By Todd Fertig

The Shawnee Heights boys forced visiting Piper to share the United Kansas Conference title by knocking off the Pirates 68-64 Friday night at Heights.

JaretSanchezPiper 1Shawnee Heights junior Jaret Sanchez scored a game-high 22 points in the T-Birds' 68-64 UKC win over Piper Friday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

DeaconPomeroyPiper 1Shawnee Heights junior Deacon Pomeroy had 16 points and nine rebounds in Friday's 68-64 UKC win over Piper. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Piper had a chance to own the title outright with a win, but instead the T-Birds claimed a share of their first league crown since 1993.

“This feels amazing, especially to do it at home,” said T-Bird senior Brennon Dodge. “This was the best season of my four years here. We have a great team, and it was just great to compete together every single day. And I’m so glad for the way we won it.”

The two teams finished the season not just with matching 14-2 records in the league, but also with identical 17-3 season records. The intensity of the game Friday was indicative of how evenly matched the two teams were.

The two traded leads for two and a half quarters, at which point Piper began to pull away.

With two and a half minutes remaining in the third period, the Pirates led 47-39. The crowd was frantic, the action chaotic. Players ended up on the floor several times over a particularly intense stretch that ended with Shawnee Heights’ Jaret Sanchez being fouled intentionally, then being charged with a technical foul that resulted in free throws at both ends.

That exchanged might have been the spark that turned the game around. Shawnee Heights went on a 11-2 run to take the lead. After losing the lead momentarily, the T-Birds put together a 12-0 run to go from behind by five to ahead by seven with 1:24 remaining.

Piper cranked up the pressure, but the T-Birds hit just enough of their free throws and milked just enough of the clock to close out the victory.

Shawnee Heights coach Ken Darting called Friday night a “true team win,” saying man-for-man, Piper is the more talented team.

“We fought and were just able to hang on,” Darting said. “That was just a straight fight win. We didn’t play our best. They guarded the heck out of us. They ‘physicaled’ us to death. The only thing we could do was fight.

“That means more to me than the win. A win is great. But how we won is what I’m really proud of. Games like this in the past, we don’t get. We’d get punched in the mouth and go home crying.”

BrennonDodgePiper 2Senior Brennon Dodge scored 14 points Friday night as Shawnee Heights rallied for a 68-64 UKC win over Piper. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Sanchez led Shawnee Heights with 22 points. Deacon Pomeroy scored 16 and grabbed nine rebounds and Dodge finished with 14 points.

Piper was led by PJ Moore’s 17. Derrick Jackson scored 15, Lantz Walton had 13 and Devin Kerr had 10.


Piper                      12 17 20 15 -- 64

Shawnee Heights 14 13 20 21 -- 68

Piper (17-3, 14-2) – Walton 3-10 4-4 13, Moore 7-18 2-3 17, Kerr 4-7 2-2 10, Jackson 5-12 2-4 15, Thomas 2-5 3-4 7, Brooks 1-2 0-0 2, Roth 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-55 13-17 64.

Shawnee Heights (17-3, 14-2) – Pomeroy 4-6 5-8 16, D. Sanchez 1-4 0-0 3, Dodge 5-14 3-3 14, Holly 1-1 0-0 2, J. Sanchez 8-15 4-8 22, Emmot 2-7 1-2 7, Ross 1-2 2-2 4, Lee 0-1 0-0 0, Cook 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 15-23 68.

3-point goals – Piper 7 (Walton 3, Jackson 3, Moore 1), Shawnee Heights 9 (Pomeroy 3, J. Sanchez 2, Emmot 2, D. Sanchez 1, Dodge 1). Total fouls – Piper 18, Shawnee Heights 15. Fouled out – Kerr. Technical fouls – J. Sanchez. 

Gold Partners

Community Partners

Gold Partners