Bad weather kept the city squads off the floor last Friday, but it was back to business on the hardwood with four games on the docket Tuesday night, all of them league contests. Here’s how it went down:
-There was no hangover of disappointment or fatigue for the Highland Park Scots, who bounced back from an overtime defeat against Washburn Rural on Monday night to topple Topeka High 49-46 at The Dungeon. After a slow offensive start for both teams, the Scots put together a 21-point second quarter and never trailed in the second half, though some iffy free throw shooting combined with what is becoming a characteristically frantic fourth quarter rally by the Trojans gave the home team a chance to tie it at the buzzer. CJ Powell is starting to get rolling for the Scots, as he led the way with 18 points. Juan’Tario Roberts added 12. For Topeka High, King Sutton had 12 points but was sorely missed down the stretch as he fouled out with over seven minutes to play. His foul troubles have hurt the Trojans at other points this season, and they really need him on the floor on both ends. The win is a major statement for the Scots, who go to 4-2 in the league with a road game at Manhattan awaiting on Friday, while the Trojans have dropped more league games at home this year already than they did anywhere all of last year. In girls action at The Dungeon, the #1 Lady Trojan wrecking machine was in full effect in a 77-30 win over the Lady Scots. Kiki Smith began a new 20+ point streak with this game, pouring in a game-high 25, while Nija Canady bullied her way to 23 points and 13 boards. Dariauna Carter‘s nine points led the Lady Scots, who must weather this difficult stretch in their schedule while focusing on the process of improvement.
-They’ve only played four games this season, by far the fewest in the city, so something was simmering in Tre Alexander and the Topeka West Chargers, and it erupted as Alexander scored 29 points in a 57-45 win over Hayden at ‘The Ken’. Alexander’s range and ability off the dribble make him one of the hardest players to guard in the city, and he had the entire repertoire working in his career-high performance. The rest of the Chargers followed his lead, with Elijah Brooks and Marque Wilkerson each adding a dozen points. West is now 3-1 in league play and their matchup against Washburn Rural Friday night is a tantalizing one. Hayden got 15 points from John Roeder and 13 from Noah Schneider in the loss. Meanwhile, the Hayden girls are starting to find their rhythm, and that’s thanks to the two players steering the ship in the backcourt. Macy Smith scored 13 points, Sophia Purcell added 12, and the Lady Wildcats held off the Lady Chargers 43-36. A 13-0 run to start the second half proved to be decisive as Hayden never trailed again. It’s now three straight wins for the Lady Wildcats, and they are developing their identity under their first-year head coach, Carvel Reynoldson. For West, Miyah Larson scored 13 points, and they rallied impressively in the fourth quarter. They are playing the games on the terms that they want to, and now just need to put a consistent 32 minutes together.
-The Seaman Lady Vikes moved up to #3 in the latest KBCA Class 5A poll, and after a slow first half start, they looked every bit the part in the second half as they rolled past Junction City 54-36. After leading by just two at the half, Seaman outscored Junction City 34-18 in the second half to improve to 6-0. It seems like a new secondary scorer emerges every game to help the dynamic duo of Camryn Turner and Chloe Carter (who combined for 29 points, including Turner’s game-high 18), and last night it was Riley Cowan‘s turn as the junior post scored 10 points. In the boys contest, the Vikings’ early season struggles continued in a 57-43 loss to the Blue Jays. Without talented sophomore guard Ty Henry, who is out injured, the Vikings are struggling to get consistent offense. Eric Patterson scored 12 points to lead Seaman, but they fell behind early and never could get caught up.
-It was heartbreak for the Shawnee Heights boys, who saw a tight game against defending UKC champions and class 5A fifth-ranked Basehor-Linwood slip away amidst a barrage of late whistles and free throws. The Bobcats were good enough from the line down the stretch to hold off the T-Birds 56-48. Heights led by seven after one quarter but were outscored 19-4 in the second eight minutes and trailed at the half. The T-Birds flipped the script in a 12-3 third quarter and led with six minutes to play, but couldn’t get back in front once the Bobcats regained the advantage. Isiah Johnson‘s 14 points led Heights in the defeat, which snapped a three-game winning streak. But the T-Birds have the confidence to play stride for stride with the impressive Bobcats and will be eagerly awaiting the rematch later this season. The girls game saw Basehor-Linwood pull away in the second half for a 53-35 win thanks to the long ball. The Lady Bobcats connected on eight three-pointers and the Lady T-Birds simply couldn’t keep up. Adysen Burghart had a big night in the losing effort, scoring 13 points, but Heights is still looking for their first UKC win of the season.