TSN-gold-partner-envista2.png

Welcome to Top Sports News

Esquibel looking to help High boys reverse fortunes

By RICK PETERSON
TopSports.news

Senior Isiah Esquibel knew his Topeka High boys basketball team was going to experience some growing pain searly this season after graduating several key players off last year's Trojan team that went 16-6 and shared the Centennial League championship.

That has been evident in the early going, with the Trojans 0-3 overall and in the league entering Friday's 7:30 p.m. league game at Seaman, which is 2-3.

IsiahEsquibelSenior Isiah Esquibel (5) is looking to help Topeka High make a second-half climb after an 0-3 start. [Twitter]

Esquibel, a 6-foot-4 guard, said the key will be getting all of the Trojans, including a host of varsity newcomers, on the same page.

"We're just trying to get this thing all together, just trying to get some wins at this point,'' Esquibel said. "We've played well at times. It's just the experience of the other teams gets to us at times. With the guys we have now, they've stepped up, but we just need a little bit more.''

Topeka High squandered a late lead in a 47-46 loss to Emporia and the Trojans have went through other bad stretches that cost them in 13-point losses to USD 501 rivals Topeka West and Highland Park.

"I think our turnovers and fouls have really been a problem,'' said Esquibel, who scored a season-high 15 points against Topeka West. "Down the stretch we commit a lot of silly fouls during the end of games that have allowed the other teams to get free throws to win the games.''

Topeka High is expected to be without its leading scorer, senior Jalen Smith, against Seaman, but Esquibel said the Trojans just need to come together as a team.

"We just need to come ready to compete with all the other schools,'' he said. "We've got to all be able to contribute and all compete to win. We haven't done a good job of that this year so far and with the new year coming we look to get that going.''

Esquibel said it's his job as a senior to help make that happen.

"That's my No. 1 goal, to try to be a leader for these guys so they have the confidence in themselves going into games,'' Esquibel said. "If I'm not confident leading them they're not going to be confident, so I try to be the leader as much as possible.''

Topeka High will be facing a Seaman team that has already equaled last season's win total and been competitive in every game, dropping a double-overtime contest to Junction City and an overtime decision to Washburn Rural. The Vikings have played a total of three overtime games, including a double-overtime win over Highland Park.

Junior Ty Henry averages 13 points and 4.6 rebounds for Seaman and has hit 8 3-pointers while sophomore Kaeden Bonner is averaging 12.3 points with 4 3-pointers, including a game-winner against Highland Park. 


FRIDAY’S OTHER TOPSPORTS.NEWS BASKETBALL GAMES

GIRLS

TOPEKA WEST at HAYDEN

Hayden, 3-2 overall and in the Centennial League, will host Topeka West (1-3, 0-3) in a 7 p.m.league contest. Juniors Carly Stuke and Macy Smith lead the Wildcats, averaging 11.2 and 11 points, respectively, while Jeff Skar’s young Chargers have already equaled last season’s victory total with a 56-55 non-league victory over Shawnee Heights. Freshman Zoe Clark hit 4 3-pointers and had 13 points for West in the win.

SHAWNEE HEIGHTS at LANSING

Shawnee Heights, 1-2 on the year, will open United Kansas Conference play at Lansing (2-0, 0-0), with tipoff scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Senior Adysen Burghart and Tatum Brown are both averaging 13.3 points for the T-Birds, whose two losses have been by 2 points to Free State and 1 point to Topeka West.

CAIR PARAVEL LATIN at HERITAGE CHRISTIAN

The Lions go on the road to face Heritage Christian in a 7:30 p.m. contest. Cair Paravel, 12-6 last season, is in its first season as a full Kansas State High School Activities Association member and will compete as a Class 1A school in postseason.

ROSSVILLE at RILEY COUNTY

Rossville, 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-East League, will be on the road to face Riley County (1-2, 1-0) in a 6:15 p.m. contest. Freshman Emma Mitchell is averaging 13.2 points for the Bulldawgs, with a high of 20 points.

BOYS

HAYDEN at TOPEKA WEST

Topeka West, off to a perfect 4-0 start overall and a 3-0 start in the Centennial League, will try to stay unbeaten in a 6:45 p.m. home contest against Hayden (2-2, 2-2). The Chargers are led by senior Trevion Alexander, who is averaging 28.2 points on the year with a pair of 30-point outings. Senior Geivonnii Williams is averaging 19.7 points for Hayden with a high game of 35 points.

SHAWNEE HEIGHTS at LANSING

Shawnee Heights played a city-low two games before the holiday break and will be opening its United Kansas Conference schedule in a 7:15 p.m. game against a Lansing team, coached by former Highland Park coach Jason Jones, that is 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the UKC. Senior Isiah Johnson is averaging 30.5 points for the T-Birds with a high game of 32 points in a win over Tonganoxie and 12 3-pointers on the season.

CAIR PARAVEL LATIN at HERITAGE CHRISTIAN

Cair Paravel, 3-2 on the season, will travel to Heritage Christian for a a 6 p.m. contest. The Lions are led by 6-foot-6 junior Noah Hastert, who averages 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.2 blocked shots. Cair Paravel is in its first year as a full KSHSAA member and will compete in postseason as a Class 1A school.

SILVER LAKE at ROCK CREEK

Silver Lake is 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Mid-East League entering Friday's 7:45 p.m. game against a Rock Creek team that is 4-1 overall and 1-1 in league play.

ROSSVILLE at RILEY COUNTY

Rossville is still looking for its first win of the season, with the Bulldawgs 0-5 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-East League entering Friday's 7:45 p.m. contest against a Riley County team that is 2-1 and 1-0 in the league.


RICK'S PICKS

GIRLS

  • Hayden over Topeka West
  • Manhattan over Highland Park
  • Lansing over Shawnee Heights
  • Cair Paravel over Heritage Christian
  • Riley County over Rossville

BOYS

  • Seaman over Topeka High
  • Topeka West over Hayden
  • Highland Park over Manhattan
  • Lansing over Shawnee Heights
  • Cair Paravel over Heritage Christian
  • Rock Creek over Silver Lake
  • Riley County over Rossville