Brooks, Austin power Topeka West boys to 13th straight win

Isaac Deer


All eyes were on the slick performances of Topeka West’s Sincere Austin and Elijah Brooks on Tuesday night at West.

Brooks and Austin accounted for 69 percent of the Chargers' 77 points in a 77-48 Centennial League win against Manhattan. The tandem hit a combined six 3-point shots, went five of seven from the free throw line and converted 15 of West's 21 made field goals.

FExcnI3WUAE4RcGElijah Brooks

Sincere AustinSincere Austin

Sensational scoring nights from Brooks are something that Topeka West is quite used to and despite sitting out some of the third and fourth quarters, Brooks was able to put up 28 points on the night.

“Things were good for three quarters,” Brooks said. “We started picking up the pace in the second quarter. From there, we started running the court well. I thought we played pretty good tonight.”

That second quarter, as Brooks mentioned, was what separated Topeka West from Manhattan as the Chargers outscored the Indians, 22-11.

All 22 of those points were provided by Brooks and Austin.

Austin’s 25 points looked effortless. The junior hit a team-high five three-point shots against Manhattan.

“Tonight felt (good),” Austin said. “We are finally pulling together. The coaches are letting me be myself and play my game. I’ve noticed myself and the team passing and shooting the ball more. We are looking better.”

Despite Manhattan’s 4-11, 3-8 record, the Indians have played quality basketball at times this season.

Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist was worried about what kind of matchup problems the Indians presented coming into Tuesday night’s contest.

“Manhattan is a high-quality basketball team,” said Bloomquist. “I think (Manhattan) showed you how good they are when they beat one of the most athletic teams in the Centennial League (Junction City). Personally, it was a scary game for me. I know how well Manhattan plays, how they’re coached, and how good (Manhattan) is in the 3-2 zone.

“I thought we read and reacted well to Manhattan’s zone defense. I thought we moved the ball well. I thought that we had Manhattan moving a lot faster than they probably wanted to. I think tonight worked to our benefit.”

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No. 3 Washburn Rural girls shut down No. 8 Seaman 42-20 in Centennial League matchup  


The Washburn Review

A pair of ranked teams on the Centennial League girls side faced off on Tuesday evening, with Washburn Rural, No. 3 in 6A, playing host to Seaman, No. 8 in 5A.

It was the Junior Blues who came out on top as defense powered them to a second win in as many nights, a 42-20 victory over the Vikings.

“Defensively, there were very few times that we didn’t understand where their players were … I thought we were pretty zeroed in probably from about the two-minute point of the first quarter on especially,” Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said.

 FExgoGiXwAQDek9Jada Ingram

FExfjTTXsAAdo7PEmma Krueger

Washburn Rural suffered its lone loss back on Jan. 4 to Topeka High, who the Junior Blues will take on in their next game.

“That’s one thing we try to preach is that we got to take care of the here and now. That will be there, we got to do this right here. And I thought we did a really good job of walking into that,” Bordewick said.

The win moved the Junior Blues to 15-1 on the year while Seaman fell to 10-5 after winning its previous three.

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