In case you missed my article on Central Christian’s Sean High, here it is. It was in Tuesday’s Eagle, but I think it deserves a look if you’ve got the time. High’s a really sweet kid and his story is pretty remarkable from kind of a Horatio Alger-type angle in that he made something out of absolutely nothing. Also, here’s the link to the Facebook page I talk about in the story.
If you haven’t seen the picture of William Burdette’s dunk in the Jets’ win over Saint Mary’s on Thursday night, I was nice enough to post it above. A couple of things to look at: 1) Check out William’s arm that’s getting ready to throw down, the rim is sneaking up on his elbow … FACE!!! 2) Look at the Newman bench … our photog, Fernando Salazar, caught it perfect, even check out the kid on the Newman bench with his leg up in the air. Great shot. And it was great to get Newman out front for us because they’re having a great season behind a breakout star in Neodesha product Keaton Schultz, who picked up Heartland Conference player of the week honors last week, and a sleek lineup full of wiry forwards (Justin Berry, Jaray Mathews) and hard-nosed guards (Chip Steven, Jake Darby). The Jets are in first place and are already 8-1 in league play with a big game against Incarnate Word on Saturday at Fugate, where, if you want to go, it won’t cost you anything if you bring a couple of cans of food to donate to Haiti relief efforts. And it’s also a Blue-Out, so where your Jets gear. Would be nice to see Fugate packed every now and then. BTW, Schultz is hitting over 50% of his three-point attempts and apparently leads the world in that category — check Saturday’s Eagle for a story on Schultz and his amazing season thus far.
Early in the season, Tim Peintner was No. 3 Fort Hays State’s go-to player. Then, when Peintner went down, you could make the argument it was Corbin Kuntzsch. Now, it’s Dominique Jones. I don’t know if there’ s a better compliment I can give a hoops team then to say that they’ve got three legit guys who can win a game for you. Jones did it last week, earning MIAA POW honors by scoring 29 points in a win over Emporia St. and then hitting the game-winner against Nebraska-Omaha. The Tigers are 17-1 and 11-0 in MIAA play. And, more important than that, they’re at the point in the season where they can really lock in on some big-time goals, like winning league, league tourney … and then making a run at the whole thing. Which, if you know anything about FHSU’s history, ain’t too far-fetched. And let’s not forget this: The Tigers gave K-State all they could handle, at Bramlage. So there’ s that. On the women’s side, Emporia State is having almost an identical season to the Tigers — They’re also in the Top 5 and are 18-1 overall and 11-1 in MIAA play — although they’ve got a little more breathing room in the league race with a two-game lead over Washburn. Their best player? Cassondra Boston. She’s won the MIAA weekly honors twice in the last three weeks and is second in the MIAA in scoring (18.7) and third in assists (4.1). The Des Moines, Iowa, product is a ballplayer, plain and simple.
The most impressive thing to see this season in KCAC women’s hooops, in my opinion, has been the Kansas Wesleyan women’s team. I was pretty sure we were going to see a steep dropoff from last year for the ‘Yotes, but that hasn’t been the case, and they’re still in the hunt for the league title and definitely a second straight NAIA Tournament berth at 9-2 and tied for second with Southwestern, just one game back of Sterling. 5-foot-11 freshman forward Stephanie Frost is the KCAC women’s player of the week after wins over Southwestern and McPherson, but don’t get confused about the Mac game, where she played great, because it was the win AT The Jinx that got her these kudos. In a battle to stay in the KCAC hunt, the Assaria product hasd 16 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 6 steals. Saint Mary’s Eric Avant was the men’s player of the week.
The league races in the Jayhawk are crazy, point blank. Of the four divisions — men’s and women’s in the East & West — nothing is even close to being decided and nobody has what you could call real breathing room. That being said, three of the four weekly honorees play for teams still in the race for titles — Garden City’s Marisela Rodriguez and Independence’s Sadie Webb on the women’s side and Seward County’s Jon Tassin on the men’s side. In an aside, last year’s men’s Region VI champ, Garden City, is in serious danger of not making the playoffs for the first time in Kris Baumann’s tenure with the Busters. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them scrap back this last month and sneak in.
That’s all I got.