Piper boys win state basketball championship

Piper senior Brandan Jackson held the state championship trophy high. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Piper High School boys basketball team won the 4A KSHSAA state championship, defeating Augusta 86-53 in the tournament final in Salina on Saturday evening. It’s the first basketball championship in Piper school history.

Piper controlled the game from early on, outscoring the Orioles 20 to 12 in the opening quarter. The Pirates used their length to bother the Augusta shooters, and they used their speed to get to the basket and to misdirect the Oriole defense.

Piper senior Trey Bates controlled the offense, and his quick first step caused problems on the perimeter. He was repeatedly able to get space from his defender with a decoy move, then used the space for a step-back jumper or to find a teammate streaking to the basket. Piper got 46 points in the paint because of the quick movement out front, and active cutters to the lane along the baseline.

With a 17-point lead going into the fourth quarter, Piper piled on, leaving no chance for a comeback. They continued to look for high-percentage shots, hitting 68 percent of their second-half chances.

Trey Bates led the scoring with 21 in his last game in a Piper uniform. Tamar Bates was right behind with 20 points, and Friday night’s hero Ty Shelley poured in 15, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.

The state championship caps a 20-4 season, in which the Pirates also captured their first Frontier League title.

The Piper boys basketball team posed together after winning the 4A state championship. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper senior Trey Bates (1) wiped away tears as he left the court for the final time as a Pirate. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
The Piper cheerleaders reacted to the championship win. The Piper cheerleading team also won a state championship this year. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper senior Braijion Barnes (4) went sky-high for a basket in the second half. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper brought along a large and noisy contingent of fans to the Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper sophomore Tamar Bates (2) went up for a shot in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Brandan Jackson shot a runner in the lane. Jackson finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Trey Bates made a move off the dribble to get past Augusta defender Blake Altenhofen (4). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper coach Toure Grimes addressed the team during a timeout in the second half. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Piper junior Gabe Eskina (24) drove in along the left baseline. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Tamar Bates drove in from the left side. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Trey Bates pulled down an offensive rebound in the second half. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Gabe Eskina had a shot blocked by Augusta’s Ely Wilcox (25). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Braijion Barnes came down with a dunk. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Trey Bates released a 3-point shot from the right elbow. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Braijion Barnes went up with a runner in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Braijion Barnes lined up a 3-point shot from the left corner. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
Trey Bates drove to the basket. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Lady Pirates runners-up at 4A state tourney

The 2018-2019 Piper Lady Pirates posed together with the 4A state tournament runner-up trophy. Piper lost the final game against Bishop Miege, 60-41. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

The Piper Lady Pirates suffered their only loss of the season in their showdown with the Bishop Miege Lady Stags in the final of the 4A KSHSAA state tournament in Salina. The contest featured Kansas’s two best girls basketball teams, but the final result seemed set early on.

Bishop Miege’s speed prevented Piper from enforcing their usual trapping defense, and Miege took full advantage, pushing the ball ahead and using sharp inlet passes to create easy shots.

Piper’s odds dimmed less than two minutes in when forward Ali Vigil went down with a knee injury while trying to cut off a Miege shooter. Vigil was on the floor for a few minutes before being carried off the court by trainers. She returned to the bench in the second half on crutches.

Miege’s defense also kept Piper off balance. They were able to keep the Piper guards in front of them, and Piper wasn’t able to free up their outside shooters. Piper found the most success directly off the dribble from guards Evelyn Vazquez and Samiya Simmons.

When Piper’s forwards attempted to go inside, they were met with fierce resistance. Miege picked up a total of 10 blocks in the game. Piper’s usually accurate shooting suffered, dropping to 28 percent from the field.

Vazquez led the Lady Pirates with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Ryan Cobbins scored 9 points, and Saniya Simmons added 8.

Piper ends the season with a 23-1 record, and conference and substate championships.

Evelyn Vazquez went up for a layup. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Senior Ryan Cobbins (23) went up for a layup. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper senior LaKya Leslie (24) had her shot blocked by Miege’s Faith Hawthorne (33). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper junior Riley Porter (12) had her shot in the lane blocked from behind. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper sophomore Jessica Thomas (21) took an outside jump shot. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper junior Grace Banes (15) drove in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper sophomore Evelyn Vazquez (3) drove to the basket against Bishop Miege’s Johnni Gonzalez (4). Vazquez led the Pirates with 12 points. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Evelyn Vazquez tried an up-and-under move to get around the Miege defense. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Riley Porter took a shot defended by Miege’s Ashton Verhulst (42). (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Piper freshman Saniya Simmons (1) went up for a layup. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

Lady Stallions fall to Blue Valley Southwest, 43-41

Schlagle guard Armanaie Blacksure (4) hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter against Blue Valley Southwest. Blacksure made 5-11 shots from 3-point range. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

by Wyandotte Daily Sports

The Schlagle High School girls basketball team lost to Blue Valley Southwest on Friday evening, 43-41, narrowly missing the opportunity to play in the 5A KSHSAA state title game on Saturday.

Schlagle held a 25-20 halftime lead, but Southwest clawed its way back in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Stallions by nine to pull ahead.

Schlagle stayed close through the closing quarter, but wasn’t able to close the gap. A final, potentially game-winning 3-point shot from Armanaie Blacksure fell short.

Blacksure led the Lady Stallions in scoring, picking up 18 points, including 5-for-11 on 3-point shots. Camille Evans scored 12 and pulled down 10 rebounds. Ishante Suttington, the Lady Stallions’ leading scorer for the season, was not able to play because of a knee injury.

Schlagle will play for third place on Saturday against the McPherson Lady Bullpups. The game will take place at noon at the Emporia-White Auditorium.

Schlagle guard Camille Evans (1) took a short-range jumper over Southwest’s Amiah Simmons (13). (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle forward Tylieea Wallace (32) grabbed a rebound during the first quarter against Blue Valley Southwest. Wallace finished the game with six  rebounds. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle forward Sofia Cook (10) pulled down a rebound during the third quarter against Blue Valley Southwest. Cook finished with three rebounds. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle guard Armanaie Blacksure (4) drove in the lane during the first quarter versus Blue Valley Southwest. Blacksure finished the contest with a game-high 18 points. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle guard Tynica Gilmore (21) took a jump shot during the third quarter versus Blue Valley Southwest. Gilmore finished with 2 points. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle guard Camille Evans (1) drove the lane during the first quarter against Blue Valley Southwest. Evans finished the game with 12 points. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

The Schlagle cheerleaders performed during the game. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle guard Camille Evans (1) drove the ball. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Schlagle forward Sofia Cook (10) got ready on defense during the second quarter against Blue Valley Southwest. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

The Schlagle band entertained fans during the game. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

The Schlagle Auxiliary performed with the band during the game. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Tylieea Wallace posted up against Blue Valley Southwest’s Arielle Sargent (30). (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

Armanaie Blacksure put up a shot in the lane. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)

 

The Schlagle band performed during the game. (Photo copyright 2019 by Nick Verbenec)