Southeast, Heights fight to one of the premier games of the City League
The City League girls basketball title was clinched Friday, but none of the others have been won outright. Here are the number of league wins needed from each of the league leaders across the Wichita area to clinch it outright. All teams that need one win have already earned a share.
City League Boys: 1 (Wichita Southeast)
City League Girls: 0 (Wichita Heights)
AVCTL I Boys: 1 (Maize)
AVCTL I Girls: 1 (Derby)
AVCTL II Boys: 1 (Andover Central)
AVCTL II Girls: 2 (Maize South)
AVCTL III Boys: 1 (McPherson)
AVCTL III Girls: 2 (McPherson)
AVCTL IV Boys: 2 (Andale)
AVCTL IV Girls: 2 (Rose Hill)
Central Plains League Boys: 2 (Trinity Academy)
Central Plains League Girls: 2 (Cheney, Garden Plain)
Herd of steam
As teams have started to hit attrition, Wichita Southeast has the longest win streak of any team in the Wichita area outside of undefeated Maize.
The Golden Buffaloes have won seven straight after their 72-64 home win over Wichita Heights. They never trailed and handed the Falcons their third City League loss on a Tuesday night. Southeast has clinched a share of the City League title and needs a home win against Kapaun on Friday to win it outright for the first time since 2008.
Southeast coach Joe Mitchell was a junior.
“This was huge for us,” Mitchell said. “I circled this day on the calendar way before this night. I felt like we didn’t play Southeast basketball (in the first meeting), and I couldn’t wait to get out here. Our kids couldn’t wait to get out here.”
Sophomore Jackie Johnson led all scorers with 28. Junior Micah Jacques added 13. Senior Johnny Murdock had 11. And senior Breelyn Wright made the play of the night as he blocked Heights senior K’Vonte Baker on a transition layup with about 4 minutes to go. Murdock hit Johnson on a fastbreak and hit a three-pointer to make it a nine-point game.
Not so fast
Andover Central hadn’t lost in more than a month.
The Jaguars did Tuesday in a 70-66 home loss to Maize South, AVCTL II’s only team that can still clinch a share of the league title. Maize South coach Kip Schultz said though his group knew Andover Central’s prestige, the Mavericks weren’t scared and believed they were going to keep the race alive.
“We’ve only been a program for 10 years,” Schultz said. “We had only won one game at their place going into tonight.”
Maize South shadowed Andover Central’s big 3: Xavier Bell, Braden Belt and Easton Leedom. Schultz said they weren’t face-guarded, but when they passed to ball off, the Mavericks turned up the off-ball pressure.
Maize South senior Kael Kordonowy and junior Trey Reid led the way with 21 points each, and Kordonowy has still earned a double-double in every game this season.
To seal a share of the league title, the Mavericks will need to win at home against Arkansas City, who have lost two straight, and at Eisenhower. And Andover Central must lost its final two league games at Valley Center, on a five-game losing streak, and Andover.
Bishop Carroll’s basketball teams have swept Kapaun for the fourth time in less than two years.
The Golden Eagle boys earned a 52-40 win, and the Carroll girls redeemed their loss from earlier this season with a 54-34 win over the Crusaders. Since losing a pair to South and Southeast, the Carroll boys are on a three-game win streak, and the Carroll girls are up to second in the City League.
The Kapaun boys beat Carroll four times from December 2017 to February 2017. Since then, the Golden Eagles haven’t lost. They are up to seventh in Class 5A West.
When the Crusader girls beat Carroll 32-31 on Jan. 4, it was the first time since Jan. 31, 2015. A 20-point rebound victory showed the Holy War rivalry is still a motivating factor as senior Allison McFarren scored 23 points.
Arrow to the side
Andale’s final three opponents have seven combined wins since New Year’s Day and need to win two to seal its eighth straight AVCTL IV title.
Collegiate served as the final real barrier between the Indians and almost a decade of dominance, and Andale handled the Spartans with a 41-31 win Tuesday. Junior Easton Hunter was the Indians’ leading scorer, and he only had 11.
Andale coach Jeff Buchanan said a team win through and through.
“It was in normal Andale-Collegiate fashion where it was a good, physical game of two teams that definitely laid it all on the line to go win,” he said.
Although the Indians struggled finding a rythm offensively in the first half, they were outstanding defensively, holding Collegiate to one field goal in the second quarter and outscored the Spartans 18-7 in the third to start to pull away.
$7,500 in one night
McPherson has been holding a Think Pink night for a dozen years and blew its record contribution out of the water Tuesday.
The Bullpup community raised $7,593 for Women and Children Combatting Cancer. The Pup boys beat Buhler 53-34, and the McPherson girls won 62-27 on a historic night.
A silver lining
Last year, Goddard lost twice to Arkansas City by a combined 120-67.
The Lions earned their third win of the season with a 57-54 road win over the Bulldogs on Tuesday. Goddard was, and still is, the bottom seed in Class 5A West. Ark City was fourth seven days ago.
Goddard coach Matt Lawson said wins have been hard to come by, but the win served as a memorable moment. Junior Blake Mitchell led the way with 19 points. Senior Derek Phillippe had 18. And senior Jared Mocaby hit free throws late and ended with 11.
“I’m so happy for these guys,” he said. “You’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit because maybe when you’re not having the success that you want, it’s easy to maybe start looking forward to the spring or maybe not give full effort in the face of adversity.”
Milestone on senior night
On her final night on the Andover floor, Shanti Henry carved her name in school history.
Henry eclipsed 1,000 career points on senior night during the Trojans’ 40-32 win over Valley Center.
Henry helped Andover to the AVCTL II title last season on her way to a spot on the Eagle’s All-Metro team.