By RICK PETERSON
Obviously, veteran Topeka West boys basketball coach Rick Bloomquist was happy his Chargers found a way to win Tuesday night, pulling out a 51-48 home overtime win over Hayden on Elijah Brooks 3-pointer at the buzzer to remain tied for the Centennial League lead with West's 15th straight win.
But Bloomquist was also quick to admit that his team, 16-1 overall, 12-1 in the league, was outplayed by 4-13, 2-11 Hayden for most of the night, a message he conveyed to the Wildcats in their locker room after the game.
"We were out-played, we were out-everythinged,'' Bloomquist said. "We didn't deserve to win. I'm glad we won. I'm happy we won and found a way to win. That's important, but I've been warning this team for the last two weeks about mediocrity and practicing with just going through the motions and it caught up with them.
"It caught up with them on their free throws. It caught up with them on their offense and we just weren't with it. It was a good learning lesson, but we didn't deserve to win that game.''
Bloomquist told the Wildcats exactly that.
"I told them I felt bad for them,'' Bloomquist said. "I told them, 'You outplayed us in every aspect of the game,' and I told them I felt their pain.I felt their pain more than I feel jubilant.''
Hayden coach Dwayne Paul said Bloomquist's talk with his team meant a lot.
"Coach asked me before he left (the gym) if he could talk to the guys and he tipped his hat to our team and told them that we played the right way,'' Paul said. "Playing the right way and having great kids on and off the floor means more to me than any win or loss.
"And to have guy like coach Bloomquist, who's one of the best to ever do it and one of the best Kansas has ever seen, give you a compliment like he gave our team you have to carry weight with that.''
Hayden, which was coming off a win over Tonganoxie Monday night, put itself in position to post its biggest win of the season Tuesday night when junior Joe Otting, who scored 20 points for the Wildcats, put his team up 48-46 with 1:34 left in overtime.
But Hayden committed a couple of costly turnovers and Topeka West junior Carmelo Foy came up with a big offensive rebound off a missed Brooks free throw with 29.2 seconds remaining .
Topeka West called time out with 26.6 seconds left and got the ball to Brooks, who drove to the hoop resulting in an intentional foul call on Otting was called for an intentional foul with 12.2 seconds on the clock.
"Did he foul him? Yeah,'' Paul said. "And I told (Otting), 'If you feel he has the angle on you, foul him and make him earn it from the free throw line.' But to call an intentional ... I get it if he pushed him and Elijah goes flying, you never want to hurt a kid. But of all the people no one has ever said that Joe Otting is going to try to hurt someone on purpose.
"To call an intentional right there at that time ... that's not an intententional foul right there.''
Brooks hit both free throws to tie the game and because of the intentional foul call Topeka West also retained possession and Brooks drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key as time ran out.
Despite scoring a game-high 25 points, Brooks admitted that Tuesday wasn't one of his best games, including a 5 of 13 performance at the free throw line.
But the West senior star said he knew he had to step up late in the OT.
"Coach (Marco) Hunter and coach Bloom were telling me to just lock in mentally so I could get it done,'' Brooks said. "We just had to keep working hard. We knew we could win the game. It was just about the confidence at the end.
"Me taking the shot, I didn't really have any stress on me, so I just shot.''
Brooks was the only double-figure scorer for Topeka West, with junior Sincere Austin adding eight points and 6-foot-8 senior Nathan Bearman giving the Chargers a big lift off the bench with six points and five rebounds while also drawing a charge.
Otting was the only double-figure scorer for Hayden, with junior Jake Muller and senior Trent Duffey both adding nine points.
Duffey and junior Daxton Hamm both fouled out in the late going as Topeka West went 7 of 19 at the free throw line while the Wildcats were 2 of 4.
TOPEKA WEST BOYS 51, HAYDEN 48 (OT)
Hayden 17 7 14 4 6 -- 48
Topeka West 17 12 8 5 9 -- 51
Hayden (4-13, 2-11) -- Bartlett 3-5 0-0 7, Muller 3-9 2-2 9, Duffey 4-12 0-0 9, Ham 0-0 0-0 0, Otting 10-13 0-2 20, Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Foster 1-4 0-0 3, Rice 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-43 2-4 48.
Topeka West (16-1, 12-1) -- Austin 4-9 0-3 8, Brooks 9-20 5-13 25, Alexander 2-3 0-1 4, Berg 2-4 2-2 6, Putthoff 0-4 0-0 0, Robinson 1-1 0-0 2, Foy 0-1 0-0 0, Bearman 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 21-47 7-19 51.
3-point goals -- Hayden 4 (Muller, Duffey, Bartlett, Foster), Topeka West 2 (Brooks 2). Total fouls -- Hayden 19, Topeka West 9. Fouled out – Duffey, Ham.
By KEVIN HASKIN
Musings at the mid-month:
- Discussion regarding Bruce Weber’s effectiveness as the Kansas State coach has droned on like a recurring topic on ‘The View.’
- Frankly, it has moved the fatigue needle to full while gutting interest in K-State hoops.
- Yet another case in point came Monday when a sparse turnout at Bramlage Coliseum rooted on a team coming off an impressive comeback win on the road.
- The Wildcats again pulled off a rousing comeback, adding to another familiar refrain that K-State is squarely on the bubble.
- So again, the K-State administration is at a crossroads deciding Weber’s future, though apathy could finally be what prompts a coaching move.
- Especially when a team that is often enjoyable to watch cannot spur excitement among a conflicted fan base torn about Weber.
- Would terminating Weber completely fix the problem?
- Depends a great deal on the success of his replacement, though not entirely.
- Prolonged apathy can establish deep roots.
- Mike Boynton commented Monday on KU’s loyal basketball following, which Jesse Newell first posted on Twitter:
- “Our (Oklahoma State) fans have been great, but (Allen Fieldhouse) is packed every night, not because of who they are playing but because they are playing.”
- Apathy at KU, of course, is a challenge assigned to Lance Leipold.
- If you’re surprised when each of KU’s starters scores in double figures and plays lengthened minutes at this point in the season, you haven’t followed along for 19 seasons.
- Bill Self whittles better than your stereotypical Ozark grandpappy when shortening KU’s rotation.
- But what happens when/if Remy Martin returns?
- Nineteen seasons for Self and still not a home defeat on Big Monday. Let that sink in.
- Consistent superiority attracts consistent sellouts.
- After much of the discussion about the Chiefs’ collapse in the AFC championship game subsided, we got bombarded by talk radio’s usual offseason staple.
- I know there must be rapt interest in cap space, salary restructuring, roster construction and draft moves.
- Speculation runs rampant and shapes hours of radio chatter.
- Yet it bores me. I can only listen to so much on how the Chiefs should reinvent their defense, or obtain one, two, even three phenomenal receivers
- Details about the MLB lockout either bore me or burn me. Weird mix.
- To me, some of this is about preserving an aged sport oozing with tradition by concentrating on the top-shelf product.
- Would it be possible for independent teams to assume a contractor’s role and fully take over minor-league development?
- That would require several more rounds of discussions. (Yawn.)
- Is it counter-productive to diminish the minor leagues?
- Tradition says keep it, but big-league franchises in other sports get by without many minor-league opportunities.
- In general, labor disputes in professional sports seem tone-deaf, given the financial amounts attributed to both sides.
- Yes, I understand supply and demand.
- I should receive another punch on my “Hopelessly Old” consumer card by admitting my favorite pie, shake or pudding is butterscotch.
- Does anybody ever redeem such a card before losing it? Do you think about the $100 you spent to finally get a complimentary burrito?
- Imagine the game-has-passed-me-by look on my face when watching numerous Super Bowl ads for cryptocurrency and electric vehicles.
- Then at halftime, my wife kept asking me if I’d heard of any of the artists or their songs.
- Yes, I told her, but these tunes are just remakes. Bing Crosby sang it better.
- Seriously, my wife enjoyed the halftime show, so … yes dear, it’s fine by me.
- Glad Snoop Dogg could use his gig at Allen Fieldhouse as a springboard.
- I didn’t need The Rock standing on the field to give a five-minute preamble before kickoff.
- I did like Tommy Lee Jones outracing the Joneses.
- I’d bowl with Peyton Manning, rent shoes from Steve Buscemi, shoot pool with Brooks Koepka and turn my head to watch Serena Williams stroll by the snack bar.
- But I won’t drink hard seltzer.
- Most of us agreed the Super Bowl resulted in a pretty good game.
- Most of us spoke in more glowing terms, however, raving about other NFL postseason games.
- Amazing that it took only one futile half for 13 phenomenal seconds in Chiefs history not to mean much anymore.
By RICK PETERSON
Seven Shawnee County basketball teams continue to be ranked in the latest Kansas Basketball Coaches Association state rankings released Tuesday, with Silver Lake's girls continuing to hold the No. 1 spot in Class 3A.
Topeka West, which has won 14 straight games, remained No. 2 in the 5A boys rankings while Highland Park is No. 4.
Cair Paravel is No. 8 in the 1A Division I boys rankings.
Topeka High and Washburn Rural are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the 6A girls rankings behind Olathe North.
Seaman remains No. 8 spot in the 5A girls rankings.
KANSAS BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION STATE RANKINGS
By RICK PETERSON
The MIAA announced its second Baseball Athletes of the Week for the 2022 season on Monday, with Washburn University’s Parker Dunn selected as the MIAA Hitter of the Week while the MIAA Pitcher of the Week honor is shared by Washburn’s Dalton Huggins and Emporia State’s Braden Meek.
MIAA Hitter of the Week – Parker Dunn – Washburn
Dunn helped Washburn to four wins in Oklahoma over the weekend as he hit .375 (6 for 16) with a .938 slugging percentage.
Dunn hit three two-run home runs and finished the weekend with eight runs batted in and seven runs scored. The senior right fielder was also walked four times and was hit by pitch once.
In the Ichabods' 14-4 win over New Mexico Highlands, Dunn was 4 for 6 with six RBI and three runs scored and hit a two-run home run in the eighth and ninth innings. In the next game against Oklahoma Baptist (an 8-3 win), Dunn started the first inning with another two-run homer.
Co-MIAA Pitcher of the Week – Dalton Huggins – Washburn
Huggins received the save after allowing just one hit in 3.2 innings of work in Washburn’s 7-3 win over Oklahoma Baptist.
He entered the game with one out in the sixth inning and the bases loaded. The senior left-handed pitcher recorded two outs to end the frame.
Huggins then retired the side in order the next two innings and erased a single in the ninth with a game-ending double play.
He finished his outing with six strikeouts.
Co-MIAA Pitcher of the Week – Braden Meek – Emporia State
Braden Meek did not allow a run in two outings against Colorado State-Pueblo over the weekend.
The sophomore right-handed pitcher allowed just one hit in relief during the Hornets' 5-0 loss to the ThunderWolves in Game 1 of the series.
Meek was credited with the win in the 14-3 series finale. He came in with two on in the third and got a strikeout to end the threat and would give up just one hit in 1.1 innings of work.
By RICK PETERSON
TOPEKA WEST (2-14, 2-9) at HAYDEN (9-7, 6-6)
Both teams are coming off wins, with Hayden taking a 42-27 non-league win over Tonganoxie on Monday while Topeka West rolled to a 54-22 Centennial League victory at Junction City last Friday. Sophomore Lauren Sandstrom had a career night for Hayden in its win over Tonganoxie, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
TOPEKA HIGH (16-0, 13-0) at SEAMAN (11-5, 9-4)
Topeka High rallied a 46-42 win over Washburn Rural in last Friday's Centennial League showdown, with the Trojans extending their lead in the league race to two games. Junior Kiki Smith led Topeka High with 14 points while senior Tae Thomas added 11 and sophomore Ladaysha Baird 10, including a huge fourth-quarter 3-pointer to give High the lead for good. Seaman took a 50-38 Centennial League win at Hayden on Friday, with freshman Anna Becker scoring 13 points, sophomore Taylin Stallbaumer 12 points and sophomore Brooklyn Gormley 11 for the Vikings.
MARANATHA ACADEMY (7-7) at CAIR PARAVEL LATIN (10-6)
Cair Paravel, led by senior Jaley Barkley, has turned its season around after starting the year 0-4, pushing its winning streak to six games with a 40-14 home win over Bishop Seabury on Friday. Maranatha Academy is coming off a 34-26 loss to Olathe Heritage Christian Academy.
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (7-8, 2-4) at LEAVENWORTH (7-9, 2-4)
Shawnee Heights dropped a 68-44 United Kansas Conference decision at state-ranked Lansing on Friday while Leavenworth is coming off a 43-15 win over Turner. Shawnee Heights took a 50-38 home UKC decision over Leavenworth in the first meeting of the season between the T-Birds and Pioneers.
HIGHLAND PARK (2-14, 0-12) at MANHATTAN (6-10, 5-7)
Highland Park was off Friday after dropping a 61-38 decision to undefeated and Centennial League-leading Topeka High on Tuesday. Manhattan is coming off a 41-29 Centennial League loss to state-ranked Emporia. Freshman Amelia Ramsey scored 15 points for the Scots against the Trojans while senior Aiysa Taylor added nine points and Atiya Gonzles eight.
WABAUNSEE (6-10) at ROSSVILLE (9-8)
Rossville dropped a 68-46 decision to top-ranked (3A) Silver Lake last Friday. Sophomore Emma Mitchell scored 13 points to lead the Bulldawgs against Silver Lake. Wabaunsee is coming off a 35-25 victory over Riley County.