It’s the first full week of the prep basketball season which means it’s the first Tuesday Night edition of the Hoops Rewind! Eight city teams hit the hardwood Tuesday night, and here’s how they fared…
-The Seaman Lady Vikes showed they want to come out of the gate strong this season, following a trip to state in 2018-19. They went on a 12-0 fourth quarter run to break open a tight game and defeat Lansing 60-46 at Viking Gym last night. Pivotal in that fourth quarter performance was their free throw shooting, as the Lady Vikes sank 15 of their 16 charity tosses in the quarter. The Lady Vikes have one of the city’s best duos in junior guard Camryn Turner and senior wing Chloe Carter and both were excellent in the win. Turner scored 21 points and hauled down 10 rebounds, and Carter scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, helping to ice the game from the line and assuming lead guard duties when Turner fouled out late. This is a talented and experienced Seaman team that is ready to take another step forward after their 16-win campaign last year, and they showed a lot of encouraging signs that they can do just that.
The boys game was a thriller with a heartbreaking end for the Vikings, as a missed layup at the buzzer allowed Lansing to escape with a 63-61 win. The Vikings led by as many as 13 in the second half but the Lions ratcheted up their defensive pressure and starting connecting from behind the arc and Seaman did not have enough answers. But for an almost entirely inexperienced squad, there was a lot to be encouraged by in the game for Seaman. Sophomore guards Dagen Brewer and Ty Henry played with poise, and Henry in particular took control of the offense late as Seaman tried to mount a comeback. The Vikings will also benefit from the athleticism of senior Eric Patterson, who scored 13 points and made a lot of extra-effort plays that sparked the Vikings. Craig Cox’s program has set a high standard appearing in four straight sub-state championship games. The bar is high, but these young Vikings played with a hunger that suggests they’re striving to meet those standards regardless of their lack of experience.
-Highland Park protected their home court against Ottawa as both the Scots and Lady Scots improved to 2-0. In the girls game, the Lady Scots were shorthanded due to illness and senior Dariauna Carter had a rare off-night on offense, scoring just seven points. So Highland Park got their spark from their defense (forcing 20 turnovers) and from other sources of offense (Atiya Gonzales and Asiya Taylor combined for 31 points) in a 48-27 victory over the Lady Cyclones. New Lady Scots coach Sanetra Jackson is a defensive-minded coach, and two games in, it seems like her players are all-in on a defensive mentality. Meanwhile, the Scots boys are just one win shy of their total from the 2018-19 season already, thanks to a 51-45 victory. CJ Powell scored 18 points and Juan’Tario ‘Scrap’ Roberts added in 15 as Highland Park rallied back from a third-quarter deficit and closed the game out in the fourth. That reference to the 2018-19 season above will be the last one you read in one of these Hoops Rewind, as clearly the Scots themselves are over it. This new season’s story involves two of the city’s best players putting up numbers and a defense that will scratch and claw each night, and so far, so good for Mike Williams’ squad.
-Topeka High’s girls are 2-0 after a 61-44 win over FL Schlagle at The Dungeon. Schlagle will be one of 5A’s best teams this season, but the preseason 6A #1 ranked Lady Trojans led most of the night and kept the Lady Stallions at arms length throughout the second half. Freshman Kiki Smith had her second straight games with 21 points and Nija Canady added 12, but the story for the Lady Trojans was their defense, as they hassled Schlagle into turnover after turnover with Smith and Ariyana Grassity leading their press. Its’ two quality wins in two games for Topeka High and they look up for the challenge of meeting their high preseason expectations.
-The Eric King era began with a victory in Topeka High’s first game at the Leavenworth CNB tournament. The Trojans topped the tourney hosts 56-47 thanks to a dozen points apiece from King Sutton, Jalen Smith, and Dyone Chapman. Chapman is a new face for the Trojans this season, while Smith came on strong in the second half of last season and Sutton offers one of the highest potential ceilings in the city. If Sutton has a big season, the Trojans will be hard to beat.
-Washburn Rural’s state title defense in girls basketball opened with a 52-46 defeat on the road against a very good Shawnee Mission Northwest squad. Kasey Hamilton scored 11 points, and impressive freshman Brooklyn DeLeye added 10 in her varsity debut. There’s plenty to work on for coach Kevin Bordewick’s crew, but with their experience and athleticism I’d expect that group to be fast learners. On the boys side, Rural topped Northwest 69-58 behind 24 points from Joe Berry, who is poised to be one of the city’s top scorers this season coming off a 1st Team All-City selection as a sophomore. The 69 points is a nice way to start the season offensively for a Junior Blues team that wasn’t often that prolific scoring the ball last year in their run to the 6A title game.