College Sports

Taking notice of Sunrise Christian

That the Sunrise Christian boys basketball program flies under the radar is understandable.

Sunrise, located in Bel Aire, isn't part of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. It's an approved school, which means it can play KSHSAA schools, but it cannot participate in the postseason.

But it's a good idea to take notice of Sunrise.

Sunrise is 13-1 with a talented roster that includes Raphael Akepiejiori (6-foot-9, 230 pounds), a Miami (Fla.) commitment who's Nigerian and playing his first season at Sunrise.

Sunrise plays a wide range of Kansas schools from Liberal to Dodge City (Feb. 5), Centre and Maize South.

And it travels. In the Kreul Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. —Sunrise isn't subject to the association rule barring travel of more than 500 miles from Kansas — Sunrise took third after beating a Class 6A Florida school, Cypress Bay.

Sunrise's loss was to eventual champion Jacksonville Providence, a 2A prep school, which is ranked 21st by MaxPreps.com.

"While what we're doing is awesome, nobody knows how good we are," Lindsted said."... We totally fly under the radar."

Becoming a member school would likely change that.

"We'd be 2A, and I think people would be making a fuss about us," Lindsted said.

He's probably right.

City League girls — Finally, City League girls basketball gets more interesting.

Heights (6-1, 4-0 CL) plays host to Northwest (6-1, 5-1) at 6 tonight, then plays host to Bishop Carroll (6-0, 6-0) on Tuesday.

"It's going to be really good for us," Heights coach Kip Pulliam said. "We play the other top teams picked to win our league, and it will be good for us to see where we are midway through the season and compare ourselves."

Heights, which finished third in the highly touted Fort Smith (Ark.) tournament in December, hasn't played since Dec. 18. The Falcons also play host to Maize at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Another surprise — With virtually the same lineup as last season's team that won three games, Northwest is atop the City League boys standings.

Sophomore Craig Nicholson bulked up a bit and is running the point well, while sophomore June Johnson has to be one of the City League's most athletic players coming off the bench.

The only knock on Northwest is quality wins. The Grizzlies opened the season with a two-point victory over Carroll, then a 14-point win over Southeast. That Southeast win is key because the Buffaloes are the only team in the league to beat Heights.

But Northwest lost to North and beat South by six, West by seven.

A victory over Heights (4-2, 4-1) tonight would solidify the Grizzlies as a City League contender.

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