Varsity Basketball

Class 6A girls

At Koch Arena

Thursday's Quarterfinals

3 P.M.

No. 7 Washburn Rural (16-6) —The Junior Blues have a speedy backcourt combination in Taylor Zordel (11 points) and Erika Lane (14 points) that have a knack for for penetrating. Each can finish or has the ability to kick it out to scorers like Katlyn Aschenbrenner (11. 5 points.) This team has made five consecutive state appearances.

No. 2 Olathe South (21-1) —Guard play from Natalie Knight (17 points, 6 assists) and Megan Balcom (13 points) makes Olathe South dangerous. This team will play tough man defense, and Knight averages 4.6 steals, which helps fuel its transition offense. Balcom, Knight and Alex Hugo (11 points) have the ability to create offense off the dribble.

4:45

No. 6 Maize (17-5) —Maize's offensive balance and consistency in its halfcourt defense have been its strong points. Jurnee Reid (12.9 points) and Paige Lungwitz (10.4 points) lead the team in scoring and in steals. All but one of the Eagles' starters average at least two steals.

No. 3 SM West (20-2) —SM West has played in four state tournaments since 2007. It is on an eight-game winning streak in which it has outscored opponents by an average of 17 points. Lizzy Jeronimus (18 points, 6 assists) leads seven seniors that have played together since 2008.

6:30

No. 8 Blue Valley Northwest (8-14) —BV Northwest lost eight consecutive games late in the season, but rallied to make the state tournament for the first time since 1996. It will slow the tempo and extend games, and look to post Emily Wells (10 points).

No. 1 Wichita Heights (22-0) —Heights' smothering defense (28.6 steals) creates offense for transition scorers like Taylor Chandler and Tahlia Pope. Point guard Mary Sims (5.4 assists) has the vision to find Jhasmin Bowen (14 points) inside or Allegria Chisom on the wing. Heights has outscored teams an average of 74-30.

8:15

No. 5 Wichita Northwest (18-4) —The Grizzlies have the ablility to speed up the tempo with guards Brianna Caldwell (13 points) and T Nolen, or be patient and find Alaina Shine (11 points) in the post. Cassidy Harbert provides defensive intensity. Northwest has won nine of its last 10 games.

No. 4 Olathe East (18-4) —Under first-year Clint Evans, Olathe East made the state tournament for the first time since 2005. Olathe East has been riding defense on its 13-game win streak. Senior center Sanayika Shields is a defensive leader and averages 12 points. Katie Hannam averages 10 points.

Friday's Semifinals

Olathe South-Washburn Rural winner vs. SM West-Maize winner, 3 p.m.

Wichita Heights-BV Northwest winner vs. Olathe East-Wichita Northwest winner, 6:30

Saturday's Finals

Third-place game, noon

Championship, 4 p.m.

The Eagle's Picks

Joanna Chadwick: Wichita Heights over Olathe South

Chris Elliott: Wichita Heights over Olathe South

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