Varsity Basketball

Cancellations a disruption for everybody's schedules

The cold and snow this week resulted in school closings across much of Kansas, which also meant postponed games and canceled practices.

As frustrating as it is to head into tonight's games with less time on the court as usual, coaches shrugged it off. Everyone is in the same boat.

"It throws you out of sync when you miss a game," Goddard girls coach Lee Keller said. "Especially for us, we're getting to the end of the year where you're trying to get some things going. But this might have helped us. We had some sickness and hopefully it will help us get a little healed up."

For many, the schedule is now condensed, which means teams could be playing three games a week heading into the postseason.

Next week, Andale plays Rose Hill on Tuesday, has a makeup game with Maize South on Feb. 10 and a game with Wellington on Feb. 11. It is playing a makeup game with Winfield on Feb. 14 and then plays Circle on Feb. 15 and Collegiate on Feb. 18.

"It gets to the point where, hopefully all those things we practiced over and over and over, that we can utilize those things in the game and win some tough ones," Andale boys coach Jeff Buchanan said. "There's not going to be any easy games."

Rockets take needed break _ When Rose Hill plays its rescheduled game against Clearwater on Monday, it will have gone a week and a half without game action. Usually girls coach Jenny Page wouldn't want that much time off between games, but after a 0-3 showing in the Newton tournament, Page welcomes the break.

"We feel like defensively we haven't been where we want to be," Page said. "That's what we're going to fix first and foremost.... We have five seniors on this team that all play quality minutes and we talked to them about going out and producing for us. Then it's about fixing the little things — taking care of the ball, hitting shots when you're open."

Rose Hill entered the Newton tournament as one of the top seeds at 9-1 and lost all three of its games against teams with losing records. The Rockets' leading scorers, Kayla Justice (14.6 points) and Kelsey Webber (12.2), were off their games.

"When they're playing well, I think we're good," Page said. "Everybody else understands their roles and feeds off of them. When they've struggled, then we've struggled to figure out who else is going to step up, score for us and even be a leader on the floor."

Page said the tournament was a turning point for the Rockets, and they will use their time off to prepare for the last three weeks of the season so that they don't have a similar breakdown in sub-state.

Time to finish strong _ The Andale boys had a rocky start, losing three of their first four games. But in the Indians' last seven games, they are 5-2. Even more important, they are playing better basketball.

"It takes a little time to get in the basketball groove," Buchanan said. "We had some things that we had to get figured out, and they've done a great job. They've played some really good basketball after Christmas.

"... They're playing together more. Guys have taken on some roles that have helped the team. They found a way to win a close one against Mulvane (Jan. 28) and as a whole, they're playing well."

Dylan Hawkins leads the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division II with 15.2 points per game. And while no other Andale player is in the league's top 15, they're still producing how Buchanan wants them to.

"They've all kind of had their nights," he said. "That's the nice thing about having five guards. Every single one of them has their nights off and on, and they pick each other up."

Austin Meyer, a three-year starting point guard, has done a nice job leading the team, while Brett Archer came off the bench to average 10 points during the Halstead tournament in January.

Andale must continue improving, especially with Circle (11-2), Collegiate (11-1) and Wellington (8-5) remaining on the schedule.

Hart to play against Maize — Goddard leading scorer Kija Hart (17.5 points) missed the McPherson tournament with bronchitis, forcing Ashley Foss and Shelby Zoglman to turn up their scoring.

The Lions' only loss during the tournament was to No. 5 McPherson and that experience is something coach Lee Keller said his team (10-3) needed in preparation for No. 10 Maize tonight.

"It will help a lot to get her (Hart) back," Keller said. "The McPherson tournament got some other girls to score and get some confidence."

Keller said that Hart will play against Maize (10-2).