Varsity Kansas

Circle Thunderbirds

BOYS

Coach Burt Helmer

31-15 in two seasons

PROBABLE STARTERS

F Jordan Phillips 6-6 Sr.

F Alex Gardinier 6-2 Sr.

G Brett Tunnell 5-11 Sr.

G Kanyon Kinder 6-0 Sr.

G Nick Warren 6-1 Sr.

TOP RESERVES

G Adam Ronnebaum 6-3 Jr.

G Caleb Kirkpatrick 6-0 Jr.

G Gage Walker 6-0 Jr.

BREAKDOWN

The Thunderbirds (14-10 last season) will rely on the varsity experience of Phillips and Gardinier to carry it for the first half of the season. Helmer said he doesn’t expect the team to jell and play its best basketball until January.

Gardinier is a smart and scrappy defender who inspires the rest of his team with his defensive intensity and willingness to run the court on fast breaks.

Phillips provides athleticism around the basket that leads to rebounds and scoring opportunities for returning starters Kinder and Tunnel off outlet passes.

— Chris Elliott

GIRLS

Coach Brian Henry

60-29 in five seasons

PROBABLE STARTERS

G Kyrstie Ehm 5-10 Sr.

G Charity Horn 5-3 Jr.

G Kayla Morton 5-6 Jr.

G Haley Barrett 5-6 Sr.

G Hanna Flaming 5-10 Sr.

TOP RESERVES

G Courtney Kifer 5-7 Jr.

BREAKDOWN

Ehm (16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals) led a defensively aggressive Thunderbirds team to the Class 4A quarterfinals. Circle finished 19-4 and returns two other starters and three additional lettermen.

Henry will use his four-guard system to try and pressure opponents into turnovers and scoring in transition. The team will also look to spread the floor and use its speed to penetrate and finish.

Flaming (8.2 points, 4 rebounds) will anchor an experienced team in the paint as it tries to return to the Class 4A tournament.

THE SCHEDULE

December

6-11—Circle tournament. 14—at Clearwater; 11—Andale.

January

4—Maize South. 7—at Wellington; 11—Collegiate; 14—at Augusta; 21—Rose Hill (girls); 20-22—El Dorado tournament (boys), 28—Rose Hill (boys); 27-29—El Dorado tournament (girls).

February

1—at Mulvane; 8—Winfield; 11—Clearwater; 15—at Andale; 18—Wellington; 22—at Maize South. 24—at Collegiate.

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