Monthly Archives: February 2011

LIVE BLOG: KCAC men’s and women’s finals

I’m live blogging from Hartman Arena in Park City for the KCAC men’s and women’s finals. Men’s championship starts at 6 and is between McPherson (19-12) and Sterling (20-10). Women’s final is at 8 between No. 13 Sterling (26-4) and No. 6 Kansas Wesleyan (30-2). Nice crowd for Mac for the men’s game, although several of the Warriors’ football players showed up dressed as … bananas. This should be fun.

WOMEN’S FINAL

Sterling starters: Candace Ewert, Erica Herman, Cami Racette, Britany Gasper, Madison Lucas

KWU starters: Montric Santee, Stephanie Frost, Shelby Babcock, LaCole Wilkinson, Danielle Ekno

10:00, 1st half  Sterling 16, KWU 16 breakaway layup by SC’s Laura Patrick ties the score up

HALFTIME KWU 32, Sterling 31 Stephanie Frost leads ‘Yotes with 8 points, Madison Lucas leads SC with 8 points.

15:00, 2nd half KWU 47, Sterling 38 Frost has 12 points, Shelby Babcock 10 for KWU, who are on verge of blowing this one open

3:30, 2nd half KWU 66, Sterling 55 KWU’s guards are too fast, and Frost is too much in the post.

FINAL KWU 74, Sterling 59

Read More »

KCAC semifinals preview

The KCAC played out according to seeding in the quarterfinals, with the top 4 men’s and women’s seeds advancing to Saturday’s semifinals to play for the right to an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Tournament (Sterling swept both the men’s and women’s regular-season titles for that automatic bid) .

What’s different about this year – what’s awesome about this year – is that  the finals are going to be at Hartman Arena. It’s a  huge coup for the league. That they’ve made a terrible mistake by playing the men’s game at 6 p.m. and the women’s game at 8 p.m. is neither here or there … lots of people eat their appetizers after dinner, right?

On to the semifinal matchups, and my picks:

WOMEN

No. 4 Bethel (16-13) at No. 1 Sterling (25-4), 7 p.m. – This place will be rocking for this game, which gives the crowd a couple of hours to go grab dinner and get back to campus after the men’s semifinals at 2 p.m. No way the Threshers can handle this type of pressure in this type of atmosphere. MY PICK: STERLING

No. 3 Southwestern (22-6) at No. 2 Kansas Wesleyan (28-2), 7 p.m. – Great matchup. And shows how incredibly competitive the top 3 teams were in the KCAC this year. No doubt both of these teams should be in the national tournament. One of them won’t. MY PICK: KANSAS WESLEYAN

MEN

No. 4 Tabor (18-10) at No. 1 Sterling (18-10) – I’ve got your upset … right here. KCAC men’s division was pretty weak this year. Nobody is blowing anybody away and nobody is going to win a game at nationals. MY PICK: TABOR

No. 3 Bethany (14-15) at No. 2 McPherson (18-12) – McPherson is well-coached, and Tim Swartzendruber showed this season that he could lose almost every single player he had off a really good team … and still put together a really good team. MY PICK: MCPHERSON

Short and sweet.

TA

Tip of the hat to Washburn’s Logan Stutz

LOGAN STUTZ IS THE DUDE IN THE MIDDLE

LOGAN STUTZ IS THE DUDE IN THE MIDDLE

Washburn senior Logan Stutz became the first 4-time recipient of the MIAA’s player of the week award Monday, which means there’s no better time to give the senior from Kansas City his due here at Sunflower Slate. The brother of WSU center Garrett Stutz, he’s torn up the MIAA this year to the tune of 20.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and seems like a lock for All-MIAA honors and has a definite shot at being an All-American. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior played his freshman year at Butler Community College and, while he was a solid player his whole career, I don’t think anybody expected what he’s done this season. He’s been phenomenal.

Also, we’ve got the Turnpike Tussle tomorrow in Topeka. ESU vs. Washburn is always fun, and especially when there’s something on the line like this year — the Ichabods have a real shot at second in the MIAA if they can beat the Hornets and close out with a win over Lincoln.

I’m out. TA

Newman women clinch share of Heartland Conference title

Amazing stuff from the Newman women’s basketball team – lose their best player in the first game of the year and then this …

Newman’s Alex Adekunle scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Jets rallied from 13 points down in the second half to beat Texas-Permian Basin 84-81 in Odessa, Texas, and clinch at least a share of the Heartland Conference women’s title in a battle of the league’s two first-place teams.

It’s the first women’s crown for the Jets since moving up to NCAA Division II.

Newman was playing without two injured starters in Bobbi Coleman and leading scorer Philicia Kelly.

“We worked pretty hard to get back in this one,” said Newman first-year coach Jaime Green. “The players are the ones that have to execute, though. Us coaches are just along for the ride.”

Tasha Cannon added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Jets. Celeste Key added 10 points and point guard Rhea Codio had 14 points and six assists.

“I thought Rhea did a great job of keeping us focused when we got down,” Green said.

The Jets improved to 18-7 overall and 8-1 in Heartland play. Newman’s final regular-season game is Thursday at Oklahoma Panhandle State in Goodwell, Okla., where they can clinch the title outright with a victory and the top seed in the league tournament.

“I’m a competitor so I’d rather win it straight out and be conference champs and then also win the conference tournament,” Green said. “I was really proud of our kids today.”

Newman sweeps Heartland Conference’s weekly awards

CHIP STEVEN

It was a huge week for the Newman men’s and women’s basketball teams, with both Jet squads going 2-0 in a crucial stretch of the season. The women have been pretty steady throughout league play, but the men really struggled at the start of the season and have found a way to turn things around. Tremendous work by Mark Potter and Jaime Green. Not to mention both teams also beat St. Mary’s on Monday.

And there’s some side perks, too, with men’s player Chip Steven being named the Heartland Conference player of the week and Newman’s Tasha Cannon picking up the same award for the women.

Steven, a Derby native who played at Barton CC before coming to Newman, scored 19 points in a win over Arkansas-Fort Smith and then went 11 for 11 from the free-throw line and scored 28 points in a win over first-place Texas A&M-International. Cannon, a junior transfer from Coffeyville CC, had 19 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Arkansas-Fort Smith (triple overtime win, that is) and then hit TAMI for 26 points in another win. She’s averaging 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds this year.

The Jets will spend pretty much all tomorrow on the road, I’m guessing, to make it to Austin, Texas, for Thursday’s game against St. Edward’s. The men are currently in second place in the HC, and the women are tied for first.

TA

Former Cowley-Hutch player Jawanza Poland makes his mark

There’s a good feature on former East and Cowley-Hutchinson standout Jawanza Poland in The St. Petersburg Times.

What’s wrong with Hutch?

I’m starting to think they just don’t care. Don’t care about their legacy, don’t care about doing something great, don’t care about this season. It could be something else, of course, but since they’ve dealt with no major injuries … it’s not tough to draw conclusions.

And what else could we pull from the last month?

They start 17-0 and they rise to No. 1 in the country. And then, Jan. 12, they lost 81-80 to Butler, the start of an eight-game stretch that has seen them go 3-5 and drop to 6-4 in the Jayhawk West with no real shot at winning the league title. Monday’s 76-62 loss to Garden City isn’t exactly the low point, either, because the Busters are pretty good and I’m sure the WK came out in full force to get their yearly glimpse of Coach Eck. The low point might still be coming.

I talk to a lot of people about this team and from that, and what I’ve seen with my own eyes, I’m starting to paint a picture of what this year has been. And it’s ugly. It’s undisciplined. It’s what I think the people in Hutch were trying to get away from when they canned Ryan Swanson a couple of years ago.

Saying all that, I don’t know if you can count them out of the Region VI hunt. Too much talent. But time is running out.

And I’m out. -TA

PS.

Joe Mitchell is still the best guard in the Jayhawk.