tatum Trent and thirds from Audrey Kuta in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, Olivia Kerr in the 200 individual medley and the 400 freestyle relay team of Kuta, Kerr, Alexis Vu and Ainslee Oliver.

    Seaman finished fourth as a team, but won a meet-high five events, including a pair of individual wins from both Avery Walz and Gabby Grace and a win from Tauren Walz.

    Avery Walz won the 50 freestyle in (25.80) and the 100 breaststroke (1:09.04) while Grace won the 100 free (56.60) and the 100 backstroke (1:03.69) and Tauren Walz won the 200 individual medley (2:17.73).

    KadenceJeffriesTopeka West's Kadence Jeffries won the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle in Wednesday's Topeka West Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Topeka West's Kadence Jeffries was also a double-event winner, taking victories in the 200 free (1:59.07) and the 500 free (5:21.45).

    Topeka High was led by Abigail Price's sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke while Makayla Geil finished seventh in the 50 free and the team of Aubery Zimmerman, Price, Elaine Bunten and Geil finished seventh in the 400 free relay.

    Alexis VuAlexis Vu helped Hayden post a third-place finish in the 400-yard free relay and a second-place team finish in the Topeka West Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    TOPEKA WEST INVITATIONAL

    Team scores

  • Topeka High softball in top form in 5-0, 10-0 romp past Rural

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High star junior pitcher NiJaree Canady feels like there's still "room for improvement'' for herself and the Trojans' softball team.  .

    Given the Trojans' impressive performance Tuesday in a 5-0, 10-0 doubleader road sweep over fellow Class 6A power Washburn Rural, that's a scary thought.

    "There's always room for improvement," Canady said after turning in a pair of complete-game pitching performances against . "I felt good out there and coming here and getting a win is always good.

    "We knew coming here it would be good games and we had some good practices yesterday. It gives us a lot of confidence."

    NiJareeCanadypitching 2Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady gave up just five hits while striking out 28 in Tuesday's 5-0, 10-0 doubleheader sweep at Washburn Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Canady gave up two straight hits to Rural junior Campbell Bagshaw and senior Olivia Bruno open the first game, but was in command the rest of the day, twirling a three-hitter with 17 strikeouts in the first game and following that up with a two-hit, 11-strikeout performance in the second game as Topeka High improved to 10-0 on the season.

    And as good as Canady was on the mound, the Trojans were just as good at the plate, piling up 24 hits and a whopping six home runs on the day.

    "We got production from everybody today," Topeka High coach Shane Miles said. "Everybody got bunts down, we got situational stuff, we got big hits."

    Trojan star senior catcher Zoe Caryl connected on home runs in both games while junior Elycia Joyce hit her first two home runs of the season, including a huge three-run shot in a four-run third inning that broke open the first game.

    "I was feeling good and I had a 3-1 count so I thought (Bruno) throw me right down the middle and she did," Joyce said. "I was looking for it and I took it.

    "Seeing these people like Zoe leading us with six home runs this season, I want to do that. I want to get as many home runs as I can."

    Joyce added a two-run homer in the second game as Topeka High also got round-trippers from Caryl, Canady and senior Tatum Wilson in a six-run sixth that enabled the Trojans to end the game after six innings because of the 10-run spread.

    CampbellBagshawWashburn Rural junior Campbell Bagshaw opens the Junior Blues' first at-bat Tuesday against Topeka High with a long single. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN}

    Washburn Rural, playing just its second doubleheader of the season, never got untracked against Topeka High, with the 2-2 Junior Blues managing just four singles and Baylee Dial's first-game double in the twinbill.

    FIRST GAME

    TOPEKA HIGH 5, WASHBURN RURAL 0

    Topeka High 004 010 0 -- 5 8 0

    Washburn Rural 000 000 0 -- 0 3 0

    Canady and Zoe Caryl. Bruno and Louderback. WP -- Canady. LP -- Bruno. 2B -- Topeka High: Zoe Caryl, Canady, Washburn Rural: Dial. HR -- Topeka High: Joyce, Zoe Caryl.

    SECOND GAME

    TOPEKA HIGH 10, WASHBURN RURAL 0

    Topeka High (10-0, 8-0) 000 406 x -- 10 16 4

    Washburn Rural (2-2, 2-2) 000 000 x -- 0 2 2

    Canady and Zoe Caryl. Cope, Bruno (6) and Louderback. WP -- Canady. LP -- Cope. 2B -- Topeka High: Adysen Caryl. 3B — Topeka High: Wilson. HR -- Topeka High: Z. Caryl, Canady, Joyce, Wilson.

     

  • Rural distance ace Arrik White returning to form

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Wednesday's Junior Blues Invitational at Hummer Sports Park was the third track and field meet of the season for most of Arrik White's Washburn Rural teammates, while White was making a belated season debut.

    But the Rural senior, an All-City pick in cross country, was just happy to be back on the track, and even happier to be winning.

    Coming off a stress fracture in his left leg that sidelined him for about two months, White won the boys 1,600 meters by nearly 20 seconds in a time of 4 minutes, 48.3 seconds and also ran a leg on the Junior Blues' winning 4 x 400 relay (3:48.5).

    "Leading up to (the 1,600) I was super nervous because my first (track) race in two years, I was like, 'It's going to be intense,' '' White said. "But then in the middle of it I kind of got into a groove and felt like I was where I wanted to be for the amount of training I've had.''

    ArrikWhiteComing off a stress fracture, Washburn Rural senior Arrik White made his season debut Wednesday with a win in the 1,600-meter run in the Junior Blues Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    White still isn't quite 100 percent physically, but the Rural senior has also felt a sense of urgency to return to action.

    "I saw last week at Olathe a few of the guys I'd be racing with at regionals, they were doing pretty well, so I know I have to get to that spot pretty quick,'' White said. "I have faith in myself, but it will definitely be mentally challenging.''

    White thought Wednesday was a good start in the right direction.

    "I'll take it,'' said White, who has signed to run collegiately at Allen Community College. "It's always going to be in the back of my mind where I could have been if I hadn't gotten hurt, but after seven, eight weeks off, for me to be at a 4:48, I'll definitely take it.''

    Washburn Rural used Wednesday's meet as a varsity competition while several other schools in the field used the meet as a combined varsity/junior varsity meet. 

    Other highlights:

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 12, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    A junior, Canady picked up the pitching wins in both ends of Friday's 6-3, 10-1 doubleheader softball sweep over Seaman, throwing a four-hitter and striking out 13 in the opener and combining with sophomore Quincy Smith for a four-hitter in the second game. Canady pitched the first five innings in the second game, allowing four hits and a run while striking out seven.

    ZoeCarylmug2 2Zoe Caryl

    ZOE CARYL, Topeka High

    Caryl, a senior catcher, had another big day at the plate for 8-0 Topeka High last Friday, going 4 of 5 with three home runs, a triple and seven runs batted in as the Trojans took a 6-3, 10-1 doubleheader sweep over Centennial League rival Seaman. Caryl, an Illinois signee, had a triple and a two-run homer in the opener against the Vikings and hit two-run and three-run homers in the nightcap.

  • King steps down as Topeka High boys basketball coach

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's boys basketball program will be led by its third head coach in four seasons in 2021-22 after the resignation of Trojan coach Eric King.

    King confirmed to TopSports.news Monday that he was leaving his coaching post after two seasons and plans to retire from coaching, but intends to remain at Topeka High as a physical education teacher.

    "I've had a great career and I want to retire with grace,'' King said. "I love being inTopeka, I love my school and hopefully they still want me to stick around and be a P.E. teacher. I'll support from the back.''

    Eric King 2Eric King has stepped down after two seasons as Topeka High's boys basketball coach. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • Final 2020-21 city high school boys basketball statistics

    Rick Peterson

    MarqueWilkersonMaizeTopeka West senior Marque Wilkerson (2) finished the 2020-21 season as the city scoring champion with a 17.1 average. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TWN]

    NOTE: Statistics for city Centennial League and United Kansas Conference boys basketball teams were compiled by Seaman girls coach Matt Tinsley, with assistance from Seaman junior Jackson Stuewe.

    SCORING

    Name, school                    Gms.  Pts.  Avg

    Wilkerson, Topeka West        24     410   17.1

    Smith, Topeka High               20     340   17.0

  • Zoe Caryl's three homers, seven RBI power High softball sweep

    Rick Peterson

    ZoeCarylSeaman2Topeka High senior catcher Zoe Caryl hit three home runs and had seven RBI in the Trojans' doubleheader sweep over Seaman Friday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High senior catcher Zoe Caryl has spent a lot of time over the last couple of years waiting to play softball.

    And with each at bat this spring, the Illinois signee is doing her best to make up for that lost time.

    Continuing her torrid start to the 2021 season, Caryl went 4 of 5 Friday with three home runs, a triple and seven runs batted in as Topeka High improved to 8-0 on the year with a 6-3, 10-1 doubleheader sweep over Centennial League rival Seaman at Hummer Sports Park.

    After having the '20 high school season canceled due to COVID-19, Caryl was sidelined again, this time by mononucleosis, last fall, making her even more eager to get back on the diamond.

    "This fall I got sick and didn't get to play club ball and I got knocked out of cross country, I got knocked out of everything, and I've worked really hard to get back to where I was this last summer,'' Caryl said.

    "I've been waiting for this. With COVID taking our season last year, I've been waiting for high school softball.'' 

  • City swimmers shine in Topeka High Invitational

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    City athletes swept victories in all 12 events in Thursday's Topeka High Invitational swimming and diving meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium, with Washburn Rural and Seaman combining for 11 wins en route to one-two team finishes.

    Washburn Rural won five events and finished the meet with a team score of 485 points while Seaman had six wins and finished second with 376 points. Hayden was third with 327 points.

     The champion Junior Blues got a pair of individual wins from Makenna Pritchard in 50-yard freestyle (26.05 seconds) and the 500 free (5 minutes, 43.07 seconds), Ellie Armstrone in one-meter diving (195.80 points) and Mara Bare in the 100 backstroke (1:03.31) while the Rural team of Aubrey Fritsch, Jeissca Ndungu, Bare and Pritchard won the 200 medley relay in 2:03.20.

    Seaman's Tauren Walz and Avery Walz combined for four individual victories, with Tauren winning the 200 freestyle (2:03.03) and the 100 butterfly (1:03.19) and Avery winning the 200 individual medley (2:16.12) and the 100 breaststroke (1:07.98) while the Viking team of the Tauren Walz, Avery Walz, Gabby Grace and Samantha Shea won the 200 free relay (1:48.49) and the 400 free relay (3:57.12).

  • Topeka High soccer posts third straight win, 10-0 over Scots

    Rick Peterson

    AveryZimmermanFreshman Avery Zimmerman (2) scored two goals and had two assists as Topeka High's girls soccer team pushed its winning streak to three games with a 10-0 win over Highland Park Monday at Hummer Sports Park. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Battle-tested by four tough early-season games, Topeka High girls soccer coach Derek Snook knew that Monday's game against Highland Park was one his Trojans should win.

    But there were still plenty of things Snook wanted his team to get done against their USD 501 rivals and the High coach was pleased to see that the Trojans were able to check most of the items off that list in a 10-0 win at Hummer Sports Park that ended at halftime due to the 10-goal spread.

    "I felt pretty good about the way we were going through the game and they were actually listening to what I asked them to do, regardless of whether we had a one on one or whatever else, we were still looking for the next pass, which was good,'' said Snook, whose team improved to 3-2 overall.

    It took just 20 seconds for junior Talayah Thomas to score the only goal Topeka High would need and the Trojans were in control 3-0 five minutes into the game as senior Americka Whetstone and junior Cheyenne Bahadur added rapid-fire scores.

    Bahadur would go on to score a three-goal hat track for the Trojans while freshman Avery Zimmerman and junior Luxanna Sands added two goals apiece and sophomore Cierra Carranza also cracked the scoring column.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 6, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    ZoeCarylmug2 2Zoe Caryl

    ZOE CARYL, Topeka High

    Caryl, an Illinois signee, got her senior softball season off to a hot start as Topeka High opened the year 4-0. Caryl, a catcher, had seven hits and 11 runs batted in for the Trojans in last Thursday's 19-0, 19-3 doubleheader sweep over Topeka West at Hummer Sports Park. Caryl went 4 for 4 with a double, two triples and four RBI in the first game and was 3 for 4 with a double, a home run and seven RBI in the second game.

    Bethany Druse mugBethany Druse

    BETHANY DRUSE, Seaman

    A sophomore, Druse won the girls 800-meter run in last Thursday's Jerry Beardslee Invitational track and field meet in a time of 2:23.6, a time that ranked third in the state through last week and was the top time by a Class 5A runner. Druse has won two straight 800-meter races this spring.

  • City girls swimming: Schmidt's expectations high for Wildcats

    Rick Peterson

    Olivia KerrHayden senior swimmer Olivia Kerr won a pair of individual events in the Wildcats' season-opening meet. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    First-year Hayden girls swimming coach John-Martin Schmidt began the 2021 season with high hopes for his Wildcats.

    "We are all very excited to get back to racing after last season,'' said Schmidt, a Hayden alum and former multi-time state champion for the Wildcats. "We have a younger team, led by our 10 seniors who provide lots of experience and leadership.

    "We have one of the best teams in Topeka and can't wait to get to our first meet.''

    Hayden got that chance in last week's season-opening Topeka West Invitational at the Capitol Federal Natatorium and the Wildcats' solid performance only added to Schmidt's high expectations.

  • Shawnee County baseball: Trojans get season off to perfect start

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TopekaHighlogo

    Topeka High's baseball team faces a tough challenge to become a contender in the Centennial League, which has produced multiple state championship teams.

    But Cody Miller's team got the 2021 season off to a good start on Monday at Hummer Sports Park. In fact, it was a perfect start for the Trojans, with three Topeka High pitchers combining for a three-inning perfect game in the Trojans' 15-0 non-league win over Kansas City-Washington.

    Senior Lukas Brennan was the starting pitcher for Topeka, followed by junior Dillon Mitchell and junior Max Colombo, with Brennan and Mitchell both striking out three hitters and Colombo two.

  • KBCA taps Trojans' Canady for first-team All-Class 6A recognition

    Rick Peterson

    NiJaCanadyHeights2Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady has been named All-6A first team by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High star NiJaree Canady, a 6-foot junior, has been named an All-Class 6A first-team selection by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association after leading the Trojans to a 23-2 record and a second-place finish in the 6A state tournament.

    Trojan sophomore Kiki Smith (5-8) was also honored by the KBCA, earning second-team All-6A recognition.

    Washburn Rural sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye (6-2) and junior Emma Krueger (5-11) both received All-6A honorable mention.

  • City swimmers dominate Topeka High Invitational, posting 10 wins

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    City swimmers dominated the Topeka High Invitational last Thursday and Friday at the Capitol Federal Natorium, combining for victories in 10 of 12 events.

    Washburn Rural used its depth to take the team championship by a 437-326 margin over Seaman while the Vikings won a meet-high six events, followed by Rural and Topeka West with two wins apiece.

    Seaman's Avery Walz and Gabby Grace both captured four gold medals, with Walz winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 13.79 seconds and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.15) and Grace the 100 freestyle (56.99) and 100 backstroke (1:02.96) while both A. Walz and Grace swam on the Vikings' 200 medley relay (1:59.74) and 400 free relay (3:59.72) along with Tauren Walz and Samantha Shea.

    Washburn Rural got wins from Makenna Pritchard in the 50 free (26.54) and from Mara Bare in the 100 butterfly (1:07.56).

    Topeka West's Kadence Jefferies was a double individual winner, taking the 200 freestyle in 1:58.20 and the 500 free in 5:12.81.

  • Shawnee County softball: High appears set for big '21 season

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After advancing to the Class 6A state tournament in 2019, another big year could be in store for Shane Miles' Topeka High softball team this spring.

    The Trojans return eight players that gained starting experience for High's 16-4 team in '19, including All-Staters Zoe Caryl and NiJaree Canady and four other players who received All-City recognition, and Miles' team is already off to a 4-0 start, including a pair of wins over 5A power Shawnee Heights.

     ZoeCarylvsWest2Topeka High senior catcher Zoe Caryl, an All-Stater in 2019, has helped lead the Trojans to a 4-0 start this spring. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     NiJareeCanadyvsWestTopeka High junior NiJaree Canady, who received All-State recognition as a freshman, is a star at the plate and on the pitching mound for the Trojans. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Topeka High will build this year's team around seniors Caryl, Zoie Kincade, Tatum Wilson and Mia Kelly and juniors Canady, Amiah Cain and Majayla Boyd while top newcomers include junior Elycia Joyce and sophomores Adisyn Caryl and Quincy Smith.

  • Russell dives into track season for Junior Blues

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Being a diver and a hurdler is an extremely rare combination for a high school athlete, but it's one that works well for Washburn Rural senior Marquel Russell.

    Russell was a two-time city champion in one-meter diving and placed 13th in the Class 6A state meet for the Junior Blues' swimming and diving team this winter.

    MarquelRussellWashburn Rural senior Marquel Russell won the 110-meter hurdles and finished second in the 300 hurdles and the long jump in Thursday's Jerry Beardslee Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    And as soon as that season ended in February, Russell turned his attention to track and field, where the Rural standout is a former 6A runner-up in the 110-meter high hurdles.

    About the only thing that diving and hurdling have in common is that both disciplines are hard to master and it takes a bit of a daredevil to even try, which Russell said fits his personality perfectly.

    "I've been a daredevil since I was a little kid,'' Russell said Thursday during the Jerry Beardslee Invitational track and field meet at Hummer Sports Park.

  • Washburn Rural tennis opens '21 with quadrangular victory

    Rick Peterson

    Kyler KnudtsonWashburn Rural junior Kyler Knudtson won three matches on the day, helping the Junior Blues go 3-0 in Saturday's tennis quadrangular at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural boys tennis team may not have any stars, at this point anyway, but the Junior Blues showed off their depth in Saturday's Washburn Rural quadrangular at Kossover Tennis Center, posting a perfect 3-0 record while winning 24 of 27 matches on the day in Rural's first competition since 2019.

    Kevin Hedberg's team opened the day with a 6-3 win over Hayden before taking 9-0 wins over Topeka High and Junction City. Hayden finished second in the quad, following up its loss to Washburn Rural with an 8-1 win over Junction City and a 9-0 decision over Topeka High.

    "It's just great to be out here, but the other side of it is all of us, since we missed a season, everybody needs match play, everybody needs experience and, quite frankly, you don't need it playing your teammates,'' Hedberg said. "You get it when you play other people, so this was a good day.'' 

  • City girls soccer: Rural still experienced despite long layoff

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls soccer team was very good but young in 2019 and the fact that several freshmen and sophomores saw time for the Junior Blues' 18-3-0 team that posted a runner-up finish in the Class 6A state tournament could pay big dividends this spring.

    The defending Centennial League champions graduated some key seniors off the '19 team, but will build this year's team around returning seniors Izzy Entz, Brynn Fitzgibbons, Joy Ngibuini and Riley Palmer and juniors Reagan Allen, Belle Kennedy, Emma Krueger, Hunter McWilliams, McKenna Merrick and Sheriden Wichman.

    Joy NgibuiniJoy Ngibuini

    Several newcomers are also expected to challenge for playing time, including junior Alandra Bailey and sophomores Hailey Beck, Addi Broxterman, Brooklyn DeLeye, Maya Hoge, Brianna Jones, Karsyn McMaster, Mackinly Rohn and Heidi Schieber. 

    "Despite missing an entire season last year, we return 10 players with varsity experience and some talented newcomers,'' Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. "We are excited to begin our season and look forward to playing a very challenging schedule.

    "Our goals are to win the Centennial League and make a return trip to the Class 6A final four.''

  • Shawnee County boys tennis: Hayden reloads after 2019 4A title run

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Hayden was the most recent school to win the Class 4A boys tennis championship and the ultimate goal for James Sandstrom's Wildcats this spring will be to repeat.

    But after having the entire '20 season wiped out by COVID-19, Hayden, like teams across the state, will be starting over in many respects this season.

    The Wildcats return junior Michael Sandstrom, who placed fifth in 4A doubles two years ago as a freshman, but otherwise it's a brand new lineup for a Hayden team which edged Wichita Trinity Academy by a 39-35 margin for the 2019 4A title in Pratt.

    So far, however, James Sandstrom has liked what he's seen out of the Wildcats in preseason practice.

    "The chemistry is really good and everything is about building towards state, and how we can do at state,'' Sandstrom said. "We'll see how the team comes together, but it really is about how we match up at the state level and not having a season last year, there's a lot of question marks and a lot of uncertainty, but at the same time a lot of erxcitement.''

    ExSmDsMXAAEYbcGJunior Michael Sandstrom returns for Hayden's tennis team after placing fourth in Class 4A in doubles as a freshman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Players who are expected to challenge for varsity time this season include senior Johnny Holloway, juniors Tyler Broxterman, Patrick Gorman and Aidan Butcher and sophomore Guz Glotzbach.

  • City athletes pick up 11 wins in West's Mid-Winter Relays

    Rick Peterson

    StallbaumerSeaman freshman Taylin Stallbaumer won the girls 100 and 300-meter hurdles in Thursday's Mid-Winter Relays at Hummer Sports Park. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Manhattan dominated Thursday's Topeka West Mid-Winter Relays, with the Indians' boys and girls teams combining for wins in 20 of 36 events on the day.

    But city athletes also had plenty of positives to take away from the season-opening track and field event, with Topeka West and Seaman combining for 11 wins and city athletes posting top-three finishes in 30 of 36 events overall.

    Seaman athletes swept the hurdles events, with Viking freshman Taylin Stallbaumer taking wins in the 100-meter and 300 girls events while Seaman's Sean Hoffmans swept the boys 110s and 300 events.

    SeamantrackSeaman's Sean Hoffmans swept the boys 110 and 300-meter hurdles titles in Thursday's Mid-Winter Relays at Hummer Sports Park. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Stallbaumer clocked a time of 17.70 seconds in her 110 win and she came back to win the 300s in 48.96 while Hoffmans had winning times of 17.43 and 44.79 seconds.

    Topeka West's Javion Lee and Tyrell Reed swept the boys 100 and 200-meter dashes for the Chargers, with Lee winning the 100 in 11.32 and Reed taking the 200 in 23.97. Reed finished second in the 100 in 11.48.

    West's girls won four events, with Makinsey Jones winning the high jump (5 feet), Adina Davis taking the triple jump title (33-7.50) and Victoria Reed in the 200 (26.78) while the Chargers also won the 4X100 relay in 51.27. Ala'Jah Brooks finished second to Reed in the 200 in 27.41.

    TopekaWesttrackTopeka West's Victoria Reed and Ala'Jah Brooks finished one-two in the girls 200-meter dash in Thursday's Mid-Winter Relays. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Seaman's Bethany Druse added a win in the girls 800 in 2:30.57.

  • Canady repeats as Centennial League girls player of the year

    Rick Peterson

    NiJareeCanadySMNWTopeka High junior NiJaree Canady has been named Centennial League girls player of the year for the second straight season after averaging 20.6 points and 12.3 rebounds for the 23-2 Trojans. [Photo by Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Photography]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    NiJaree Canady, a 6-foot junior, earned the Centennial League girls player of the year honor for the second straight season after leading Topeka High to the undefeated league championship, a second-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament and a 23-2 record overall.

    Canady, who averaged 20.6 points and 12.3 rebounds, was joined on the all-league first team by sophomore Kiki Smith and senior Lilly Smith in balloting by league coaches.

    KikiSmithHeightsTopeka High sophomore Kiki Smith has been named to the All-Centennial League first team after helping lead the Trojans to a second-place finish in Class 6A. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    LillySmithHeightsTopeka High senior Lilly Smith was one of three Trojans earning spots on the All-Centennial League first team. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn Rural (16-3) put sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye and junior Emma Krueger on the first team while Emporia junior Gracie Gilpin rounded out the first team.

    EmmaKruegerRuralWashburn Rural junior Emma Krueger earned a berth on the All-Centennial League team after helping lead the Junior Blues to a 16-3 record. [File photo/TSN]

    BrooklynDeLeyevsTHighBrooklyn DeLeye, a Washburn Rural sophomore, received first-team All-Centennial League honors from league coaches. [File photo/TSN] 

  • Washburn Rural dominates All-City boys swimming

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural, which dominated the city boys swimming championships, earned nine of 13 spots on the 2020-21 All-City team, based on performances in the city meet.

    The Junior Blues, who won nine of 12 events in the city meet, are represented on the All-City team by seniors Keats Larson, Yeager Larson and Marquel Russell, juniors Dagen Clouse, Jalen Eilert and Nathen Trachta, sophomore Cordell Dimick and freshmen Brogan Meier and William Powell.

    Dagen ClouseWashburn Rural junior Dagen Clouse captured four gold medals in both the city and Centennial League boys swimming meets. [File photo/TSN]

    Washburn Rural's Nathen Trachta was a repeat selection on the All-City boys swimming team after winning multiple events in the city and Centennial League meets. [File photo/TSN]Washburn Rural's Nathen Trachta was a repeat selection on the All-City boys swimming team after winning multiple events in the city and Centennial League meets. [File photo/TSN]

  • Final 2020-21 city high school girls basketball statistics

    Rick Peterson

    NOTE: Statistics for city Centennial League and United Kansas Conference girls basketball teams were compiled by Seaman girls coach Matt Tinsley, with assistance from Seaman junior Jackson Stuewe.

    NijaCanadyvsRuralTopeka High junior NiJaree Canady led the city in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. [File photo/TSN]

    SCORING

    Name, school                    Gms.  Pts.  Avg

    Canady, Topeka High        22      454   20.6

    DeLeye, Washburn Rural  19      329   17.3

  • Topeka High, Washburn Rural sweep first-team spots on TSN's All-Shawnee County girls basketball team

    Rick Peterson

     NiJaCanadyHeights2Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady has been named TopSports.news' All-Shawnee County girls basketball player of the year after leading the Trojans to a 23-2 record and a second-place finish in Class 6A. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    NiJaree Canady, a 6-foot junior, headlines TopSports.news' first-ever All-Shawnee County girls basketball team after leading Topeka High to a second-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament and a 23-2 record overall.

    Player of the year Canady, who averaged 20.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.8 blocks, is joined on the all-county team by teammates Kiki Smith, a sophomore, and her older sister, senior Lilly Smith, while Washburn Rural sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye and junior Emma Krueger earned the other two first-team spots after leading the Junior Blues to a 16-3 record.

    Kiki Smith averaged 15.7 points, 3.0 assists, 2.8 steals and hit 39 3-pointers while Lilly Smith averaged 8.7 points, 1.9 steals and led the city with 41 made 3-pointers.

  • State placers, league champ earn All-City girls bowling honors

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Five individual state medalists and the Centennial League individual champion earned the six spots on the All-City girls bowling team, selected by city coaches.

    Seaman, which went through the 2021 season undefeated until a fourth-place finish in the Class 5A-1A state tournament at Wichita's Northrock Lanes, put juniors Kaitlyn Evans and Makenzie Millard and sophomore Katie Price on the first team, while Washburn Rural, which placed third as a team in the 6A state meet, is represented by senior Hannah Casto and junior Kaitlyn Doyal while Shawnee Heights is represented by senior Brylee Prockish.

    MakenzieMillardStateSeaman junior Makenzie Millard finished fourth in the 5A-1A state meet after winning a regional title. [File photo/TSN]

    KaitlynEvansstateSeaman junior Kaitlyn Evans finished ninth individually in the 5A-1A state bowling tournament. [File photo/TSN]

    Millard placed a city-high fourth individually in 5A-1A and was a regional champion while Evans finished ninth at state and Price won the Centennial League individual title.

    Doyal and Casto finished seventh and ninth individually in the 6A state tournament at Wichita while Prockish earned a 5A-1A state medal with a 20th-place finish.

    HannahCastoWashburn Rural senior Hannah Casto (back) was a regional champion before finishing ninth in the 6A state meet. [File photo/TSN]

     KaitlynDoyalstateWashburn Rural junior Kaitlyn Doyal finished seventh individually in the 6A state meet. [File photo/TSN]

  • City stars Alexander, Berry, Wilkerson share Centennial League player of the year honor

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Centennial League coaches found it impossible to single out one boys player as the best in the league, with the voting for player of the year ending up a three-way tie between seniors Trevion Alexander and Marque Wilkerson of Topeka West and Joe Berry of Washburn Rural.

    TrevionAlexanderStateTopeka West senior Trevion Alexander was one of three players named Centennial League tri-players of the year. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     JoeBerryManhattan2Washburn Rural senior Joe Berry was named Centennial League tri-player of the year for 2020-21. [File photo]

    MarqueWilkersonhaysTopeka West senior Marque Wilkerson was named tri-Centennial League player of the year by league coaches. [File photo]

    Alexander, Berry and Wilkerson share the player of the year while making up three-sixths of the All-Centennial first team along with West junior Elijah Brooks, Highland Park senior CJ Powell and Emporia senior Charles Snyder.

  • League, regional champ Vikes dominate All-City boys bowling team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman, which won Centennial League and Class 5A-1A regional championships before posting a third-place state finish, earned three spots on the 2021 All-City boys bowling team, selected by city coaches.

    The Vikings are represented on the All-City team by senior DJ Birkenbaugh, junior Jack Easum and sophomore Ethan Burns while Shawnee Heights junior Aidan VanMetre, Washburn Rural senior Jacob Morgan and Topeka West senior Zach Phillips also earned first-team spots.

    EthanBurnsstateEthan Burns capped a strong sophomore season with a 13th-place finish in the 5A-1A state bowling meet. [File photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]

    AidanVanMetreEthan Burns capped a strong sophomore season with a 13th-place finish in the 5A-1A state bowling meet. [File photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]

    JackEasumJack Easum, a junior for Seaman, placed 21st in the 5A-1A state meet. [File photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]

     JacobMorganWashburn Rural senior Jacob Morgan placed 12th in the 6A state meet. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers March 16, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Trevion AlexanderTrevion Alexander

    TREVION ALEXANDER, Topeka West

    A 6-foot-4 senior, Alexander was named tri-Centennial League boys basketball player of the year after leading Topeka West to a 21-3 record in the Class 5A state tournament, only the third time in Topeka West history the Chargers advanced to the state championship game.

    Joe BerryJoe Berry

    JOE BERRY, Washburn Rural

    Berry, a 6-3 senior, was named tri-Centennial League boys basketball player of the year after being named co-league player of the year as a junior. Berry led Washburn Rural to a 14-7 record this past season and received all-league recognition for the third straight year..

  • Cougars top Topeka High girls 61-54 to complete perfect season

    Rick Peterson

    By JOANNA CHADWICK

    Special to TopSports.news

    WICHITA -- The Class 6A girls championship matchup was what many had predicted long before Saturday’s game at Koch Arena -- Topeka High vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest. 

    “All year we felt like us and Topeka were the two best teams, and we were hoping we’d be able to see them and play them in the state championship game,” SM Northwest coach Tyler Stewart said. 

    It was the Cougars that came away with the 61-54 victory and finished their season 23-0.

    “The last three years have been a rollercoaster, definitely,” Topeka coach Hannah Alexander said. “It hurts right now. I’m super proud of the girls and how they handled themselves. 

    “A few shots go our way, it’s a different outcome.”

    NiJareeCanadySMNWTopeka High junior NiJaree Canady scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Trojans' 61-54 loss to Shawnee Mission Northwest. [Photo by Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Phtography]

  • Topeka West dominates TSN's All-Shawnee County boys basketball team

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history, Topeka West dominates TopSports.news' inaugural All-Shawnee County boys basketball team, with seniors Trevion Alexander and Marque Wilkerson sharing the player of the year honor while junior Elijah Brooks joins his teammates on the first team.

    TrevionAlexanderStateTopeka West senior Trevion Alexander shares Top.Sports.new All-Shawnee County boys player of the year honors with teammate Marque Wilkerson. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     MarqueWilkersonMaizeTopeka West senior Marque Wilkerson was named the All-Shawnee County co-player of the year with teammate Trevion Alexander. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn Rural senior Joe Berry and Highland Park senior CJ Powell round out the first team, with Berry leading the Junior Blues to a 14-7 record and a berth in a Class 6A sub-state championship game while Powell led the Scots to a 12-8 record this past season after helping Hi Park advance to the 5A state tournament as a junior.

    Wilkerson averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals this past season for the 21-3 Chargers while Alexander averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals and Brooks averaged 15.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals.

  • Back in familiar territory! High girls back to Wichita with 71-36 romp

    Rick Peterson

    DSC 0680Topeka High's NiJaree Canady led the scoring against Wichita Heights with 21 points (Photo by Rex Wolf / TSN)

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    By now Topeka High's girls basketball team knows the way to Wichita's Koch Arena, a trip the Trojans will make for a third straight year later this week.

    Now the complete focus for Hannah Alexanders team is on bringing home the prize they've coveted since 2019 -- a Class 6A state championship.

    Topeka High finished second to city rival Washburn Rural in the '19 championship game and the Trojans were odds on favorites to win the championship a year ago when the tournament was canceled after the first round due to COVID-19.

    Now the Trojans have put themselves back in position for a title run after advancing to Friday's state semifinals with an impressive 71-36 state quarterfinal romp past Wichita Heights Tuesday night at High.

    "We had a great senior class last year and we have a great senior class this year, so I think the leadership is where it all has started and we want to make sure these girls don't leave empty-handed,'' Alexander said. "They've been been wanting this (a state title) for the last three years.''

  • Canady powers High back to 6A title game, 54-37 over Dodge City

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    WICHITA -- Topeka High junior standout NiJaree Canady is a team player and happy to do whatever her team needs.

    What the Trojans needed in Friday’s Class 6A state girls semifinal at Koch Arena was a big performance out of their 6-foot post player and Canady delivered, scoring 29 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as High advanced to Saturday’s 6 p.m. state title game with a 54-37 victory over Dodge City.

    The 23-1 Trojans will face 22-0 Shawnee Mission Northwest for the state championship, with the Cougars advancing with a 59-45 win over Olathe West.

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

  • Defense, Canady’s double-double power High to sub-state title

    By ANDREW GILL

    TopSports.news

    Centennial League powers Topeka High and Washburn Rural met for the third and final time of the year in Saturday’s Class 6A girls sub-state basketball championship game, with the Lady Trojans making it a season sweep with a decisive 72-52 win at High.  

    “We didn’t play our best the first two times we played Rural,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "We came out flat, so we really wanted to make an exclamation point with this game.''.

    Topeka High was anything but flat in the third bout, with Alexander most impressed with her team’s defense.

    “I felt like it was a team effort. They really bought in this week; we had some great practices. (Defense) was what we tried to excel on and doing that really helped them get the win tonight,” Alexander said.

    With Saturday's win the 21-1 Trojans advance to the 6A state tournament for the third straight season and will host 16-6 Wichita Heights in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal game Tuesday. The Falcons routed Wichita East 60-27 in their sub-state final.

    THightrophyTopeka High receives its Class 6A sub-state championship trophy Saturday after its 72-52 win over Washburn Rural. [Photo from Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The Trojans appeared to be in control early, ending the first quarter ahead 16-4, but the Lady Blues slowly chipped away at the lead before halftime.

    With just over a minute to go in the half, Rural sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye was fouled on a made field goal attempt and knocked down the free throw to shrink the deficit to just 2 points.

    On the ensuing in-bounds play, freshman Zoe Canfield got a steal and found junior teammate Ella Hurtig for a go-ahead 3-pointer.

    The Blues’ first and only lead of the game lasted mere seconds, however, as Topeka High senior Lilly Smith answered with a 3-pointer of her own.

    The Trojans quickly got the ball back and sophomore Kiki Smith (15 points) managed to beat the halftime buzzer, putting her team up 30-26 at the break.

    “The drive from Kiki at the buzzer was huge.'' Alexander said. "We regrouped at halftime and answered back in that third quarter.''

    The second half belonged to Trojan NiJaree Canady, who scored 19 of her team-high 21 points after halftime. The junior earned a double-double by grabbing 12 rebounds.

    NijaCanadyvsRuralTopeka High junior NiJaree Canady had 21 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 72-52 sub-state win over Washburn Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Though pleased with her individual performance, Canady was more focused on the team’s victory.

    “At the end of the day, as long as my team wins that’s the main thing,'' she said. "If we win and I only get 2 points, then we win, and I only get 2 points. Whatever it takes to get us to state,” Canady said.

    Tae Thomas added 16 points for the Trojans, with a pair of 3-pointers.

    TaeThomasTopeka High junior Tae Thomas scored 16 points for the Trojans' in Saturday's 72-52 sub-state win over Washburn Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    DeLeye was the game’s high scorer with a 22-point contribution for the Lady Blues. DeLeye also added 6 rebounds.

    BrooklynDeLeyevsTHighWashburn Rural sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye scored a game-high 22 points in Saturday's sub-state final. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The defeat marked the end of an impressive 16-3 season for Washburn Rural.

    TOPEKA HIGH 72, WASHBURN RURAL 52

    Washburn Rural 4 22 12 14 -- 52

    Topeka High 16 14 21 21 -- 72

    Washburn Rural (16-3) -- Bagshaw 1 2-2 4, Lutz 1 0-0 3, Krueger 2 3-6 7, Canfield 2 2-3 7, Hurtig 1 0-0 3, Ingram 2 2-3 6, DeLeye 7 8-13 22. Totals: 16 17-27 52

    Topeka High (21-1) -- L. Smith 2 2-2 7, Thomas 4 6-8 16, Shields 0 1-2 1, K. Smith 6 0-0 15, Hendricks 3 0-1 6, Canady 9 2-4 21, Lyons 3 0-0 6. Totals: 27 11-17 72

    3-point goals -- Washburn Rural 3 (Lutz, Canfield, Hurtig), Topeka High 7 (K. Smith 3, Thomas 2, L. Smith, Canady). Total fouls -- Washburn Rural 14, Topeka High 21. Fouled out -- none.

  • Rick's Picks: Third time the charm for Trojan girls, Charger boys

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Two seasons ago, Topeka High's girls basketball team had its shot at the Trojans' first Class 6A title since 1982 ended by city rival Washburn Rural in the championship game.

    A year ago it was COVID-19 that ended High's title hopes, with state tournaments across the state canceled after first-round games due to COVID-19.

    On Friday night, a year to the day since the 2020 tournament was canceled, Topeka High will be back at Wichita's Koch Arena to continue its quest for the most cherished prize in high school athletics -- a state title.

    NijaCanadyvsRuralNiJaree Canady and the Topeka High Trojans will be shooting for the schools's first girls state title since 1982 this weekend at Wichita. [File photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Down the road at Emporia's White Auditorium, Topeka West's boys will be aiming for only their third championship-game appearance and first state title in school history.

    No. 2 seed Topeka High, 22-1 on the season, faces No. 3 Dodge City (21-1) in Friday's 7 p.m. semifinal, with the winner advancing to Saturday's 6 o'clock championship game at Koch to face the winner of the 3 p.m. semifinal between top seed Shawnee Mission Northwest (21-0) and No. 4 Olathe West (15-5).

    Topeka West, meanwhile, has to deal with a key injury to junior Elijah Brooks as the second-seeded Chargers, 20-2 on the season, prepare to face No. 3 seed De Soto (19-3) in Friday's 7 o'clock semifinal in Emporia, with the West-De Soto winner advancing to Saturday's 6 o'clock title game to take on the winner of Friday's 3 o'clock semi between No. 1 seed Maize (21-2) and No. 4 Kansas City-Washington (10-4).

    RickBloomquistbenchVeteran Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist will try to lead his Chargers to the school's first boys state title this weekend in Emporia. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    And although it won't be easy -- state championships never are -- I see title celebrations for both the Trojans and Chargers in their future.

  • High girls to host athletic Falcons in 6A girls quarterfinal

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's girls cleared a major hurdle with a 72-52 win over Washburn Rural in Saturday's Class 6A sub-state championship game at Topeka High.

    But Trojan coach Hannah Alexander knows there's still major challenges ahead for her 21-1 team, beginning with Tuesday's 6 p.m. 6A quarterrfinal against 16-6 Wichita Heights at High.

    The Falcons and Trojans were both in the 6A state tournament a year ago, with Heights dropping a 49-48 decision to Olathe East while Topeka High rolled to the semifinals with a 79-55 win over Olathe North before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

    Three of Heights' losses this season have come against teams that advanced to the 6A or 5A quarterfinals and Alexander said the Falcons have the Trojans' complete attention.

  • Trojans determined to complete Class 6A title quest

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    This time, close won't be enough.

    After finishing second to Washburn Rural in the Class 6A girls state championship game two seasons ago, Hannah Alexander's Topeka High team rolled to a 25-0 record and a semifinal berth last March before having title shot No. 2 wiped out by COVID-19.

    And while the Trojans received a lot of condolences and well-wishes after last year's sudden end to the year, it didn't really help much, so Topeka High is determined to end its "Third Year Is The Charm'' tour with the coveted state championship, which would be High's first girls crown since 1982.

    "We're tired of the getting so close and the 'Oh, almost, and you should have and oh, you guys won it virtually,' '' Alexander said. "That doesn't mean anything to these kids, so we definitely want to make sure we come home with the hardware.

    "We owe it to this town and to the Trojan family.''

    JaNeyshaHendricksHeightsJa'Neysha Hendricks, who averaged 4.5 assists, will be one of five Topeka High seniors who will close out their high school careers in the Class 6A state tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • City boys golf: Perennial power Rural hyped for return to action

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's been nearly two years since Washburn Rural's boys golf team has been in action due to COVID-19, but Rural still returns a solid nucleus of experienced players, which could bode well for Jared Goehring's Junior Blues this spring.

    Washburn Rural graduated city champ Hayden Beck, now at Washburn, from its 2019 team, but the rest of the Junior Blues return.

    "We have a very strong junior class with Luke Leonetti, Giles Frederickson and Turner Depperschmidt, and Reid Hughes and Tyler Higgins are back as seniors and all of those guys have plenty of experience playing tournament golf and postseason golf,'' Goehring said.

    "We expect to hit the ground running from Day 1 because I know a lot of these guys have been itching, as has everyone who had last year canceled.''

    RuralgolfWashburn Rural golf coach Jared Goehring talks to his team before a preseason practice. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • Ex-Trojan football coach Walt Alexander accepts Ottawa High post

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Ottawa High School football job appealed to former Topeka High coach Walt Alexander for several reasons.

    For one thing, Ottawa is a convenient commute for Alexander from his home in Lawrence.

    Ottawa, which approved Alexander as its new head coach Monday night, also gives the former highly-successful Trojan coach the opportunity to return to the role he's grown accustomed to over more than three decades -- running his own program.

    "I like to set my own schedule, I like doing everything I like to do and when the Ottawa job came open, it was awesome,'' Alexander, 59, told TopSports.news Tuesday. "It's like 20 miles from Lawrence and Shawn Phillips is the (activities director) and Kelly Whittaker's the principal and they were great.

    "They've got nice facilities, it's a one-school town and everybody's pulling for one team, which is kind of nice. There's just so many things I liked about it.''

    Walt AlexanderFormer highly-successful Topeka High football coach Walt Alexander has accepted the head coaching position at Ottawa High School. [Submitted]

  • Girls prep roundup: Miege ends Topeka High win streak at 41

    TopSports.news

    Perennial state title contender Bishop Miege jumped on Topeka High early Tuesday night on the Stags’ home floor, ending the Trojans’ 41-game winning streak with a 70-52 romp.

    Miege, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, led Topeka High, top-ranked in 6A, by a commanding 23-11 margin at the end of the first quarter and was never seriously threatened.

    NiJaree CanadyNiJaree Canady

  • Trojan girls bounce back from loss, Seaman boys extend streak

    By ANDREW GILL

    TopSports.news

    Despite having their 41-game win streak snapped the night before, it was business as usual for the Topeka High Lady Trojans Wednesday night in their 69-34 home Centennial League romp past Seaman.

    Seaman jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but Topeka High’s full court press quickly turned things around.

    The Trojans, who improved to 18-1 overall and 15-0 in the league, found themselves up 14-8 at the end of the first quarter and led 28-20 at the half before Topeka High turned the game into a rout in the second half..

    “I think we were still just a little hurt from last night (a 70-52 road loss to Class 4A power Bishop Miege) and it just took us a little bit to get in a rhythm,” Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. “I was proud of our second half effort.''

  • Prep roundup: Scots post fourth straight win behind Powell's 31 points

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Highland Park's boys basketball is starting to look like the team coach Michael Williams expected at the start of the 2020-21 season, with the Scots running their win streak to four games Tuesday night with a 63-58 home Centennial League win over Emporia.

    CJ Powell, a 6-foot-6 senior, had a monster night for the Scots, scoring 31 points as Highland Park improved to 7-5 overall and 6-3 in the league. Junior Juan'Tario Roberts added 16 points with 4 3-pointers as the Scots' 1-2 punch carried the team offensively.

    Emporia (6-6, 3-5) led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter, but Highland Park used a 15-7 second quarter to take a 29-23 lead at the half.

    The Scots were still in front by 6 points (45-39) at the start of the fourth quarter and held off the Spartans for the win.

    Emporia was led by senior Charles Snyder's 24 points.

    CAIR PARAVEL LATIN BOYS 44, ST. MARY'S ACADEMY 38

    Tuesday wasn't one of Cair Paravel Latin's most productive offensive games, but the Lions did the job defensively, not allowing more than 12 points in a quarter on the way to a 44-38 home boys victory over St. Mary's Academy.

  • Rural, Topeka High post Centennial League sweeps

    TopSports.news

    The No. 3-ranked Washburn Rural girls had trouble putting Manhattan away Friday night, but used a 13-4 third quarter to open up some breathing room in a 52-38 Centennial League

  • County grid standouts poised to sign college letters of intent

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Football's National Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 3, with multiple Shawnee County athletes expected to sign college letters of intent on Wednesday or in the near future.

    Six Hayden players are expected to sign Wednesday, including Wildcat tight end/defensive end Trey Pivarnik and defensive end Jayden Rainer with Washburn.

    Wildcat defensive back Ja'mier Garrett, linebacker Jordan Rainer and lineman Tim Wells are expected to sign with Butler Community College while receiver/defensive back Geivonnii Williams is headed to Independence Community College.

    Hayden star Desmond Purnell, a running back/defensive back, signed earlier with Kansas State.

    Rossville receiver Bo Reeves plans to sign with Central Missouri of the MIAA while linebacker Kaiden Brown is headed to Baker University after the duo helped Rossville win the Class 2A state championship last fall.

  • Highland Park boys, Topeka High girls extend win streaks

    By ANDREW GILL

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's boys basketball team gave rival Highland Park a battle Tuesday night, but missed opportunites, particularly at the free throw line, allowed the Scots to extend their winning streak to seven games with a 60-49 Centennial League win at High.

    High's boys were able to penetrate and draw fouls against a solid Scots defense, which forced 12 turnovers in the game, but the struggled to capitalize on opportunities at the charity stripe, making just 15 of 31 free throw attempts (48 percent).

    Highland Park, meanwhile, built an early lead and was able to survive Topeka High's second-half rally to improve to 10-5 on the season, 9-3 in the league.

    Highland Park spread the wealth, with seven different players finding themselves in the scoring column, led by seniors Jahi Peppers with 13 points, MuKhajhae Daniels 12 and CJ Powell with 11 points while junior Juan’Tario Roberts also had 11 points for the Scots.

  • Seaman puts itself in position for league bowling titles

    By Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    There can't be any celebrating until Friday, but Seaman's boys and girls bowling teams did what they could Wednesday at West Ridge Lanes to win Centennial League team championships and will now play the waiting game.

    Eight of the nine league schools competed in the league meet Wednesday in two separate sessions, but Emporia did not have school Wednesday due to weather conditions and was not allowed to travel to Topeka to compete. The Spartans will compete Friday, with all of their scores counting in the final team standings.

    In the meantime, Seaman put up the scores to beat in the league race, with the Viking boys rallying for a 3,380-3,330 margin over Washburn Rural, while Seaman's girls are in control by a 3,079-2,969 margin over Rural.

    SeamangirlsbowlingSeaman's girls bowling team celebrates a strike during the Baker format games in Wednesday's Centennial League bowling tournament. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Individually, Seaman sophomore Katie Price leads the girls standings with a 658 series, while Washburn Rural's Hannah Casto is currently second with a 650 and Seaman's Makenzie Millard third with a 590.

  • Seaman, Price take Centennial League bowling titles

    By Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    They had to wait a couple of extra days to make it official, but Seaman's boys and girls bowling teams and sophomore Katie Price were crowned Centennial League bowling champs Friday.

    Eight of the nine league schools competed in the league meet Wednesday at West Ridge Lanes in two separate sessions, but the league meet did not finish up until Friday when Emporia bowled.

    Things remained the same at the top, however, with Seaman winning the boys team championship by a 3,380-3,330 margin over Washburn Rural while the Viking girls won by a 3,079-2,969 margin over Rural.

    Seaman's Price won the girls individual title with a 658 series, while Washburn Rural's Hannah Casto finished second with a 650 and Seaman's Makenzie Millard was third with a 590.

    Manhattan's Kyle Millett was the boys champ with a 706 series, followed by Junction City's Torrey Lindsay (673), Seaman's Ethan Burns (660) and Hayden's Aaron Thomas (657). 

    SeamangirlsbowlingSeaman's girls bowling team celebrates a strike during the Baker format games in Wednesday's Centennial League bowling tournament. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • KBCA State High School Basketball Rankings February 2, 2021

    Kansas Basketball Coaches Association State Rankings

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers February 1, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    KaiAllen 2Kai Allen

    KAI ALLEN, Silver Lake

    A 138-pound senior, Allen won his fourth straight Mid-East League individual wrestling title to lead Silver Lake to the team championship last Friday at Wabaunsee. Allen, one of seven league champions for the Eagles, has posted three straight top-three finishes in the Class 3A-1A state tournament, including a state championship in 2019 and a runner-up finish last season.

    Dylan BirkenbaughDylan Birkenbaugh

    DYLAN BIRKENBAUGH, Seaman

    Birkenbaugh bowled a 737 three-game series to earn his second individual title of the week, putting together games of 225, 265 and 247 as Seaman won the boys title in the Emporia quadrangular at Flint Hills Lanes by a 2,894-2,578 margin over Derby. Birkenbaugh also won the individual title in the Hayden quad at West Ridge Lanes with a 628 series as the Vikings won by a 2,445-2,185 margin over Topeka West.

  • Prep roundup: High boys pick up second win, 62-45 over Blue Jays

    TopSports.news

    A quick turnaround seemed to be just what Topeka High’s boys basketball team needed.

    After letting a second-half lead get away in a 62-59 loss at Junction City Thursday night, the Trojans got another shot at the Blue Jays Friday night at Topeka High and delivered a decisive 62-45 Centennial League victory, the Trojans’ second win of the season. 

    Topeka High trailed 20-15 at the end of the first quarter in Friday night’s game, but the Trojans used a 16-7 second quarter to build a 31-27 halftime advantage and then dominated the second half by a 31-18 margin.

    Senior Jayden Leesman led the way for Topeka High with a game-high 23 points, while freshman BJ Canady added 14, senior Isiah Esquibel 13 and senior Jalen Smith 9 points as the Trojans improved to 2-9 overall and 2-6 in the league.

  • Rural repeats as city boys swimming champ

    By ANDREW GILL

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural was the heavy favorite going into Thursday's city swimming and diving championships and did not disappoint.

    The Junior Blues cruised to their second straight title, taking a decisive win over runner-up Hayden by a margin of 402.5-292.5.

    Rural and Seaman have had a longstanding rivalry in the city meet, but other than diver Patrick Biggs, the Vikings were able to compete Thursday due to COVID-related issues.

    “I have a lot of good friends on the Seaman team so I was disappointed I wasn’t going to get to race them today,” Washburn Rural junior standout Dagen Clouse said. “They just got unlucky.”

  • No. 1 Trojan girls fight back to top No. 3 Rural in OT, 59-53

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    For the second time this season, top-ranked Topeka High stared defeat in the face against Washburn Rural and somehow found a way to continue the state's longest girls basketball winning streak Friday night, rallying from a 15-point deficit in the first half and 7 down in the fourth quarter to take a 59-53 overtime Centennial League victory at Rural.

    "They clawed their way back in it. It wasn't pretty, but I'm proud of the girls for just always giving it their all,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "What I told them was I would bet on them any day, any time because when you count them out and you think they're done they'll show you they're not.

    "That just shows the grittiness, the grind that they have, the fight that they have, and I wouldn't want to meet these girls on the floor because yeah, they might give you a few, but they're going to come right back at you.''

    NiJareeCanadyRuralTopeka High junior star NiJaree Canady scored 19 points and grabbed 22 rebounds as the Trojans rallied for a 59-53 overtime win over Washburn Rural Friday night. [Photo by Doug Walker]

    Topeka High, which won for the 39th straight time dating back to a loss to Rural in the 2019 Class 6A state championship game, had rallied in the final seconds of regulation for a 4-point win over the Junior Blues in the first meeting between the two 6A powers, and the deck was stacked against the Trojans again Friday after No. 3-ranked Rural took a 53-47 lead on two Emma Krueger free throws with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation.

    But junior Tae Thomas banked in a 3-pointer to cut Rural's lead to 3 points with 12.5 seconds left and Topeka High junior star NiJaree Canady got her hands on the Junior Blues' inbounds pass to force a turnover.

    The Trojans eventually got the ball to sophomore reserve Faith Shields, who drained a 3-pointer as time ran down to give Topeka High new life in overtime.

    The Trojans, who improved to 16-0 overall and 13-0 in the league, took advantage of that opportunity, shutting out Washburn Rural in the extra session to take the victory.

    "When we needed her she came through, right off the bench,'' Canady said of Shields. "She wasn't warm at all. She just came out and knew what she needed to do and she knocked it down.''

    Canady, who finished with game-high totals of 19 points and 22 rebounds, blocked a shot on Rural's first possession of the OT and then scored at the 2:48 mark to give the Trojans their first lead since scoring the first 2 points of the night, also by Canady.

    Senior Lilly Smith hit a pair of free throws with 58.4 seconds remaining and then scored the final points of the night with 30 ticks left on the scoreboard.

    Senior Ja'Neysha Hendricks backed Canady with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while L. Smith scored all 9 of her points in the second half and OT and Thomas added 7 points, all in the fourth quarter.

    Washburn Rural opened up a 16-4 first-quarter lead behind freshman Jada Ingram's 10 points before Topeka High cut its deficit to 30-24 at the half and 41-38 at the start of the fourth quarter.

    JadaIngramactionWashburn Rural freshman Jada Ingram puts up a shot Friday night against Topeka High. Ingram had 14 points in the Junior Blues' 59-53 overtime loss to the Trojans. [Photo by Doug Walker]

    "We knew we couldn't keep trading points at that point, we had to come back,'' Canady said. "And it took us a little while, but we finally did it.''

    Sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye led Rural with 15 points and 8 rebounds while Ingram had 14 points, junior Emma Krueger 11 points and 8 rebounds and freshman Zoe Canfield 10 points, including a pair of 3s.

    But Washburn Rural turned the ball over 15 times, including several crucial turnovers in the late going, and also missed 11 free throws.

    "It's my fault because I'm not coaching them well enough to handle those situations in practice,'' Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said. "This game's on me as a coach. It ain't on them. I thought they gave great effort. We needed to take care of the ball a little bit better and maintain our composure better and kind of understand that when we're trying to run a little bit of clock that doesn't mean that we can't be in attack mode still.''

    The Trojans and Junior Blues could square off for a third time this season next month, with both teams assigned to the same 6A sub-state. 

    "I know that we have more in us,'' Bordewick said. "We're looking forward to seeing them again.''

    TOPEKA HIGH GIRLS 59, WASHBURN RURAL 53 (OT)

    Topeka High 4 20 14 15 6 -- 59

    Washburn Rural 16 14 11 12 0 -- 53

    Topeka High (16-0, 13-0) -- L. Smith 3-7 2-2 9, Thomas 3-10 0-0 7, K. Smith 2-11 0-0 5, Hendricks 4-10 0-0 10, Canady 8-17 3-7 19, Lyons 3-3 0-0 6, Caryl 0-0 0-0 0, Shields1-3 0-0 3, Wiley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-65 5-9 59.

    Washburn Rural (13-2, 10-2) -- Bagshaw 0-1 0-0 0, Lutz 1-5 0-2 3, Kruger 4-10 3-5 11, Ingram 6-7 2-6 14, DeLeye 4-10 6-7 15, Canfield 3-5 2-4 10, Hurtig 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-38 13-24 53.

    3-point goals -- Topeka High 6 (Hendricks 2, L. Smith, Thomas, K. Smith, Shields), Washburn Rural 4 (Canfield 2, Lutz, DeLeye). Total fouls -- Topeka High 23, Washburn Rural 13. Fouled out -- Lyons.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers March 8, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Elijah Brooks 270Elijah Brooks

    ELIJAH BROOKS, Topeka West

    A 6-foot-3 junior, Brooks shared game-high scoring honors with 22 points and also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds as Topeka West earned its first Class 5A boys state tournament berth since 2010 with a 55-52 win over Seaman in Saturday's sub-state championship game. With the win the Chargers improved to 19-2 and advanced to a Tuesday night state quarterfinal game at Hays.

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    Canady, a 6-foot junior, recorded game-high totals of 21 points and 12 rebounds as Topeka High's girls earned their third straight Class 6A state basketball tournament berth with a 72-52 win over Washburn Rural. With the win the 21-2 Trojans set up a Tuesday night state quarterfinal matchup with Wichita Heights at Topeka High.

    KaitlynDoyal

    KAITLYN DOYAL, Washburn Rural

    Doyal, a junior, finished seventh individually in Friday's Class 6A state girls bowling tournament at Northrock Lanes at Wichita with a 631 three-game series to help Washburn Rural earn a team trophy with a third-place finish. Doyal had a high game of 242 for the Junior Blues. 

    TylerGeimanmugTyler Geiman

    TYLER GEIMAN, Washburn University

    A senior guard, Geiman hit a three-quarters-court buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Washburn a dramatic 69-68 win over Northwest Missouri in Saturday night's MIAA Tournament championship game, Geiman finished with 23 points on the night after being named a first-team All-MIAA pick and all-defensive team selection earlier in the week. Geiman is a two-time All-MIAA first-teamer. 

    JalenLewismugJalen Lewis

    JALEN LEWIS, Washburn University

    Lewis, a junior guard, was named the MIAA Tournament Outstanding Player after helping lead Washburn to the tournament championship for the first time since 2012. Lewis scored 29 points in a 101-72 win over Missouri Western in the semifinals and had 26 points in the Ichabods' 69-68 win over No. 1-ranked Northwest Missouri in the championship game. Lewis received All-MIAA honorable mention earlier in the week.

    Makenzie MillardMakenzie Millard

    MAKENZIE MILLARD, Seaman

    Millard, a junior, placed a city-high fourth-place finish in last Thursday's Class 5A-1A state bowling tournament at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, bowling a 612 series with a high game of 232. Millard, who finished fifth individually at state as a sophomore, led the Vikings to a fourth-place team finish.

  • Topeka High starts slow, finishes fast in 72-33 win at Hayden

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    After scoring the first 19 points in Saturday's 92-34 romp past Junction City, Topeka High's girls basketball team got off to a bit of a slow start Monday night, trailing early at Hayden.

    But the Trojans got cranked up over the final three quarters, increasing itheir win streak to 28 games with a 72-33 Centennial League win over the Wildcats.

    NiJaree Canady 2

    NiJaree Canady

    After trailing 8-5 and 10-8, the Trojans (5-0 overall and in the league) scored the final 4 points of the first quarter to take a 16-12 lead before using a 24-7 second quarter to take control, 40-19.

  • Casto's 299 highlights dominating day by Rural bowlers

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural dominated Wednesday’s Topeka High bowling quadrangular at Gage Bowl, sweeping both the boys and girls team and individual titles.

    Rural senior Hannah Casto won the girls individual title with a event-best 695 three-game series, including a second-game 299, as the Junior Blues won the girls team championship by 428 pins over runner-up Shawnee Heights (2,403-1975).

    Kaitlyn Doyal posted a second-place individual finish for Rural’s girls with a 594 series, while Shawnee Heights’ Brylee Prockish was third with a 555 series to lead the runner-up T-Birds.

    Doyal had a high game of 209, the second-highest game in the girls division on the day.

    Rural sophomore Josh Hammons rolled a 669 series to take the boys individual crown, leading the Junior Blues to a 90-pin win over Shawnee Heights (2,542-2,452).

    Hammons put together three straight 200 games to win the boys title by 23 pins over Junction City’s Torrey Lindsay, who had a 646 series.

    Hammons opened with a 238 game, followed by 205 and 226 games.

    Runner-up Shawnee Heights was led by Aidan VanMetre (636) and Josh Egly (627), who finished fourth and fifth individually.

  • Clouse, Trachta lead Rural swimmers to West invite title

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural’s boys swimmers topped a 13-school field in the Topeka West Invitational, which was contested Tuesday and Wednesday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium, posting seven wins en route to a 434-336 margin over Blue Southwest.

    Junior Dagen Clouse captured four gold medals while junior Nathen Trachta won three golds.

  • Topeka High girls come alive late to edge Rural, 53-49

    Rick Peterson

    DSC 3160Trojan's #5 Lilly Smith drives to the basket against Washburn Rural (photo by Rex Wolf/TopSportsNews

     By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's girls basketball team stared the end of its long winning streak in the face Thursday night and found a way to keep it alive.

    The top-ranked Trojans trailed No. 4 Washburn Rural, which handed High its last loss in the 2019 Class 6A state championship game, by a 49-46 margin after a Emma Krueger basket with 1:53 remaining, but Topeka High ran off the final 7 points of the game over the final 1:34 to escape with a 53-49 Centennial League win at High.

    The Trojans' vaunted defense turned the tide in the late going, forcing multiple turnovers that led to points en route to their 6th straight victory this season and 29th overall.

    High junior NiJaree Canady scored back-to-back hoops to put the Trojans up 49-48 and then senior Lilly Smith scored the final 3 points of the game after coming up with two straight steals.

  • Rural boys roll to 64-38 win over Trojans

    Rick Peterson

    DSC 3769Rural's Joe Berry glides in for 2 of his 19 points against Topeka High (Photo by Rex Wolf/Top SportsNews)

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's boys basketball team finally got the chance to play a game Thursday night after a long break and took advantage of that opportunity, rolling to a 64-38 Centennial League road victory at Topeka High.

    Like all teams across the state, Rural had an extended holiday layoff due to the coronavirus and then had to wait a couple of extra days when Tuesday's game against Manhattan was postponed.

    But it didn't take the Junior Blues long to take shake off any rust, forcing a running clock with just over three minutes remaining on the way to improving to 4-1 overall and in the league as seniors Joe Berry and Jack Hutchinson both scored 19 points while canning 3 3-pointers apiece.

    Berry and Hutchinson also had plenty of help, with five Junior Blues scoring at least 6 points, including Jack Bachelor with 9 points, Quincey Kidd with 8 and Brock Howard with 6.

    Defensively, Rural forced 16 Topeka High turnovers en route to building a 31-13 halftime lead and stretched its advantage to 49-28 by the end of the third quarter and 64-34 in the fourth.

    "I thought we got better as the game went on,'' Washburn Rural coach Kevin Muff said. "We've been out a month now without a game, and these guys are so sick of me in practice, so they're so excited that, 'Hey we get to play again tomorrow (at Junction City) and don't have to practice, that's awesome.' They're celebrating now. The kids at this age would rather play than practice anyway.

    "Coming in here is never easy. I don't care what year it is or what's going on, and I thought we did a good job of just establishing the defensive end, got some steals, got some turnovers, got some easy baskets and I thought opened things up and we started sharing the ball and putting where it needed to be.''

    Senior Jayden Leesman led Topeka High (1-5, 1-5) with 14 points and senior Jalen Smith added 9, but the Trojans never seemed to get in sync offensively.

    WASHBURN RURAL BOYS 64, TOPEKA HIGH 38

    Washburn Rural 10 21 18 15 -- 64

    Topeka High  8 5 15 10 -- 38

    Washburn Rural (4-1, 4-1) -- Bachelor 3-5 2-2 9, Kidd 3-7 0-0 8, Berry 8-14 0-0 19, Hutchinson 8-15 0-0 19, Howard 3-6 0-0 6, Patterson 0-3 1-2 1, Brady 1-3 0-0 2, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Bunck 0-0 0-0 0, Hanks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 3-4 64.

    Topeka High (1-5, 1-5) -- Esquibel 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 4-17 1-4 9, Wilson 3-4 0-2 6, Leesman 6-11 2-2 14, Canady 1-5 0-0 2, Phillips 2-4 0-2 5, Kincade 0-0 0-0 0, McMillon 1-3 0-0 2.  Totals 17-44 3-10 38.

    3-point goals -- Washburn Rural 9 (Berry 3, Hutchinson 3, Kidd 2, Bachelor), Topeka High 1 (Phillips). Total fouls -- Washburn Rural 12, Topeka High 7. Fouled out -- Brady.

                 

  • Prep roundup: Washburn Rural sweeps Junction City

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls basketball team bounced back from its first loss of the season with an impressive performance 24 hours later, rolling to a 72-32 Centennial League victory Friday night at Junction City.

    The Junior Blues, who dropped a tough 4-point decision at unbeaten Topeka High Thursday night, led by just a 17-14 margin at the end of the first quarter, but used a 24-4 second quarter to take control, leading 41-18 at the half.

    Brooklyn DeLeye

    Brooklyn DeLeye

    Rural, 6-1 overall and in the league, outscored the Blue Jays 31-14 in the second half, forcing a running clock in the fourth quarter.

    Sophomore Brooklyn DeLeye scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Junior Blues while freshman Zoe Canfield added 14 points with 3 3-pointers and junior Emma Krueger had 12 points. 

    Mellana Davis led Junction City (2-6, 1-5) with 12 points.

    WASHBURN RURAL BOYS 61, JUNCTION CITY 42

    Senior Joe Berry scored a season- and game-high 29 points, 21 in the first half, and sophomore Jack Bachelor added 11 points and 3 3rd-quarter 3-pointers, as Washburn Rural pulled away in the second half for a 61-42 Centennial League victory at Junction City.

    Joe Berry

    Joe Berry

    The Junior Blues, 5-1 overall and in the Centennial League, led by only a 30-25 margin at halftime despite Berry's huge half, but Bachelor helped Rural put the Blue Jays away with a 21-10 third quarter and the visitors outscored Junction City 10-7 in the fourth.

  • West boys, Rural girls dominate bowling quadrangular

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Topeka West's boys and Washburn Rural's girls bowling teams turned in dominating performances in Tuesday's Topeka High quadrangular at Gage Bowl.

    Topeka West won the boys team championship by 154 pins over Washburn Rural (2,653-2,499) while West's Zach Phillips and Justin Brookens went one-two individually, rolling 704 and 656 series, respectively.

    Washburn Rural's girls, meanwhile, swept the top four individual spots on the way to a 375-pin victory over Topeka High (2,230-1,855), with Logan Wiesendanger taking individual honors with a 559 series. Rural's Hannah Casto finished second with a 548 series, while Kaitlyn Doyal was third (547) and Callie Hart fourth (520).

  • Rural swimmers tune up for city with Topeka Invitational crown

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's boys swimming and diving team, which will be looking to defend its city championship in Thursday's city meet, turned up for its title defense with a team championship by a 533-378 margin over Seaman in Tuesday's nine-school Topeka High Invitational at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.

    The Junior Blues got individual wins from Keats Larson in the 50-yard freestyle (23.44 seconds), Dagen Clouse in the 100 free (50.44), Jack Miranda in the 500 free (5:27.33) and Nathen Trachta in the 100 backstroke (57.98).

    Trachta, K. Larson, Jalen Eilert and Brogan Meier also teamed up to win the 200 medley relay in 1:48.89 while Clouse, Miranda, Will Powell and Yeager Larson won the 200 free relay in 1:37.28.

    Rural got second-place individual finishes from Clouse in the 200 free (1:55.95), Trachta in the 200 individual medley (2:09.73), Marquel Russell in 1-meter diving (246.85) and Meier in the 500 free (5:29.51) while K. Larson, Clouse, Meier and Trachta finished second in the 400 free relay (3:44.46).

  • Scots looking to build off big win in Topeka Invitational

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Highland Park boys basketball coach Michael Williams is quick to admit that the early portion of the 2020-21 season wasn’t what he expected for his Scots, who were coming off a 15-8 record and a trip to the Class 5A state tournament last season.

    But after an inconsistent start, Highland Park enters this week’s Topeka Invitational Tournament at Topeka High on a high note after topping Topeka West 57-54 in overtime last Friday, with the Scots handing the Chargers their first loss.

     “It was kind of getting to us mentally a little bit and we were looking around at each other and kind of questioning some things,’’ said Williams, whose team improved to 3-3 with the win over West. “I think a game like (last Friday) can kind of help our mindset and to get back on track.

  • Scots, Trojans fall in Topeka Invitational openers

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Highland Park gave itself a chance at the end of Thursday's Topeka Invitational Tournament first-round game against Wichita Southeast, but the Scots game up just short, falling 55-54 to the Buffalos at Topeka High.

    Highland Park, which fell to 3-4, trailed Southeast 17-8 at the end of the first quarter, 33-24 at the half and 45-34 through three quarter, but the Scots outscored the Buffs 20-10 the rest of the way to get back in the hunt.

    The Scots had an opportunity to tie the game with 2.1 seconds remaining in regulation, but a missed free throw allowed Southeast to escape with the victory.

    Sophomore Kobe Smith led Wichita Southeast with 22 points.

  • Prep roundup: High girls take 71-28 road win at Shawnee Heights

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights' girls basketball team was able to stay within striking distance of top-ranked and undefeated Topeka High through the first half Thursday night before the Trojans pulled away for a 71-28 win at Shawnee Heights with a dominating second half. 

    Shawnee Heights was within 3 points early in the second quarter and was down by a 30-20 margin at the half before the Trojans outscored the T-Birds 41-8 in the second half to improve to 9-0 on the season.

    Junior NiJaree Canady scored 16 of her game-high 28 points in the first half while senior Lilly Smith added 16 points and 4 3-pointers and sophomore Kiki Smith 11 points and 3 3s.

    Senior Tatum Brown and freshman Breezy Canady scored 7 points apiece for Shawnee Heights (3-5) while senior Taylor Hawkins added 6 points on a pair of 3-pointers.

  • Hayden snaps six-game skid with 48-45 OT win over Topeka High

    Rick Peterson

    DSC 5968Hayden's Trent Duffy (right) celebrates a basket with Wildcats Trey Pivarnik during the Topeka Invitational Tournament against Topeka High / Photo by Rex Wolf

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    After six straight losses, Hayden's boys basketball team was in need of a turnaround.

    Torrey Head's Wildcats got just that Friday in the Topeka Invitational Tournament, rallying from a 14-point deficit at the start of the game to knock off Topeka High 48-45 in overtime to avenge a 19-point loss to the Trojans earlier in the month.

    "We haven't had a lot of victories here lately and to lose six in a row and then go down 14-0 and you're in the consolation bracket, it's pretty easy not to play very hard, but I thought the guys really stuck with it and stayed together,'' Head said. "That was the main thing. I thought they stayed together and showed some stuff, a little bit of moxie there late and found a way.''

    Topeka High looked to be on its way to its second win of the season after opening up early leads of 14-0 and 16-2, but Hayden cut its deficit to 18-9 by the end of the quarter and was back in the hunt by halftime, trailing 24-18.

    Hayden rallied to take a 34-33 advantage into the fourth quarter, but High's Jayden Leesman scored the first bucket of the fourth and the Trojans led by a slight margin for most of the quarter until former High player Geivonnii Williams canned a 3-pointer for the Wildcats with 23 seconds left in regulation to force the overtime.

  • Highland Park rides big first half to 54-43 tourney win over High

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Highland Park's boys basketball team is still searching for the consistency the Scots will need to become a Class 5A contender this season, and that issue crept up again Saturday in the second half of the Scots' Topeka Invitational Tournament seventh-place game against Topeka High.

    Fortunately for Highland Park, the Scots had played well enough in a 33-16 first half to give them enough of a margin to hold off the Trojans for a 54-43 victory in High's auxiliary gym.

  • Lady Trojans push win streak to 34 games with weekend wins

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's girls basketball team stretched its winning streak to 34 games, including 11 wins this season, with a 75-39 romp past Leavenworth Saturday afternoon at High.

    Making a quick turnaround after a 79-50 win over Kapaun Mt. Carmel Friday at Newton, Topeka High opened up a 22-12 first-quarter lead over the Pioneers and put the game away by halftime, taking a 45-19 lead to the locker room at the half.

    The Trojans increased their advantage to 71-31 by the end of the third quarter and a running clock was used throughout the fourth quarter.

    Junior NiJaree Canady, who was honored prior to the game for reaching the 1,000-point career scoring milestone earlier this season, scored a game-high 25 points, including 17 in the first half.

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

  • Topeka High girls post 36th straight win, 59-42 over Emporia

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High's top-ranked girls basketball team took control early Friday night at Emporia, taking a decisive 59-42 Centennial League victory to push its winning streak to 36 games.

    The Trojans, who improved to 13-0 overall and 10-0 in the league, built a 20-8 first-quarter advantage and were in control 32-13 at the half before cruising the rest of the way.

    Junior NiJaree Canady led Topeka High with a game-high 20 points while senior Lilly Smith added 14 and a pair of 3-pointers and senior Jae'Mya Lyons and sophomore Kiki Smith had 12 points apiece.

  • Topeka High girls improve to 15-0 with 66-33 romp past Manhattan

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's probably a given that Topeka High's girls basketball team has been thinking about Friday's showdown with Washburn Rural for a while now.

    After all, the Junior Blues were the last team to beat the Trojans, in the 2019 Class 6A state championship game, and is the only team to play High closer than 16 points this season.

    But High coach Hannah Alexander wanted to make sure that all of her team's attention Wednesday night was on Manhattan, which visited top-ranked Topeka High for a Centennial League makeup game, and that seemed to be the case as the Trojans rolled to a 66-33 win over the Indians to stretch their winning streak to 38 games.

    "We always talk about executing and make sure we handle business right away and not get caught and not overlook any opponent,'' Alexander said after the Trojans improved to 15-0 overall and 12-0 in the league. "I thought they did a really good job executing that tonight.

    "Control what you can control, that's what we say, and take care of business and make sure we get good at what we do.''

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

  • Topeka High rally comes up short against Manhattan boys, 59-56

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High boys basketball coach Eric King was thrilled with the fight his Trojans showed in rallying from a 22-point deficit to give themselves a chance late in Wednesday's Centennial League makeup game against Manhattan.

    But the fact that Topeka High got down 22 in the first place was the problem, with the Trojans' comeback falling just short in a 59-56 loss to the Indians at High.

    Manhattan, which improved to 7-7 overall and 5-6 in the league, opened the night with a 24-9 first quarter and the Indians went up 34-12 midway through the second quarter, forcing Topeka High to play catch up the rest of the game.

  • Rural boys roll past Trojans behind Berry, Hutchinson

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's boys basketball team bounced back from a disappointing loss with its best offensive performance of the season Friday night, taking control early in a 67-48 Centennial League romp past Topeka High at Rural.

    Washburn Rural, which improved to 10-5 overall and 9-3 in the league, had scored just 47 points in a 9-point loss to Seaman in its previous game, but eclipsed that total in the third quarter en route to opening up a commanding 59-28 advantage. A running clock was used throughout the fourth quarter due to the 30-point rule.

    "We just have to come together as a group and I think today was a step to it,'' Rural senior Jack Hutchinson said. "We just have to keep playing better. We have four more (regular-season) games left and we play (Topeka) West on Monday, which will be a big one for us, and just keep rolling through sub-state.''

    JackHutchinsonactionWashburn Rural's Jack Hutchinson (15) handles the ball as Topeka High's Jalen Smith defends. Hutchinson had 23 points and 7 3-pointers in Rural's 67-48 win while Smith scored a game-high 29 points with 4 3s. [Photo by Doug Walker]

    Hutchinson and fellow senior Joe Berry combined for a total of 47 points to key Rural's rout Friday night, with Hutchinson finishing with 23 points, just 1 point behind Berry's 24-point night.

    Hutchinson hit his first 7 3-point attempts of the night and his first eight shots overall before finally missing.

    "It just felt good off the hand,'' Hutchinson said.

    Berry, meanwhile, scored both inside and outside against the Trojans, banking in a 3-pointer on his final shot to edge Hutchinson for game-high honors.

    JoeBerryactionTHJoe Berry led Washburn Rural with 24 points in Friday's 67-48 win over Topeka High. [Photo by Doug Walker]

    Washburn Rural opened up a 21-8 first-quarter lead and led 38-15 at halftime.

    Senior Jalen Smith had a big night for Topeka High (2-14, 2-11), scoring a game-high 29 points with 4 3-pointers and a 9 of 10 performance at the free throw line. Freshman BJ Canady added 8 points for the Trojans.

    Washburn Rural will be at home against league-leading Topeka West on Monday, with the Junior Blues hosting the Chargers in a girls-boys twinbill.

    Topeka High will host Seaman on Tuesday.

    WASHBURN RURAL BOYS 67, TOPEKA HIGH 48

    Topeka High 8 7 13 20 -- 48

    Washburn Rural 21 17 21 8 -- 67

    Topeka High (2-14, 2-11) -- Smith 8-13 9-10 29, McMillon 1-1 0-0 3, Walker 0-2 0-0 0, Leesman 3-5 0-1 6, Canady 4-10 0-0 8, Phillips 1-1 0-0 2, Kincade 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-32 9-11 48.

    Washburn Rural (10-5, 9-3) -- Bachelor 1-3 0-0 2, Williams 1-4 2-2 5, Berry 10-12 3-4 24, Hutchinson 8-9 0-0 23, Patterson 1-4 0-0 2, Brady 1-5 1-2 3, Howard 1-2 0-0 2, Kidd 2-4 0-0 6, Bunck 0-0 0-0 0, Morrow 0-0 0-0 0, Hanks 0-0 0-0 0, Conklin 0-0 0-0 0, Wech 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-45 6-8 67.

    3-point goals -- Topeka High 5 (Smith 4, McMillon), Washburn Rural 11 (Hutchinson 7, Kidd 2, Williams, Berry). Total fouls -- Topeka High 7, Washburn Rural 8. Fouled out -- none.

  • Rural repeats as Centennial League swim champion behind Clouse, Trachta

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Dagen Clouse and Nathen Trachta both earned four gold medals to lead the way as Washburn Rural successfully defended its Centennial League swimming and diving championship Thursday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.

    Clouse won individual titles in the 50 freestyle (22.08 seconds) and the 100 free (49.76) while Trachta was the individual champion in the 100 butterfly (54.47) and the 100 backstroke (56.54).

    Both Clouse and Trachta also swam on Washburn Rural's winning 200 freestyle (1:31.48) and 400 free (3:22.39) relays along with Keats Larson and Yeager Larson, with the Junior Blues setting a league record in the 200 free relay.

    Washburn Rural won the team title by a 386-353 margin over Manhattan while Seaman was third with 350 points.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers February 15, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    DajiaAnderson 2Dajia Anderson

    DAJIA ANDERSON, Washburn Rural

    A senior, Anderson won the 191-pound championship in the Division I Girls Wrestling Regional Saturday at Emporia, recording a takedown in the closing seconds to post a 4-2 decision over top-ranked Maranda Bell of Shawnee Heights in the final. Anderson, who entered the tournament No. 3 in the KWCA rankings, also took a 4-0 semifinal victory over No. 2 Trinity Ervin of Emporia to help lead the Junior Blues to the team title. Anderson, the 235-pound state champ as a junior, improved to 24-4 on the season.

    NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    Canady, a 6-foot junior, scored 19 points and grabbed 22 rebounds, both game-highs, as Topeka High's girls basketball team improved to 16-0 with a come-from-behind 59-53 overtime Centennial League victory Friday at Washburn Rural, the Trojans' 39th straight victory. Earlier in the week Canady scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in limited minutes in the Trojans' 66-33 home league win over Manhattan.

  • Topeka High girls clinch league title with 41st straight win

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After finishing second in Class 6A two years ago and having its chance at a title wiped out by COVID-19 last season, Topeka High's girls basketball team still has goals it wants to accomplish this season.

    But Hannah Alexander's Trojans checked the first item off their checklist Saturday, clinching the outright Centennial League championship with a 71-25 romp past Topeka West at West to improve to 18-0 overall and 15-0 in the league with their 41st straight victory.

    Saturday's win gave Topeka High its second straight outright league title and it's third overall, with the Trojans sharing the crown with Washburn Rural in 2019.

    "It's always a good feeling to get that accomplished,'' Alexander said. "I think that's a big test in this Centennial League to do that.''

  • West boys Centennial League champs after 68-40 win over rival High

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Winning a league championship is always nice, and Topeka West senior standout Trevion Alexander admitted that the Centennial League title West wrapped up Saturday with a 68-40 home romp past Topeka High was extra nice for the Chargers.

    "It feels good, knowing that Topeka West never had one and this is the first one,'' said Alexander, who scored 16 points as the Chargers improved to 16-2 overall and 13-1 in the league with their 10th straight victory. "Coach (Rick Bloomquist) always says it's good to be the first one.''

    After shooting 57 percent in Friday's 60-46 win at Emporia, Topeka West struggled through a spotty offensive performance against Topeka High, shooting just 36 percent from the field.

    But the Chargers controlled the game defensively, forcing 24 Topeka High turnovers.

    "We just had to play different in the third quarter, knowing that two of their best players (Jalen Smith and Isiah Esquibel) were in foul trouble,'' Alexander said. "They were going to put in some younger guys, so we went at them.''

  • Topeka High set to face perennial state power Bishop Miege in heavyweight girls basketball matchup

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Obviously, Topeka HIgh's 41-game winning streak is important to Trojans girls basketball coach Hannah Alexander and her top-ranked team.

    But Alexander is more concerned about getting the Trojans ready for a shot at the Class 6A state title, which is why she jumped at the chance to accept a marquee matchup with perfennial state champion Bishop Miege, No. 1 in 4A, Tuesday night at Miege (7 p.m.).

    Topeka HIgh, which has not lost since the 2019 6A state championship game to city rival Washburn Rural, will take an 18-0 record into Tuesday's game while 20-time state champ Bishop Miege is 16-1 after a 39-37 win over 5A power St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday.

    Hannah AlexanderTopeka High girls basketball coach Hannah Alexander and her Trojans are scheduled to face perennial state champion Bishop Miege on the road Tuesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • Prep roundup: West boys outlast Newton, advance to sub-state semis

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West's boys basketball team survived a barrage of 3-pointers by upset-minded Newton Wednesday night to imporove to 18-2 with a 71-60 Class 5A sub-state semifinal win over the Railers at West.

    Two-win Newton canned 10 3-pointers in the first half and 15 for the game, but West finally put the Railers away down the stretch to set up a 3 p.m. matchup Saturday with Seaman (13-8) in the sub-state championship game. Seaman edged Emporia 60-56 Wednesday night.

    MarqueWilkersonMarque Wilkerson

  • Rural girls place 3rd in Class 6A state bowling with 4 medalists

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    WICHITA -- Washburn Rural's girls bowling team started fast and finished the same way in Friday's Class 6A girls bowling tournament at Northrock Lanes, posting a 3rd-place team finish while four Junior Blues earned individual state medals.

    Washburn Rural finished with a 3,233 team total, taking third behind Campus (3,347) and Garden City (3,287) while junior Kaitlyn Doyal finished 7th individually with a 631-three-game series, senior Hannah Casto was 9th (607), sophomore Callie Hart 16th (574) and sophomore Amaya Buchanan 17th (572).

    Washburn Rural junior Kaitlyn Doyal reacts after a strike in Friday's 6A state bowling tournament. [Photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]Washburn Rural junior Kaitlyn Doyal reacts after a strike in Friday's 6A state bowling tournament. [Photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]

    Freshman Claire Ireland finished 29th individually (522) while senior Logan Wiesendanger was 30th (519).

    "As a team we got our medals, we got our trophy and we shot really well as a team today,'' Casto said. "I'm really proud of the team. I think this was one of our best days bowling together as a team. It was amazing.''

    Doyal agreed.

    "I feel great about today,'' Doyal said. "I think it's mostly about a team effort and not individually, but it all comes down to staying hyped up and cheering everybody on.''

    Doyal put together games of 242, 204 and 185 to lead the Junior Blues while Casto had games of 210, 190 and 207 to finish 2 spots behind her teammate.

    "I didn't strike as much as I wanted to,'' Casto said. "I really struggled trying to find a correct line, but I just tried getting as many spares as I could and try to save myself to be able to make my goals for today.'' 

     HannahCastoWashburn Rural senior Hannah Casto celebrates with her team after a strike in Friday's 6A state bowling tournament. [Photo by Selena Favela/Special to TSN]

    Washburn Rural bowled an 877 first game in American Tenpins to take the tournament lead, but fell to third with an 814 2nd game as Garden City (948) and Campus (903) both turned in big games and Rural struggled in the third game (738) as Campus (908) and Garden City (812) pulled away.

    The Junior Blues fought back in its four Baker format games, however, recording a tournament-high 804 total, including a 237 final game to cement its 3rd-place finish by 314 pins over 4th-place Olathe North.

    "The girls have worked hard through the season coming down to this piece, which is what we wanted at the end,'' Rural coach Jo Ricard said. "We struggled some in that 3rd game (of American Tenpin) and we knew we had to come out and do well in Baker.

    "We did well in the Baker, we just couldn't quite pick up what we needed to. Garden City always makes a huge push down here and so does Campus. I'm proud of the girls. They have done an excellent job and I'm very happy and pleased with what they've done today and for the season.'' 

    Topeka High junior Gabriella McCarthy earned a state medal with a 15th-place finish (587) while competing as an individual.

    Trojan junior Majayla Boyd finished 41st with a 487 series.

    Campus continued its state dominance with its 3rd straight team championship and its 5th in 6 years, led by senior Piper Reams, who won the individual championship with a 715 series and finished with a 280 game. The Colts had 5 individual medalists.

    CLASS 6A GIRLS STATE BOWLING

    Team scores

    Campus 3,347, Garden City 3,287, Washburn Rural 3,233, Olathe North 2,919, Olathe East 2,829, Manhattan 2,690, Lawrence 2,589, Shawnee Mission North 2,490.. 

    Individual results

    1. Piper Reams, Campus, 715; 2. Skylar Valdez, Olathe North, 694; 3. Dakota Lennen, Campus, 666; 4. Lily-Ann Leeper, Garden City,  654; 5. Kaylie Nelson, Wichita Northwest, 642; 6. Holly Bridges, Garden City, 638; 7. Kaitlyn Doyal, Washburn Rural, 631; 8. Brooke Ptacek, Garden City, 621; 9. Hannah Casto, Washburn Rural, 607;10. Shaniah Moore, Wichita Heights, 602; 11. Casey Feast, Campus, 600; 12. Hope Resendiz, Garden City, 594; 13. Audrey Valdez, Olathe North, 587 (221); 14. Ella Adkins, Campus, 587 (215); 15. Gabriella McCarthy, Topeka High, 587; 16. Callie Hart, Washburn Rural, 574; 17. Amaya Buchanan, Washburn Rural, 572; 18. Victoria Cocannouer, Wichita East, 571; 19. Savannah Hsu, Campus, 564; 20. Alyssa Williams, Shawnee Mission North, 560.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 29. Claire Ireland, 522; 30. Logan Wiesendanger, 519.

    Other Topeka High -- 41. Majayla Boyd, 487.

     

  • A1 Key Performers January 11, 2021

    Rick Peterson, TNS Sports Reporter

    by Rick Peterson
    Top Sports News

    JaleyBarkleymug

    JALEY BARKLEY, Cair Paravel Latin

    A junior, Barkley scored 20 points, with 3 3-pointers and a 7 of 9 performance at the free throw line, as Cair Paravel took a 46-40 road win at Olathe Heritage Christian to improve to 3-2 on the season.


    MarandaBell2

    MARANDA BELL, Shawnee Heights

    A junior, Bell won the 191-pound championship at Saturday's Blue Valley Southwest Invitational, recording four straight pins. Ranked No. 2 in Division I, Bell improved to improve to 12-0 this season with 12 pins.


  • TopSports.news' Friday night boys basketball standouts

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News writer.

    by Rick Peterson
    Top Sports News

    Elijah Brooks 270

    ELIJAH BROOKS, Topeka West

    A junior, Brooks returned from an injury to score 28 points, with 3 3-pointers, in 4-0 Topeka West's 78-60 home Centennial League victory over Hayden.


    ZACH CLARK, Cair Paravel Latin

    Clark, a junior, scored 25 points for Cair Paravel in an 83-75 road loss at Olathe Heritage Christian.


    IsiahEsquibel 2

    ISIAH ESQUIBEL, Topeka High

    A senior, Esquibel scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Topeka High's 50-48 Centennial League loss at Seaman.


    LUKE FAY, Cair Paravel Latin

    Fay, a sophomore, canned 7 3-pointers and finished with 26 points in Cair Paravel's 83-75 road loss at Olathe Heritage Christian.


    DANTE' HARRISON, Shawnee Heights

    Harrison, a sophomore, scored a career-high 13 points, with 3 3-pointers, in Shawnee Heights' 64-51 United Kansas Conference loss at Lansing.


    TyHenrymug

    TY HENRY, Seaman

    Henry, a junior, scored 11 points and came up with a huge blocked shot late in the game as Seaman improved to 3-3 with a 50-48 home Centennial League win over Topeka High.


    MATEO HYMAN, Seaman

    A junior, Hyman returned from an injury to score 18 points, including 16 in the second half, as Seaman took a 50-48 home Centennial League victory over Topeka High.


    ZANDER PUTTHOFF, Topeka West

    Putthoff, a junior, scored 23 points, including 7 3-pointers, as Topeka West improved to 4-0 on the season with a 78-60 home Centennial League win over Hayden.


    Vacario Triplett

    VACARIO TRIPLETT, Hayden

    A senior, Triplett scored 24 points for the Wildcats in a 78-60 Centennial League loss at undefeated Topeka West.

     

  • TopSports.news' Friday/Saturday girls basketball standouts

    Rick Peterson, TNS Sports Reporter

    by Rick Peterson
    Top Sports News

    JALEY BARKLEY, Cair Paravel Latin

    Barkley, a junior, scored a game-high 20 points, including 3 3-pointers and a 7 of 9 performance at the free throw line, as Cair Paravel improved to 3-2 on the season with a 46-40 road win at Olathe Heritage Christian.


    RhenCalhoonmug

    RHEN CALHOON, Hayden

    Calhoon, a senior, scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for Hayden in the Wildcats' 65-47 home Centennial League triumph over Topeka West.


    NiJaree Canady 2

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    A junior, Canady scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Topeka High, top-ranked in Class 6A, beat Centennial League rival Junction City 92-34 to improve to 4-0 on the season.


    TaylorHawkins

    TAYLOR HAWKINS, Shawnee Heights

    A senior, Hawkins paced 1-3 Shawnee Heights with 14 points in the T-Birds' 55-43 United Kansas Conference loss at Lansing.


    Kiki Smith

    KIKI SMITH, Topeka High

    Smith, a sophomore, scored a game-high 27 points, including 23 in the first half, as top-ranked (Class 6A) Topeka High improved to 4-0 with a 92-34 Centennial League romp past Junction City.


    Macy Smith

    MACY SMITH, Hayden 

    Smith, a junior, scored 16 points as the Wildcats improved to 4-2 on the season with a 65-47 home Centennial League victory over Topeka West.


    CarlyStuke

    CARLY STUKE, Hayden

    The Wildcat junior scored 14 points in the first quarter on the way to a 23-point night as Hayden improved to 4-2 on the season with a 65-47 win over Topeka West. Stiuke hit 3 3-pointers and went 6 of 6 at the free throw line.


    TALAYAH THOMAS, Topeka High

    A junior, Thomas cracked double figures with a 14-point performance as top-ranked (Class 6A) Topeka High improved to 4-0 with a 92-34 home Centennial League victory over Junction City.

     

     

  • Commentary: USD 501 wrestlers to feel the pain of having season canceled

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    It's hard to criticize any school board -- in this case the Unified School District 501 board -- for ruling on the side of safety in the age of COVID-19.

    I believe the 501 board had the best interests of student-athletes in mind when it chose not to allow wrestling to begin, effectively canceling the entire 2020-21 wrestling season for Highland Park, Topeka High and Topeka West, although I sincerely wish the board could have found a way to follow the lead of more than 200 other schools across the state and allowed district teams to compete in some form this winter.

    District schools in other sports have shown to be willing to do anything the board mandates -- masks, limited numbers in practice and games, etc. -- just to have a chance to play.

    Whether the board's decision was a good or bad one won't be known for several months, but there's no doubt it's going to be a hard pill to swallow for those involved.

  • Topeka High opens with 19 straight points, rolls to 92-34 win

    DSC 0597Topeka High sophomore Kiki Smith (23) slips past several Junction City defenders for a basket during Saturday's game. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TopSports.news]

    Topeka High's girls basketball team isn't used to playing games in the middle of the afternoon, particularly on a Saturday.

    But it was a focused Trojan team that showed up to host Centennial League foe Junction City and the result was 19 straight points to open the game on the way to a 92-34 rout.

    "I think they were ready to go, they're tired of practicing,'' said Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander, whose Trojans were making their 2021 debut. "We're trying to make sure that we execute every possession in every game and make sure that we don't take anything for granted.

    "That was the thing today. It doesn't matter who we're playing, where we're playing, what day it is, what time we're playing. We just need to go out and execute and I was very proud of how they handled themselves out there. I saw a lot of good things we've been working on in practice, so I was very proud of them.''

  • Seaman hangs on for 50-48 win over Topeka High

    DSC 0359Seaman junior Ty Henry (23) blocks a shot attempt by Topeka High's Nazim Phillips Friday night. [Photograph by Rex Wolf]

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    Seaman's boys basketball team struggled at times in both halves of Friday's home Centennial League contest against Topeka High.

    But the Vikings found a way to win a game they probably would have lost a year ago, surviving a late Trojan rally to hold on for a 50-48 victory.

    With the win Seaman evened its record at 3-3 and eclipsed its win total from the 2019-20 season, while High fell to 0-4.

    "We're not going to complain about winning, but we are going to want to learn from it and learn how to finish games when you put youself in that perfect position to put somebody away,'' Seaman coach Craig Cox said.

    Seaman never led in the first half while shooting just 26 percent while Topeka High hit 11 of 14 shots (78.6 percent) en route to taking a 23-20 halftime advantage.

    The Vikings finally heated up in the second half, getting 16 second-half points from junior Mateo Hyman, and used an 11-0 run at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter to take a 44-33 advantage with less than six minutes remaining.

    Seaman struggled the rest of the way, but held on for the win, getting a huge block and rebound from junior Ty Henry, who clinched the victory with two free throws with 8.3 seconds left.

    Hyman came off the bench to lead Seaman with 18 points while Henry added 11 points and sophomore Aron Davis 9. Seaman hit 12 of 21 second-half field goal attempts to finish at 40.9 percent for the game and went 10 of 11 from the free throw line.

    "(Topeka High's) junk defenses were effective, the triangle and two in the first half and box and one in the second half, and I was happy and proud of our guys that in that third quarter we found a way to attack and get some good shots and build a lead,'' Cox said.

    "Unfortunately, the last three minutes we didn't make good decisions and we didn't play good defense and almost let them get the game tied.''

    Topeka High, which played without senior standout Jalen Smith, was led by senior Isiah Esquibel, who scored a game-high 23 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. Senior Jayden Leesman added 13 points for the Trojans.

    Topeka High shot 71 percent from the field (22 of 31), but the Trojans went just 2 of 8 from the free throw line and committed 25 turnovers.

    Coming off an extended holiday break Seaman now faces another long layoff before beginning competition in the Valley Center tournament on Jan. 21. The Vikings were scheduled to play Manhattan on Friday, Jan. 15, but that game has been postponed to COVID-19 protocols at Manhattan.

    SEAMAN BOYS 50, TOPEKA HIGH 48

    Topeka High 12 11 10 15 -- 48

    Seaman 8 12 15 15 -- 50

    Topeka High (0-4, 0-4) -- Esquibel 10-13 1-1 23, Wilson 1-3 0-2 2, Walker 2-3 0-0 4, Canady 2-4 0-1 4, Leesman 6-7 1-4 13, Phillips 0-0 0-0 0, McMillon 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-31 2-8 48.

    Seaman (3-3, 3-3 -- Henry 4-7 2-2 11, Bonner 2-6 0-0 5, Stallbaumer 1-5 0-0 2, Kobuszewski 1-6 0-0 2, Davis 2-4 4-4 9, Hyman 7-14 3-3 18, Brewer 0-1 1-2 1, Gormley 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-44 10-11 50.

    3-point goals -- Topeka High 2 (Esquibel 2), Seaman 4 (Hyman, Henry, Bonner, Davis). Total fouls -- Topeka High 14, Seaman 11. Fouled out -- none.