By RICK PETERSON
Washburn University soccer is Elite Eight bound after a 2-1 win over Emporia State in Friday's Central Region championship to give the Ichabods their first-ever regional title.
The Ichabods will take on Grand Valley State at 2 p.m. (Topeka time) on Sunday in the national quarterfinals in Ashland, Ohio.
For a second straight game WU junior Khloe Schuckman scored multiple goals and this time her two goals were all that were required for Washburn (19-3-1) to win in regulation for the first time in the NCAA Tournament.
The first goal of the contest came in the 37th minute, with Schuckman taking the ball from the middle of the field and sending it off her left foot into the back left corner of the net to take a 1-0 advantage that would hold through the first half.
By Todd Fertig
The Shawnee Heights boys took United Kansas Conference foe De Soto to the wire, losing 56-46 in what was a one-possession game with less than 40 seconds to play.
The lead switched hands throughout the contest, and the score was tied at 44-44 with 2:30 remaining. The T-Birds failed to hit a field goal attempt the rest of the way, however, while the visiting Wildcats hit big shots and knocked down free throws to finish off the win.
Playing three sophomores and a freshman much of the game, T-Bird coach Ken Darting was undaunted by the outcome.
“I loved it,” Darting said. “These young kids are just awesome. They work hard every day. They are going to be really good. (The De Soto) coach said, ‘I hope we don’t get in the same sub-state with you.’
“Our older kids are helping these young kids along. We’ve got some young kids who are shell-shocked right now. But I love them. My opinion of them didn’t change.”
The T-Birds' primary scoring threats – senior Brennon Dodge and junior Jaret Sanchez – ran hot and cold. The two combined to hit 10 of 32 attempts. Dodge led the T-Birds with 16 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Sanchez, who also scored just three points in the second half, finished with 11.
Darting didn’t place the blame on those two, however.
“I thought we had some people, what I call our ‘secondary contributors,’ who didn’t contribute,” Darting said. “And I say every day ‘Jaret and (Brennon) have got to have good games every day, no matter whether they’re getting double-teamed or whatever. They’ve got to get it done. When those guys who are good shooters have an open shot, they’ve got to make them.”
A bright spot for the T-Birds was the fourth-quarter effort of Da’Quan Lee. Scoreless through three periods, the 6-foot-2 sophomore sparked the T-Birds with seven straight points, including the bucket to tie the game at 44-44.
Lee finished with seven points for the T-Birds, while Deacon Pomeroy contributed eight.
De Soto was paced by senior point guard David Cobin, who tallied 20 points despite attempting just nine shots from the field.
“They’ve got something special in David Cobin. He just takes the game and controls it,” Darting said. “But I’m satisfied with the first game. We’re playing probably the third or fourth best team in the state and we’re even with two and a half minutes left. “We had a chance to beat a very good team. We just didn’t get it done.”
DE SOTO BOYS 56, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 46
De Soto 13 14 9 20 -- 56
Shawnee Heights 12 13 10 11 -- 46
De Soto (1-0) – Lang 4-11 3-4 11, Cobin 5-9 7-12 20, Bell 3-5 2-4 11, Miller 1-5 2-2 4, Johnson 3-7 0-0 7, Ogden 1-5 0-0 3, Sheppard 0-2 0-0 0, Parks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-44 14-24 56.
Shawnee Heights (0-1) – Pomeroy 3-8 2-4 8, Dodge 6-18 2-2 16, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Emmot 1-4 0-0 2, J. Sanchez 4-14 1-2 11, D. Sanchez 0-5 0-0 0, Moore 0-3 0-0 0, Cook 0-0 2-2 2, Lee 3-4 0-1 7. Totals: 17-56 7-11 46.
3-point goals – De Soto 8 (Cobin 3, Bell 3, Johnson 1, Ogden 1), Shawnee Heights 5 (Dodge 2, J. Sanchez 2, Lee 1). Total fouls – De Soto 14, Shawnee Heights 19. Fouled out – Pomeroy, Lee, Johnson. Technical fouls – None.
By Todd Fertig
The Shawnee Heights girls broke in an inexperienced basketball team Friday night and battled visiting De Soto to the end, falling 60-52.
The T-Birds stalled midway through the second period and fell behind by as much as 20 in the third quarter before rallying down the stretch.
Shawnee Heights coach Bob Wells was not surprised by the slow start.
“A lot of it was the girls learning to play together at the varsity level,” Well said. “And having to do it against De Soto, which is a heck of a team. They’re well coached. They have got a lot of experience. I think that showed early on.
“But then our girls started having some success. We started feeling a little better about ourselves, and the basket got a little bit bigger.”
Shawnee Heights got up off the mat to put together a 16-3 run. With 3:42 left in the game, the T-Birds clawed back to within four points, 53-49.
The Wildcats regrouped to hold off the late rally, but the home team left with plenty to feel good about.
“Some of it was just believing in themselves. And without a doubt, during timeouts we were like, ‘We’re not looking at the scoreboard. I could care less what the point totals are. Let’s just compete every possession, period. If you’re in the game, go compete that possession. If we can get a score, stop, score, we can work our way back into this.’ And we got back into it that way.”
The T-Birds’ trio in the paint of Reianna Vega, Rachel Swift and Kaydence Torrez led the turnaround. Those three combined for 21 points in the second half, crashing the boards, hitting tough shots and drawing fouls on the Wildcats.
By JUSTIN BURKHARDT
Friday was the season-opener for the Class 3A No. 2-ranked Hayden girls basketball team and the Wildcats rolled to a 74-12 home non-league victory over Kansas City-Washington.
The Lady Wildcats took off from the tip with a 15-0 run before Washington scored their first basket of the game.
Hayden then went on a 36-1 run to go into halftime with a commanding 51-3 lead to but put the game away.
The hosts were led by 5-foot-6 junior Norma Greco, who finished with 17 points in three quarters.
“Thanks to my teammates for forcing turnovers and dishing assists for easy layups” Greco said. “I’m really excited to play with this team, we have a great group of girls and we have hopes for big things this season.''
By RICK PETERSON
Topeka West's boys basketball team combined outstanding defense with timely offense to open its 2023-2024 season with a home 52-37 United Kansas Conference decision over Basehor-Linwood.
West (1-0 overall, 1-0 UKC) held Basehor-Linwood (0-1, 0-1) to single-digit point totals in each of the final three quarters and just 13 points in the second half while juniors Jalen Foy and Ja'Vian Chambers combined for 38 points to lead the Chargers on the offensive end.
"This time of year, in December, the defense better be ahead of your offense,'' veteran Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist said. "I'm not saying it is, but it better be, and that was my big concern because I knew coming in we were going to play against a very well-disciplined team that's going to go inside-out and give us a lot of problems because they are big.
"I was very pleased with how when we changed defenses I thought we played it very well because I don't think we could have matched up with them too well man to man with the big guy (6-foot-6 junior Peyton Brown) inside. I'm very pleased with how we played defense against a good team.''
Basehor-Linwood, a Class 5A state qualifier last season, led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter but Foy canned a 3-pointer to open the second quarter and Chambers scored five straight points to put West in front 21-15 and the Chargers never trailed again.