Varsity Kansas

Class 6A girls tournament preview

At Koch Arena

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals

3 p.m.: Shawnee Mission West vs. Manhattan

No. 8 SM West (13-9) — It’s been a rollercoaster season for the Viking, who started with four losses and then had a four-game winning streak midway through. Senior Marleah Campbell (6-2) leads the Sunflower League in points (15.4 average) and is second in the league in rebounding (8.3). She has signed with Wyoming. Freshman Kenzie Loe has been a key addition, and since she became a starter in early January, she has averaged nearly 10 points.

No. 1 Manhattan (21-1) — The Indians, who finished unbeaten in the Centennial League, have won 19 straight games and have wins over Hayden, Washburn Rural, Topeka Seaman and McPherson. Manhattan’s top two players are senior forward Darby Price (5-11, 13.6 points, 9.1 rebounds), junior forward Caroline Ballard (5-11, 12.6 points, 7 rebounds) and senior guard Par McNair (3.1 assists). The Indians are back at state for the second time in three seasons after a state drought dating back to 1991.

4:45: Blue Valley North vs. Maize

No. 5 BV North (18-4) — Seniors Maria Klug and Bria Pierce, along with sophomore Micaela Delegarza, average about 11 points. BV North also relies on sophomore Trinity Cuffee and freshman guard Kierra Collier (5-8), who is already considered to be one of the top guards in the Kansas City area and is getting SEC and Big 12 interest. She leads the Mustangs with 14 points and three assists. Coach Ann Fritz’s husband coaches the 6A favorite BV Northwest boys and their son Vince.

No. 4 Maize (18-4) — The Eagles, who lost to BV North in the 2013 third-place game, are led by juniors Keiryn Swenson, a Tulsa commitment, who averages 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds, and Daley Handy (9.5 points, 3.1 assists, 5 rebounds). Maize, which is on a 10-game winning streak, handed Class 5A’s No. 2 seed, Salina Central, its only loss. Maize’s losses are all to state tourney teams, including Wichita South (51-49), Salina Central (49-46), Andover Central (51-39) and Leavenworth (56-52).

6:30: Washburn Rural vs. Wichita South

No. 7 Washburn Rural (15-7) — Putting a finger on exactly what the Junior Blues did to get to state is difficult because some games it has been outstanding defense, other times stellar offense. The Blues, who are back at state for the seventh time in eight seasons, are led by Courtney Winkley (12.8 points, 7.9 rebounds). Other key players are Paige Cunningham (8.9 points, 6.3 rebounds), Jordyn Musselman (8.6 points) and Lauren Biggs (5.8 points, 3.3 assists).

No. 2 Wichita South (21-1) — South starts two sophomores and a junior, yet returned its entire starting lineup after winning the 6A title in 2013. South, which has won 20 straight and 43 of its last 44, is led by sophomore Kendrian Elliott (14.2 points, 11 rebounds), junior Kirea Rogers (9 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals), senior Madison Northcutt (8.7 points, 8 rebounds), sophomore Ericka Mattingly (8.7, 5 steals). The Titans are making their third straight trip to the 6A tournament after four straight seasons during which they won a total of 33 games.

8:15: Shawnee Mission Northwest vs. Olathe South

No. 6 SM Northwest (16-6) — The Cougars, back at state for the second time in three seasons, are led by Brenni Rose (13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists), Arielle Jackson (12.2, 3.4 assists), Brooklyn Wagler (11.4, 3.3 assists) and Tatum Graves (7.1 points). Five of SM Northwest’s losses have been to state tournament qualifiers (Leavenworth, Olathe South, Aquinas, Washburn Rural and SM West), while the sixth was to Truman, Mo., which qualified for its state tournament in Missouri.

No. 3 Olathe South (20-2) — The Falcons, who won 14 straight after losing their second game, are making their 10th straight trip to state and have won 20 games for the 10th straight year. The more impressive stat is 8.4, which is the number of turnovers Olathe South averages. Junior point guard Kylee Kopatich (5-10) has made an oral commitment to Kansas State, and she avearges 12.3 points with a 6.7-1.9 turnover to assist ratio. Bailey Rinehart adds 12.7 points, Jordan Morton 10.2 and Samantha Samskey 7.8.

Friday’s semifinals

BV North-Maize winner vs. SM West-Manhattan winner, 3 p.m.

SM Northwest-Olathe South winner vs. Washburn Rural-Wichita South winner, 6:30

Saturday’s finals

Third-place game, noon

Championship, 4 p.m.

Joanna Chadwick’s picks

Wichita South over BV North

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