It’s week two of the midseason high school basketball tournaments in Kansas.
Last week, we watched the Highland Park boys win the 62nd Annual Topeka Invitational Tournament with three other Topeka-area teams in attendance.
This week, we watched the girls of Washburn Rural start life without their Starguard and the Seaman girl team bring the hardware home.
Here’s what stood out.
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The Seaman Girls No.
Seaman defeated two teams with Division One talent in Shawnee Mission West senior guard S’Mya Nichols, a Kansas signer, and Derby senior forward Addy Brown, an Iowa State signer.
Mariners coach Matt Tinsley said they knew it had to be a team effort against the talents of Nichols and Brown.
For Nichols, the plan was to pressure her and try to force her to give up the ball and get it out of her hands. For Brown, it was trying to collapse on her at the post and force kicks out of her.
Add in a league win away in a hostile environment at tournament hosts Emporia with a buzzer beat and it was a solid weekend.
“We’ve told the girls this third game is all about effort,” Tinsley said after the win on Saturday. “You just have to want it more. Emporia are so well trained and they play very hard. I’m really proud of my girls.
“Our first game of the tournament, playing hands down the best player in the state. We protected her well. We played a McDonald’s All-American yesterday. Then, tonight, we played a very, very solid team. It looked like a backyard fight.” “. I told one of my assistants that the team that has the ball last will win this game. And luckily we did.”
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- It was a two-point game after the first and second quarters. Pressure from Seaman in the third quarter led to turnovers and fast field goals as they led by as many as eight, and after the third quarter they led 36–28. In the fourth quarter, Seaman built his lead to 11 points before Emporia stormed back and tied it at 43 on one and one field goals with 49 seconds left. Seaman then played a baseline out of bounds, still tied at 43.
“We acted out, Taylin said, ‘Should I shoot this if I get this?'” Tinsley said. “It was about 29 seconds and I said ‘Hey, our shooters have to shoot, so I said yeah, you have to shoot,’ they protected it well.”
- After the outfield play from the baseline, a lift screen for junior guard Taylin Stallbaumer that wasn’t there, sophomore Anna Becker, named tournament MVP, dribbled past before finding Stallbaumer in the corner who has hit the three as time expired for the 46-43 victory.
“The coach is telling us to put on a show, but it didn’t work out in the end,” said Stallbaumer. “We were arguing at the end, Anna was going to flip it (and) decide to pass it to me. I was freaking out, but I knocked it down and it came in.”
- Tinsley said this tournament showed the teams toughness, something they were looking for and what they are capable of when they play their best when the best is needed.
“We knew that going into this tournament we would have the chance and the opportunity (to show our tenacity),” said Tinsley. “We have to keep building on it. Two minutes into the match, you now have to show me that you’ve learned from the situations.
“Our first games, it was the same situation. We have a late lead, we were all out yesterday and we almost gave it away. The girls showed they learned from that.”
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Washburn Rural goes 2-1 at the Thunderbird Classic
The Washburn Rural girls competed at the Thunderbird Classic in Shawnee Heights over the weekend, placing third. It was their first games since junior guard and Kansas commitment Zoe Canfield tore her ACL in the first quarter in Manhattan on January 13. Thursday’s game against Life Prep came 13 days after that game.
Washburn Rural defeated Life Prep, 44-41 in overtime on Thursday. On Friday, they went down to 6A n. 1 Shawnee Mission South, 47-37, before ending the weekend with a 44-28 loss of #5A. 6 Hutchinson Saturday.
Against Life Prep, it was two senior starters in Brooklyn DeLeye and Chloe Carlgren who went big late to help seal the overtime win.
There were more turnovers than usual against Life Prep. Part of it was rust 13 days into the last game and part of it was Canfield’s absence. She’s a guard who is comfortable creating for herself and teammates on or off the ball, the best three-point threat on the team, a double-digit scorer, and a good defender on the ball.
- Younger players like junior Destiny Ochs, sophomore Kate Hinck, sophomore Tenly Bunck, and possibly even freshman guard Allie Schroeder, who saw few minutes early in the second half against Life Prep, will have more minutes and more roles important.
“They have to do what they can do,” said coach Kevin Bordewick. “No one can do exactly what Zoe does, they’re all a little different.”
- Canfield’s injury affects secondary plays and rotations. Bordewick also touched on light role switching for perimeter players like senior guard MaRyah Lutz.
“MaRyah will have to handle the ball a little more,” Bordewick said. “And she’ll have to leave when she’s a little tired too.