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The Piper High School girls basketball team advanced to the state semifinals with a 77-70 victory over Coffeyville March 12. Here they pose with a trophy following the substate victory. (Piper file photo)
by Mary Rupert
The Piper High School girls basketball team made the final four, advancing to the state semifinals with a 77-70 victory March 12 over Coffeyville.
The Lady Pirates advanced to the semifinal game, which will be at 6:30 p.m. March 14 in Salina, Kan., vs. No. 1 seed, Wamego. Both teams have won at least 20 games this season.
Doug Key, Piper athletic director, said Wamego has a 23-0 record this season with a 39-game winning streak. Piper this year is 20-3.
Key noted that Wednesday night’s victory over Coffeyville was probably the most points scored all year by the Lady Pirates.
He said Piper players who led in Wednesday’s scoring included Haley White, Megan Woolley and Jessica Wayne.
“Everybody that played really contributed last night,” he said. “It was a great team victory.”
In other high school basketball action, Washington High School lost 73-47 to Highland Park on Wednesday in Class 5A boys competition.
Sumner Academy (10-12) takes on McPherson (20-1) in Class 4A boys basketball competition at 6:30 p.m. March 13.
by Alan Hoskins
From worst to first? “I don’t think that’s unrealistic depending on how recruiting finishes up,” said Kansas City Kansas Community College first year men’s basketball coach Kelley Newton.
“I think the future is bright. I love the foundation we’ve laid, the direction the program is going and see us just getting better and better and better,” Newton said.
While a 7-25 overall record and winless Jayhawk Division II season was not what Newton had envisioned when he was named head coach July 8, 2013, the record belies the improvement made by the Blue Devils by season’s end.
Although down to just seven healthy players the last 11 games due to injuries and suspensions for team policy violations, the Blue Devils took four of the last five regular season games right to the wire – losing two by one point and two by two points – before avenging two earlier losses with a 69-57 upset win at Johnson County in the first round of the Region VI playoffs.
The big finish came without a sophomore on the squad – or a player taller than 6-foot, 4 inches. Lucas Smith, a 6-3 forward from Omaha, led the regular season in both scoring (11.0) and rebounding (7.4) although 6-4 Marcus Allen, a Sumner Academy grad who joined the team at the semester break, had the best average of 12.4 points in 15 games along with 5.3 rebounds.
Clay Young, a 6-4 forward from Lansing, was second in scoring (10.0) and rebounding (5.6) while 5-8 point guard Anthony Ridley of Hogan Prep led in assists (4.4) while averaging 8.9 points and 2.9 rebounds.
Stephen Leimbach of St. James Academy led in 3-point goals with 70 while averaging 8.4 points; guard Nate Collins of Pembroke Hill was second in assists with 2.7 and averaged 3.8 points; and Collin Adney of Oklahoma City averaged 4.2 points.
“Throughout the course of the season, I think we grew up and when you grow up you get better,” Kelley said. “I think Clay Young really matured and became a better player and Anthony Ridley became a better basketball player just to name a couple.”
But the Blue Devils were without their one returning starter from a year ago, guard Antonio Winn who suffered a season-ending leg injury in the second game of the season, and lost a 21.8-point guard in Brandon Ward to academics at the semester break.
The Blue Devils also played a gargantuan road schedule with 12 of their first 15 games on the road against top notch opponents.
“We never make excuses,” Newton said. “I never allow a team to make excuses. You start making excuses, you’ve already lost or are looking for a way out. That’s a topic for someone else. As a team, they’re told that no matter what hand they are dealt, to never give up and through the course of the season they put us in position to win basketball games.”
The Blue Devils played six two-game classics, five on the road. That won’t happen this coming season as some former opponents return to the schedule.
Labette has joined Johnson County, Fort Scott, Highland, Hesston, Brown Mackie and KCKCC in a seven-team Division II conference while the Blue Devils will resume Jayhawk Conference play with Division I teams Cowley, Neosho County and Allen County at home and Independence and Coffeyville on the road.
“We played hard this year but we need to get better in a lot of different areas and we can through recruiting,” Newton said. “One of my goals is to get the school and community behind us and pack the Field House every night. I want this program to be known nationally, not just conference-wide.”
Derrick Miller Jr.
Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Derrick E. Miller Jr. graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Miller is the son of Shawna Super and grandson of Fredonia Super, both of Kansas City, Kan. He is a 2013 graduate of Washington High School, Kansas City, Kan.
by Kelly Rogge
Kansas City Kansas Community College is having a Spring Fling Celebration later this week.
The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 14 in Lower Jewell on the KCKCC campus, 7250 State Ave. The event is free to all students. However, raffle tickets can be purchased in Room 2313 or from any Student Senate Officer for a chance to win an iPad Mini.
In addition, The Strive will be performing live throughout the Spring Fling event, which serves as a sendoff into spring break from Student Senate. Spring break is March 17 to 22.
The band, Strive, is a nationally-known pop band from the Kansas City area. It released its debut EP, Anything Goes, in 2011 and is known for its infectious spin on the current “pop-vibe.” In addition to performing at Kansas City hotspots such as the Beaumont Club and Uptown Theatre, it has also played shows in Milwaukee, Dallas, Austin and Houston and were featured at Mix 93.3’s “Red, White & Boom” concert that featured additional performances from Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw.
The Blue Devil Deli will be selling a barbecue lunch for $6. This includes a pulled pork or turkey sliders, barbecued beans and chips.
For more information, contact Linda Sutton at 913-288-7652 or by email at email@example.com.
Red Flag Warning: Avoid outdoor burning this afternoon (National Weather Service graphic)
Wyandotte County will be under a red flag warning from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 13, according to the National Weather Service.
The red flag warning means there is extreme fire danger this afternoon for eastern Kansas and western Missouri, according to the weather service.
Today’s high will be 70 degrees, and sunny skies are forecast.
The higher temperatures and breezy winds will raise fire weather concerns through the afternoon, according to the weather service.
Low humidity, winds, dry conditions and temperatures present a danger of fire, where little sparks could carry a flame easily, the weather service said.
The weather service said all outdoor burning should be avoided.
Once the sun goes down, the fire danger threat should diminish significantly, the weather service said.
Fans cheered as Sporting KC won its home opener, 1-0, March 12 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by William Crum)
by William Crum
With only 17 minutes into the game, Sporting Kansas City scored the first goal in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals action Wednesday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
The goal was made by Kevin Ellis (No. 4), and at halftime the score was Sporting Kansas City 1, Cruz Azul 0.
This is truly a game that you would not believe, with a sellout crowd of 18,467.
After halftime the battle raged on to the bitter end, and the final score was 1-0.
The second of this two-leg match will be played March 19 in Mexico City, and the team with the most points at the end of the two games will advance to the semifinals.
This was the home opener this season for Sporting Kansas City. If this is how they play the home opener, one can only imagine how they will do the rest of the season.