Varsity Basketball

The top 50 Wichita-area players to watch in the 2018 high school basketball season

Andover Central beats North in star-studded contest

With Jackie Johnson, Xavier Bell and others on the court, Andover Central and North put on a show. But the Jaguars eventually pulled away, winning 85-52. (Jan. 13, 2018)
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With Jackie Johnson, Xavier Bell and others on the court, Andover Central and North put on a show. But the Jaguars eventually pulled away, winning 85-52. (Jan. 13, 2018)

Top 25 Boys

1. Ty Berry - Newton, 6-4, Jr.

A returning All-Metro selection, Berry is one of the most explosive players in Kansas. His slashing style often keeps defenders on their heels, which opens up his mid-range and three-point shot. He holds 12 scholarship offers, including one from Wichita State.

2. Caleb Grill - Maize, 6-3, Sr.

Grill returns for a highly anticipated senior season. Grill’s athleticism is tough to match with an outstanding vertical and pure shooting stroke. A South Dakota State commit, Grill and his Eagles will be looking to reach the state tournament for the first time since 2015.

3. Xavier Bell - Andover Central, 6-3, Jr.

Bell provides a rare blend of ball handling and size. He is one of the most athletic players in the Wichita area and has Andover Central as one of the favorites in AVCTL II and Class 5A. His finishing at the rim will be key in the 2018-19 season.

4. Cevin Clark - Arkansas City, 5-11, Sr.

Clark was a walking bucket last season. One of most complete scorers in the WIchita area, Clark and his Bulldogs caught fire late last season, reaching the state semifinals and finishing third in Class 4A-Division I over Andover Central.

5. Daylan Jones - Wichita East, 6-4, So.

In one of the most talented freshman classes in recent Wichita history, Jones proved to be the most complete player. Jones is a rangy defender who can post up or drive to the basket. He will be huge to East’s chances in the City League.

6. Jackie Johnson III - Wichita Southeast, So.

Johnson has a new team, but don’t expect a new Jackie. Johnson put up monster numbers at Wichita North last season. Although short in stature, he has a knack to finesse around defenders in the paint or shoot from distance.

7. Harper Williams - Salina Central, 6-0, Sr.

Salina Central was the surprise team in last year’s Class 5A state tournament, and Williams was one of the biggest reasons. The Mustangs live and die by the three-point shot, and Williams has accuracy few in Kansas can match.

8. Jordan Vincent - Eisenhower, 6-1, Jr.

With a ton of turnover at Eisenhower, Vincent remains. After sitting behind his brother, Dylan, for two years, Vincent is set to take over for the Tigers. He is excellent in the paint and might have the best vision in the Wichita area.

9. Sterling Chapman - Campus, So.

Few players have the ability to take over a game like Chapman. Only a sophomore, he has a lot of time to become a more consistent scorer, but Chapman had an outstanding freshman season and is now surrounded by one of the area’s most talented rosters.

10. Kael Kordonowy - Maize South, 6-7, Sr.

Maize South is expected to make a jump in the 2018-19 season, and Kordonowy will be key. At 6-7, he is one of the most challenging players to guard when he is in rhythm. At his size, Kordonowy is a problem for any defense.

11. Johnny Murdock - Wichita Southeast, 6-0, Sr.

12. Steele Chapman - Campus, Jr.

13. Shawn Warrior - Campus, 6-4, Jr.

14. Danair Dempsey - Wichita Heights, So.

15. Carsen Pracht - Bishop Carroll, Sr.

16. Jaden Okon - Wichita Heights, Sr.

17. Easton Hunter - Andale, 6-2, Sr.

18. Jake Alexander - McPherson, 6-4, Sr.

19. Tanner Mans - Bishop Carroll, Jr.

20. Jack Jonson - Andover, 6-1, So.

21. AJ Wilson - Arkansas City, Sr.

22. Easton Leedom - Andover Central, 6-3, Sr.

23. Jude Warren - Circle, 6-1, Sr.

24. Izaiah Hale - Wichita Heights, Sr.

25. Braden Gerber - Halstead, 6-1, Sr.

Top 25 Girls

1. Kennedy Brown - Derby, 6-6, Sr.

With her long-awaited college commitment out of the way, Brown is set to focus on the court. Brown and the Panthers are shooting for back-to-back state championships, and they are the favorite in Class 6A.

2. Tor’e Alford - Derby, 5-8, Sr.

Alford is the most complete point guard in the Wichita area. From ball handling and vision to three-point shooting and finishing around the hoop, Alford adds a piece Derby strives on.

3. Halie Jones - Maize, 5-9, Sr.

Jones has Maize as one of the top teams in the Wichita area. Jones can get to the basket and adds a nice mid-range shot. Her distribution is her best asset, so she will be needed to keep Maize in the state championship hunt.

4. Britney Ho - Bishop Carroll, 6-0, Sr.

Carroll likes to play inside out, and without Ashton McCorry in the mix anymore, Ho will have the ball in her hands a lot this season. Her post play and shooting from the elbow will be a focal point in the Golden Eagles’ offense.

5. Shanti Henry - Andover, 5-7, Sr.

Henry is the best three-point shooter in the Wichita area. She is a threat from anywhere on the opponents’ side of the floor, and that means Andover is in any game. The Trojans will rely on her shooting stroke this season.

6. Allison McFarren - Bishop Carroll, 5-5, Sr.

McFarren is one of the smallest players in the Wichita area, but she is also one of its best. She adds outstanding vision and shooting. Although she is undersized, McFarren is the maestro to the Golden Eagle offense.

7. DesiRay Kernal - Newton, 6-1, Sr.

Kernal is one of the toughest players to guard in the area. She has outstanding movement in the block and great finishing to match. Newton is another contender in one of Kansas’ toughest leagues, and Kernal is a big reason.

8. Carissa Beck - Circle, Sr.

Beck and Circle are looking for their third straight state tournament appearance in the 2018-19 season. The Thunderbirds rely on her to initiate the offense, and she does an outstanding job at getting the ball to her playmakers like Allyson Potter.

9. Riley Hett - McPherson, Sr.

With Taylor Robertson now at Oklahoma, McPherson needs to replace one of the top five players in Kansas from a year ago. Hett is one of the most likely candidates. Hett was a solid contributor to last year’s title-winning team. She will need to step up even more this year.

10. Katie Wagner - Maize South, 5-10, Jr.

Wagner was pushed into the post much of last season, but this year she will likely have a chance to get back to her game. Wagner is a high-volume scorer who can attack in many ways, and with added weapons, the floor should open up even more.

11. Alexis Cauthon - Maize, 5-10, Sr.

12. Allyson Potter - Circle, Sr.

13. Alexis Snodgrass - Maize South, 5-10, Sr.

14. Kade Hackerott - Goddard, 5-11, Jr.

15. Lauren Johnson - Maize South, 5-9, Sr.

16. Maggie Knoblaugh - Andale, Jr.

17. Emily Adler - Rose Hill, Sr.

18. Jayden Marlnee - Augusta, Sr.

19. Sydney Nilles - Derby, 5-8, Jr.

20. Laniah Randle - Wichita Heights, 5-10, So.

21. Austin Broadie - Trinity Academy, So.

22. Abbee Rhodes - Augusta, Sr.

23. Aliyah Myers - Derby, Sr.

24. Elizabeth Baalman - Campus, Sr.

25. Faith Paramore - Haven, 6-0, Jr.

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