Cheney boys coach Stan Dohm is aware that there are those who question him for adding Collegiate (1-0), the two-time defending Class 3A champ, to the Cheney tournament because it could mean a loss.
Dohm doesn't care.
"You want to challenge yourself," said Dohm, whose team is 2-0. "We have a good group of guys, and they would want this challenge."
Cheney will play host to Collegiate tonight, with the girls at 6, boys at 7:30.
It's also an excellent girls matchup. Cheney is Class 4A's top-ranked team, while Collegiate is ranked second in 3A.
Cheney's lone returner from last season's 17-4 team is Sean Osler, who averaged nearly 20 points. He's a strong ballhandler and passer.
Dohm has moved Osler to the perimeter because of the emergence of Joe Hubener, a 6-foot-6 senior.
"He'll be the X-factor," said Dohm of Hubener, who has 26 rebounds in two games."... He got nine offensive rebounds down at Medicine Lodge. He runs the floor really well. He gets out on the break."
Newton finds the right guard — It was a given that Newton's girls team was going to cause trouble for opponents when it got into its halfcourt offense. It had 6-foot-4, 16-point scorer Kate Lehman returning and three other 5-10 starters that pose serious matchup problems in around the basket.
Newton coach Randy Jordan though the play of junior point guard Maddie Pendry would determine how successful his team would be in the long run. What the Railers (4-0) got in the first-year starter has been a playmaker that doesn't turn the ball over.
"She's really made the difference between this year and last year," Jordan said. "Pressure doesn't bother her. Against Thomas More Prep she had eight assists and one turnover. That kind of efficiency from a point guard is invaluable."
Teams have tried to press and trap Newton in an effort to disrupt its offense, but Pendry's composure has been solid. The Railers beat Thomas More Prep, the third-ranked team in Class 3A, in the Hays Shootout, and Salina South (No. 5 in Class 5A) on Tuesday. Newton plays at Salina Central tonight.
School district fund-raisers for survivors — At tonight's Hartford-Olpe game, the Southern Lyon County school district will have a variety of fund-raisers for the families of three Neosho Rapids hunters who drowned on Saturday at John Redmond Reservoir.
Jason Jenkins, 40, and his son, Jeremy, 11, drowned while hunting with Jeremy's uncle, Clinton Yeager, 22. Jeremy's body has not been found.
"It's a devastating tragedy," superintendent Mike Argabright said."... In small school districts, small communities, they are large families."
Hartford's game with Waverly on Tuesday was postponed because of the ongoing search for Jeremy's body. But tonight's game will be about raising money for the family.
Argabright said a portion of the gate receipts will go to the family. There will also be raffles and three-point shootouts at halftime.
A big win — Word of Life helped Maize fill a hole in its schedule on Monday, and then beat the Eagles.
"We started in a press and let them know we were coming and not trying to sit back and hope for a win," Word of Life coach Ryan Huijing said.
Word of Life is led by senior Dolan Greathouse, who transferred from Kapaun Mount Carmel after his sophomore season. Greathouse is averaging 13.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Serbian foreign-exchange students Aleks Milanovic and Luka Djurisic, are also playing key roles. Milanovic is averaging 11 points, while Djurisic is around 10.
Word of Life is playing in the Emporia tournament against Emporia and Junction City, Class 5A and 6A schools. Word of Life, which is an approved school and not a part of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, has 105 students in grades 9-12.
"Winning games against quality opponents is what means something," Huijing said. "We want to go up against anybody in our state."
Heights to test Grizzlies' ball control — Northwest (2-0, 2-0 City League) will play host to Heights (2-0, 2-0) in a girls game that coach Jim Mernagh and top players Brianna Caldwell and Alaina Shine will use as a measuring stick.
"We're excited about the chance to see where we're at," Mernagh said. "You want to play the best and see how we measure up. They are definitely the best."
There is no secret that Heights will trap , but Northwest hopes guards T. Nolen and Caldwell are up to the challenge.
"We've got to try and stay away from dribbling too much, especially against their trap," Mernagh said. "We need to get to the spots and stay under control."