Hawks win substate match over Shawnee Mission North

Harmon sophomore Lonell Lane (10) threw down a dunk on a fast-break in the fourth quarter. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Harmon Hawks extended their breakout 2018-2019 season, defeating the Shawnee Mission North Indians 54-44 at Harmon on Wednesday night in the semi-finals of their 6A substate bracket.

Harmon opened an early lead on North, using their speed to create driving opportunities for Marlon Bowens, who picked up 7 points in the quarter. The Hawks finished the first quarter up 14-6.

The Indians stepped up their perimeter defense in the second quarter, frustrating the Hawks’ attempts to infiltrate the lane. Harmon’s guards stuck to the game plan, passing patiently around the perimeter to find the few available openings.

The pace of the game slowed, with Harmon posting only 8 points in the quarter, and they finished the half with a 22-15 advantage.

After the break, Harmon looked for some opportunities outside. Santos Ruiz hit two 3-pointers, and Lonell Lane added another, to put Harmon ahead 35-25 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, North applied a trapping full-court press that caused the Hawks some ball-handling problems. Harmon turnovers let the Indians pull within 5 near the midpoint of the quarter.

North also pushed aggressively on offense, getting 13 opportunities at the foul line and putting key Harmon players into foul trouble. Lane was pulled from the game briefly after picking up his fourth foul with 4 minutes remaining, and Chauncey Keys fouled out just after the 2-minute mark.

North’s trapping defense came with a downside. When Harmon broke the trap, they had plenty of open floor for long outlet passes and runouts. Lane scored on two fast-break windmill dunks in the closing minutes that brought the home fans to their feet.

Lane finished the game with 22 points to lead the Hawks. Bowens scored 13, getting significant minutes off the bench. Santos Ruiz pitched in 11 points.

Harmon’s substate win builds on their already successful season, in which they compiled a 16-3 record and tied with Washington for the Kansas City – Atchison League title, Harmon’s first in over 30 years.

Harmon will play at home against Shawnee Mission East on Friday night at 7 p.m. for the substate championship and a berth in the KSHSAA 6A state tournament in Wichita next weekend.

Other substate playoff results:

6A Boys
Wyandotte 76,  Olathe Northwest 71 (play-in)
Blue Valley Northwest 78, Wyandotte 37 (first round)

6A Girls
Blue Valley West 66,Harmon 12
Shawnee Mission North 47, Wyandotte 27

5A Boys
Sumner 75,Turner 56 (play-in)

5A Girls
Topeka West 54, Turner 19
Schlagle 60,Bonner Springs 32
Sumner 54, Basehor-Linwood 48

4A Boys
Piper 69, Paola 34

3A Boys
Santa Fe Trail 82, Bishop Ward 64

3A Girls

Bishop Ward 47, Silver Lake 21

Harmon senior Marlon Bowens (2) put up a runner in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Harmon sophomore Michael Carson (23) took a short-range shot from the baseline. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Harmon senior Marcus Wilbert (0) blocked a shot from North senior Amari Williams. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Harmon head coach Dave Gonzales counseled his team to cool their emotions as the game become tense in the closing minutes. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


The Harmon cheerleaders celebrated after a last-second dunk by Lonell Lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Harmon sophomore Chauncey Keys (35) put up a shot over North senior Jackson Bell (10). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Lonell Lane went up for a shot in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


The North cheerleaders performed stunts during a break in the action. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


The Harmon pep band entertained the crowd at halftime. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Marlon Bowens took a three-point shot. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Harmon senior guard Santos Ruiz looked for an opening in the Indians defense. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Pirates run sinks Stallions, 72-53

Piper senior LaKya Leslie (24) dribbled the ball against Schlagle sophomore Tylieea Wallace (32). (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Two of Kansas’s best girls high school basketball teams went head-to-head Thursday night, when the Schlagle Lady Stallions visited Piper to take on the undefeated Lady Pirates. Piper came away with the victory, 72-53, due in large part to a big second-quarter run.

With sub-state tournament brackets already set on Wednesday, and no effect on the schools’ standings, the game was simply about the competitive fire of both teams. That spirit showed out in a hard-fought contest with fifty personal fouls called.

Schlagle matched Piper stride for stride from the opening tip, using good floor spacing and confident passing to slip past the first layer of the Piper press.

Ishante Suttington was effective in closing out possessions, picking up 9 points in the quarter, mostly off the drive. The fast-paced quarter ended with Schlagle up 21-20.

The first few minutes of the second quarter stayed even, but with five minutes left in the half, the Lady Pirates started a 19-to-1 run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Grace Banes. Foul trouble also accumulated for Schlagle, which ended the half with four starters with three fouls each.

The third quarter saw the Lady Stallions regain their footing. Suttington hit twice from outside, while Tylieea Wallace got going inside. Schlagle outscored Piper by two in the quarter, but were still left at a 63-47 disadvantage when it ended.

Scoring was slow in the fourth quarter, with Piper content to play the clock, and both teams worn by the physical struggle of the game.

Ali Vigil led Piper with 25 points, while Ryan Cobbins, Evelyn Vazquez and Banes each scored 11. Suttington scored 23 to lead Schlagle, and Wallace added 10. The 53 points scored by Schlagle were the most by a Piper opponent all season.

Piper will travel to Eudora on Friday to play the Cardinals, who are just a half-game behind them in the Frontier League Standings. They’ll begin post-season play next Thursday at 7 p.m., at home against the winner of a play-in game between Coffeyville’s Field Kindley High School and Tonganoxie.

Schlagle will open the 5A sub-state playoffs at home against Bonner Springs on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Piper junior Ali Vigil (25) shot a mid-range jumper from the lane. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Schlagle junior Ishante Suttington (23) shot a floater in the lane. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Schlagle junior Camille Evans (1) went up for a layup. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Piper junior Grace Banes (15) drove the lane for a layup. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Schlagle senior Tynical Gilmore’s (21) shot was contested by Piper senior Ayreona Carter (32). (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Piper freshman Sanya Simmons (1) tried to get past Schlagle freshman Armanaie Blacksure (4). (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Ayreona Carter shot a layup. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Tylieea Wallace secured a defensive rebound against LaKya Leslie. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Piper sophomore Evelyn Vazquez (3) scored on a fast-break layup. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)





Bonner Springs comes back against Piper, 67-60

Bonner Springs senior Keyon Thomas (23) used a scoop move to get around the defense of Piper senior Braijion Barnes (4). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Bonner Springs boys basketball team came from a 10-point deficit to beat Piper in Bonner Springs on Tuesday night.

The win pulls the Braves (7-1 Frontier League, 15-2 overall) within a half-game of the league-leading Pirates (8-1, 13-4) and sets up some drama for the closing days of the regular season.

The Pirates started strong, limiting Bonner’s penetration, and rejecting shots from the paint. At times Piper positioned Braijion Barnes squarely in front of the basket to protect the rim. A run early in the second quarter shot Piper to a 20-10 advantage.

The Braves rallied late in the second half, briefly taking the lead before Piper got two consecutive stops and a 26-24 halftime lead.

The Pirates started strong out of the halftime break, but their lead evaporated as Braves guard Keyon Thomas heated up, hitting two 3-pointers and finding some open driving lanes.

In one thrilling segment of the third quarter, Thomas and Rishaud Dockery traded 3-pointers with the Pirates’ Braijion Barnes, sending the packed student sections of both teams into an uproar. Bonner finished the quarter with a 44-37 advantage.

Piper’s Tamar Bates shifted into overdrive in the fourth quarter, picking up 12 points, including two 3-pointers. However, Bonner was able to maintain their margin and closed out the game.

The night ended on a sour note when a brief shoving match broke out in the handshake line, getting both teams sent straight to the lockers.

Thomas led the Braves with 29 points. Rishaud Dockery added 14, and was 5-of-6 from the line.  A.J. Watson scored 11.

Tamar Bates paced the Pirates with 20 points, while Trey Bates scored 13.

Bonner Springs will play on Friday at Louisburg. Piper’s next game is a non-conference game at home against Schlagle next Tuesday.

Bonner Springs senior Nasjon Porter (15) went high to knock away a shot from Piper sophomore Tamar Bates (14). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Bonner Springs senior Noah Villarreal (24) pulled down an offensive rebound. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Tamar Bates (14) made a move in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper senior Brandan Jackson (21) pulled down an offensive rebound. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Keyon Thomas hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Braijion Barnes was an effective blocker around the basket. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
The Bonner Springs cheerleaders performed their competition-winning routine during halftime. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper sophomore Tamar Bates (14) kept pace with A.J. Watson. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Bonner Springs senior A.J. Watson pushed the ball up court. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
The Dazzlers dance group added some guest dancers to perform a couples-themed Valentines dance. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)