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  • Elijah Brooks embracing new role for Topeka West boys basketball

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Elijah Brooks has been a standout for Topeka West's boys basketball team from the time he stepped on campus, averaging more than 10 points as a freshman and averaging 14.8 points for his career while helping the Chargers post a 42-26 record, including a 36-11 mark (.766 percentage) over the past two-plus seasons.

    But while the 6-foot-4 senior has been 'A' leader for West over the previous three seasons, he's taking on a new role this season as 'THE' leader for Rick Bloomquist's Chargers.

    Brooks, who opened 2021-2022 season with a 32-point performance in a 69-57 win over Washburn Rural, has plenty of talented players around him, but he and Bloomquist both know that Brooks has to set the tone for West.

    After learning from the seniors before him, including Shawnee County co-players of the year Trevion Alexander and Marque Wilkerson last season, Brooks is happy to take on the leadership mantle..

    "I actually love that role,'' Brooks said. "Watching (last year's seniors) and especially Tre prepared me to take on this big role for my team,'' Brooks said. "Whatever I can do to help my team win, that's honestly what I'm going to do at the end of the day.''

    Brooks and the Chargers got off to a impressive start in last Friday's win, with Brooks slamming home four first-half dunks as West opened up a commanding 24-8 lead and held off Rural, which played for the Class 6A title in 2019, the rest of the way.

    ElijahBrooksWR4Topeka West senior Elijah Brooks slams down one of his four first-half dunks on the way to a 32-point performance in Friday's 69-57 win over Washburn Rural. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "I think it gets the whole crowd involved and it gets my team hyped,'' Brooks said of the dunks. "I think we were all ready for this (first) game,'' Brooks said. "In practice and stuff we were just anxious for the game and the coaches could tell.''

    After going 21-3 a season ago and making it to the 5A boys title game for only the third time in school history, the goal this winter is an obvious one, to make another run at what would be the Chargers' first state crown.

    "Everybody on our team, we're like hungry pitbulls because we want to get back to the state tournament and get the same type of feeling and everything,'' Brooks said. "I think we're all just dogs, to be honest.''

    One thing Brooks doesn't have to worry about is resting on his laurels, not as long as Bloomquist is around.

    "When you've got a kid like Elijah you've got to go through him, you want to use him and make the best of his abilities,''  said Bloomquist, who has posted more than 500 career wins and has taken Emporia and West to state championship games

    "He's got to learn to play more without the ball. There's a lot he's got to learn, because he's a focal point for this basketball team and he's got to make everybody else better besides himself.''

    Brooks understands and accept those expectations.

    "(Bloomquist) looks at me to set the example and when I don't he really gets on me and makes an example of me to everybody,'' Brooks said. "I'll take it though. I love it.''

    A look at Tuesday's Shawnee County games:

  • Prep basketball roundup: Topeka High girls improve to 2-0 with league rout

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Two games, two lopsided victories for Topeka High's girls basketball team.

    After opening the season with a 22-point victory over Manhattan last Friday night, the Trojans rolled to an 82-24 Centennial League decision over Junction City Tuesday night at High.

    Kiki SmithKiki Smith

    Junior Kiki Smith led an extremely balanced attack for Topeka High against the Blue Jays with a game-high 19 points.

    Sophomores Ladaysha Baird and Ayana Leesman scored 17 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench for the Trojans while senior Talayah Thomas added 10 points.

    The Trojans put the Blue Jays away early, opening up a 30-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and taking a 50-20 lead to the locker room at halftime.

    JUNCTION CITY BOYS 80, TOPEKA HIGH 53 -- Junction City improved to 2-0 on the season in the Centennial League and overall, while Topeka High is still looking for its first victory after Tuesday's 80-53 loss.

    The Trojans face a quick turnaround, hosting 1-0 Shawnee Heights in a 7:30 p.m. non-league game Wednesday night.

    ROSSVILLE GIRLS 54, BISHOP WARD 24 -- Sophomore Kinsey Perine scored 16 points to pace three Bulldawgs in double figures as Rossville's girls basketball team opened its season with a 54-24 victory over Bishop Ward Tuesday night.

    KinseyPerine2Kinsey Perine

    Joining Perine in double figures for the Bulldawgs were senior Caylee Douglas and freshman Shyanne Haehn with 10 points apiece.

    Rossville opened up an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and then put the game away with a 22-5 second quarter, taking a commanding 33-11 advantage.

    Rossville outscored the Cyclones 21-13 in the second half.

    BISHOP WARD BOYS 74, ROSSVILLE 44 -- Bishop Ward had four players crack double figures as the Cyclones rolled to a 74-44 win over Rossville.

    Rossville was within six points (25-19) at halftime, but the Cyclones erupted for 33 points in the third quarter to open up a commanding 58-35 advantage.

    Junior Kade Perine and freshman Brock Bush both scored 11 points for the Bulldawgs, with Perine connecting on nine of 11 free throw attempts and Bush canning a pair of 3-pointers.

    SILVER LAKE GIRLS 60, COUNCIL GROVE 42 -- Silver Lake improved to 60-42 with a decisive 60-42 win over Council Grove, with multiple players filling up the stat sheet for the Eagles.

    TaylorRoss 2Taylor Ross

    MariahFarmerMariah Farmer

    Junior Taylor Ross scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while junior Mariah Famer also scored 16 points.

    Sophomore MaKenzie McDaniel scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while sophomore McKinley Kruger had 4 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists and sophomore Kaylee Deiter had 3 points and 9 rebounds.

    COUNCIL GROVE BOYS 63, SILVER LAKE 46 -- Four players scored between 17 and 13 points for Council Grove as the Braves recorded a 63-46 win over Silver Lake.

    Silver Lake was within five points after the first quarter (15-10) and trailed 28-18 at the half. The Eagles were still within 11 (41-30) at the start of the fourth quarter were unable to make a run as the Braves helped a 22-16 scoring edge the rest of the way.

    Junior Kamryn Kaniper paced Silver Lake with 13 points while senior Luke Womack added 10 points and junior Troy Heiman nine.

    Kellen Marshall led Council Grove with 17 points while Koen Hula added 16, Hunter Brintle 15 and Gavin Mills 13 for the Braves.

    CAIR PARAVEL BOYS 91, CHRIST PREP 37 -- Cair Paravel's boys improved to 3-1 on the season with a 91-37 road romp at Christ Prep Tuesday night.

    CHRIST PREP GIRLS 44, CAIR PARAVEL 40 -- Senior Jaley Barkley scored 18 points and Allison Schwartz added 10 for Cair Paravel Latin, but it wasn't quite enough for the Lions to get over the top, with Christ Prep taking the 44-40 decision.

  • Seven Shawnee County teams crack KBCA state basketball rankings

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    A whopping seven Shawnee County basketball teams earned spots in the latest Kansas Basketball Coaches Association state rankings, released Tuesday.

    Washburn Rural, Topeka High, Hayden and Silver Lake are all ranked on the girls side while Highland Park, Hayden and Cair Paravel earned spots in the boys rankings.

    Ruralgirls1Washburn Rural's girls basketball team remains No. 2-ranked in Class 6A by the KBCA. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn Rural remains No. 2 in the latest Class 6A girls state rankings while Topeka High girls moved up to sixth. Both the Junior Blues and Trojans are 3-0 on the season entering Tuesday night's games.

    Hayden, 1-1 on the season, is ranked No. 10 in the 4A girls rankings while Silver Lake is No. 8 in 3A.

    Highland Park, 3-0 entering Tuesday night's game, earned its way into the 5A boys rankings at No. 6 while 1-1 Hayden is ranked eighth in 4A and Cair Paravel Latin No. 9 in 1A Division I.


  • Rossville, Rural dominate All-Shawnee County football

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Undefeated Class 2A state champion Rossville and Centennial League tri-champion Washburn Rural combined for nine Top 22 spots on' inaugural All-Shawnee County football team while sweeping the individual awards.

    Rossville, which wrapped up a second straight 2A state championship with Saturday's 35-12 win over Beloit, is represented on the Top 22 by seniors Corey Catron, Torrey Horak and Brody Lietz and junior Jacob Carver, with Catron and Horak being named the Shawnee County co-offensive players of the year.

    Horak and CatronnewRossville senior stars Torrey Horak (left) and Corey Catron have been named' Shawnee County co-offensive players of the year after helping lead the Bulldawgs to a second straight undefeated Class 2A state title. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    DerickHammesnewDerick Hammes has been named the TSN Shawnee County coach of the year after coaching the Bulldawgs to a second straight Class 2A state title. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Derick Hammes, who has coached Rossville to a 96-15 record (.865 percent) and five state titles over the past eight seasons, including 26 straight wins over the past two years, was named the Shawnee County coach of the year.

    Washburn Rural, which posted a breakout 8-2 season, put seniors Robby Bolin, Connor Conklin and Giles Frederickson, junior Ty Weber and sophomore Branton DeWeese on the All-Shawnee County Top 22, with Weber being named the Shawnee County defensive player of the year.

    TyWeberTy Weber

    The Junior Blues swept the newcomer of the year awards, with DeWeese earning the offensive honor and sophomore Packson Bettis tapped for the defensive award.

    Cair Paravel Latin, which posted an 11-0 record and captured the Kansas Christian Athletic Association state championship, put senior stars Carter Brian and Noah Hastert on the Top 22, while 6-4 Seaman is represented by seniors Camden Barta, Brody Gormley and Casen Stallbaumer.

    Silver Lake, which advanced to the 2A state semifinals, is represented on the All-County Top 22 by seniors Daigan Kruger and Triston VandeVelde, while Shawnee Heights seniors Matthew Etzel and Jarin Sanders both earned Top 22 honors after helping lead the T-Birds to a 5-5 record.

    Topeka High seniors Tylan Alejos and Danny Saili, Hayden junior Joe Otting and Highland Park junior Tre Richardson round out the Top 22 selections.

    All 10 Shawnee County high schools have multiple players on either the Top 22 or Second 22 teams.

    All-Shawnee County Top 22 capsules:

  •’ 15 girls basketball players to watch in 2021-2022

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

     450x165 Shannon Ad


     Barkley1Jaley Barkley

    JALEY BARKLEY, Cair Paravel Latin

    A 5-foot-7 senior, Barkley averaged 17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Cair Paravel as a junior and earned third-team All-Shawnee County recognition. Barkley signed a letter of intent with Sterling College during the early signing period.

    E9 3YcDXsAMu3GBZoe Canfield

    ZOE CANFIELD, Washburn Rural

    A 5-foot-11 sophomore, Canfield averaged 7.3 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds last season for the 17-3 Junior Blues, earning second-team All-Centennial League and second-team TSN All-Shawnee County honors.

    BrooklynDeLeyemugBrooklyn DeLeye

    BROOKLYN DeLEYE, Washburn Rural

    A 6-2 junior, DeLeye averaged 17.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a sophomore for the 17-3 Junior Blues, earning first-team All-Centennial League and TSN All-Shawnee County honors and All-Class 6A honorable mention from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. DeLeye, a Kentucky commit for volleyball, was named the 6A player of the year in that sport.

    MariahFarmerMariah Farmer

    MARIAH FARMER, Silver Lake

    Farmer, a 5-6 junior, averaged 7 points and 2.7 assists last season while helping Silver Lake qualify for the Class 3A state tournament. Farmer earned TSN All-Shawnee County and All-Mid-East League honorable mention for the Eagles a year ago.

    FExgoGiXwAQDek9Jada Ingram

    JADA INGRAM, Washburn Rural

    A 5-11 sophomore, Ingram averaged 6.7 points and 7.1 rebounds last season as a freshman for the 17-3 Junior Blues, earning TSN All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial League honorable mention.

    FExfjTTXsAAdo7PEmma Krueger

    EMMA KRUEGER, Washburn Rural

    Krueger, a 5-foot-11 senior, started for Rural’s state championship team as a freshman and averaged 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season as a junior, earning first-team All-Centennial League and TSN All-Shawnee County honors for the 17-3 Junior Blues.

  •' 15 boys basketball players to watch in 2021-2022

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    450x165 Shannon Ad

    By RICK PETERSON          

    FExcFi8XsAQiRs Sincere Austin

    Sincere Austin, Topeka West

    A 6-foot-2 junior, Austin was inserted into Topeka West's starting lineup at midseason and played a major role as the Chargers advanced to the Class 5A state championship game, finishing second and posting a 21-3 record on the season. Austin hit 16 3-pointers on the season and earned All-Shawnee County honorable mention.

    FExhpX1XsAI1MEJJack Bachelor

    Jack Bachelor, Washburn Rural

    Bachelor, a 6-0 junior, earned All-Centennial League and TSN All-Shawnee County honorable mention as a sophomore for the 14-7 Junior Blues, averaging 7.2 points and 2.0 assists while connecting on 20 3-pointers.

    KaedenBonnerKaeden Bonner

    Kaeden Bonner, Seaman

    Bonner, a 6-2 junior, received All-Centennial League and TSN All-Shawnee County honorable mention last season for the 13-9 Vikings, averaging 11.7 points, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 59 percent on 2-point field goal attempts and hitting 24 3-pointers.

    FExcnI3WUAE4RcGElijah Brooks

    Elijah Brooks, Topeka West

    A 6-3 senior, Brooks was a first-team All-Shawnee County selection as a junior after helping lead the Chargers to a 21-3 record and a second-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament. A first-team All-Centennial League pick, Brooks averaged 15.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals a year ago.

    BJ CanadyBJ Canady

    BJ Canady, Topeka High

    Canady, 6-6, was a starter for the Trojans last season as a freshman, leading the team in rebounding with seven boards a game. Although just a sophomore, Canady will be counted on to be a leader for a Trojan team which is looking to improve on last year's 3-17 record.

    ZacharyClarkmugZachary Clark

    Zachary Clark, Cair Paravel Latin

    Clark, a 6-3 senior, received third-team recognition on the TSN All-Shawnee County team last season, averaging 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals to help lead Cair Parvel to a 10-8 record on the season.

  • All-City soccer: State runner-up Rural puts four on first team

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Washburn Rural, which posted a runner-up finish in the Class 6A state tournament, put a city-high four players on the 2021 All-City boys soccer team, selected by city coaches.

    Rural is represented by seniors Wyatt Arnold (goalkeeper), Mason Grogan (defense), Joe Morse (midfield) and Porter Schafersman (forward), while Junior Blues coach Brian Hensyel was named the city coach of the year.

    WyattArnoldmugWyatt Arnold

    MasonGroganmugMason Grogan

    JoeMorsemugJoe Morse

    PorterSchafersmanPorter Schafersman

    Hayden, a quarterfinalist in 4A-1A, put junior Jake Muller (forward) and senior Nick Padilla (midfield) on the All-City team while Seaman is represented by seniors Kyson Evans (midfield/defense) and Gavin Wilhelm (midfield/defense) and Shawnee Heights by senior David Skinner (defense) and junior Isaac Wilson (midfield).

    JakeMullerJake Muller

    KysonEvansmugKyson Evans

    David SkinnerDavid Skinner

    Senior Ethan Everhart (forward/midfield) earned first-team honors for Cair Paravel Latin while Highland Park is represented by junior Vellamy Diaz (forward), Topeka High by senior Sergio Ramirez (midfield) and Topeka West by junior Jack Snyder (defense). 

    SergioRamirezSergio Ramirez

    Arnold and Padilla are both All-City first-team repeat picks while Everhart, Muller, Evans, Skinner, Ramirez and Schafersman moved up to the first team after earning honorable mention a year ago.

    Hensyel was selected as the city coach of the year after leading the Junior Blues to a 19-1 record, including a 27th straight Centennial League championship (outright or shared).


  • Player of the year DeLeye headlines TSN All-Shawnee County volleyball

    Rick Peterson

     BrooklynDeLeyeWashburn Rural junior Brooklyn DeLeye has been named the TSN All-Shawnee County volleyball player of the year for the 2021 season. [File photo/TSN]


    Player of the year Brooklyn DeLeye, a Washburn Rural junior, headlines the inaugural All-Shawnee County volleyball team while state placers Rural and Seaman combined to earn seven of 12 first-team berths.

    DeLeye, who has orally committed to Kentucky, is joined on the all-county team by teammates Katelynn Brogan, a senior, junior Taylor Russell and sophomore Jada Ingram after the Junior Blues posted a 41-2 record and a fourth-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament.

    Veteran Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick was named the county coach of the year after leading Rural to 41 straight wins to start the season and Centennial League and sub-state championships.

    Seaman which finished fourth in 5A with a 27-13 record on the year, is represented on the All-County team by senior Drew Baxter, junior Laynee Brown and sophomore Taylin Stallbaumer while Viking freshman Maegan Mills was named the county newcomer of the year.

    Shawnee Heights put senior Kali Henry and junior Emily Loy on the All-County team while Topeka West is represented by junior Makinsey Jones, Silver Lake by senior Camilla Ossola and Rossville by sophomore Kinsey Perine. 

    All-County first team capsules:

  • Lions cap perfect 11-0 season with 64-16 romp in KCAA title tilt

    Rick Peterson


    Cair Paravel Latin football coach Doug Bonura said he never set a goal for his Lions to post a perfect 2021 season.

    He didn't have to because the Lions did it for him.

    "I didn't set that as a goal but these guys actually did,'' Bonura said earlier in the week. "Last spring they said, 'Hey, we're going to go undefeated.'

    "That has been something that's been in their mind that that's what they wanted to do.''

    Cair Paravel achieved that lofty objective Saturday afternoon at Highland Park, capping an 11-0 campaign with a 64-16 win over St. Mary's Academy in the Kansas Christian Athletic Association state championship game.

    Registering their second win of the season over 7-2 St. Mary's, a perennial KCAA power, Cair Paravel jumped out in front 16-0 in the first quarter and led by a 30-8 margin at halftime.

    The Lions scored 22 third-quarter points to take a 52-8 advantage over the Crusaders and Cair Paravel outscored St. Mary's 12-8 in the early stages of the fourth quarter to end the game by way of the 45-point spread rule.

    dsc 5907 11260 1200 1200 100Cair Paravel seniors Noah Hastert (left), Carter Brian and Max Colombo hoist the KCAA championship trophy after Saturday's 64-16 win over St. Mary's Academy. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Star senior quarterback Carter Brian completed 30 of 45 pass attempts for 336 yards and three touchdowns and he had a hand in six touchdowns overall, carrying the ball 15 times for 31 yards and three touchdowns.

    Sophomore Jesiah Bonura scored three Lion touchdowns on the day, carrying the ball six times for 34 yards and two scores and catching six passes for 57 yards and a TD.

    JachinBonura2Cair Paravel Latin junior Jachin Bonura caught 13 passes for 176 yards and a TD and had six tackles and an interception in Saturday's 64-16 over St. Mary's Academy. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Junior Jachin Bonura had a huge day for Cair Paravel, including 13 pass receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown. He also was in on a team-high six tackles for the Lions and had one of Cair Paravel's five interceptions.

    Senior Noah Hastert caught five passes for 51 yards and a TD and also intercepted a pass.

    Sophomore Evan Will had five tackles and a pass interception while Simon Everhart picked off a pair of passes.

    Brian finished the season with 2,515 passing yards and 51 touchdown passes while Hastert caught 46 passes for 921 yards and 22 TDs.


    St. Mary's Academy (7-2) 0 8 0 8 -- 16

    Cair Paravel Latin (11-0) 16 14 22 12 -- 64

  • Brian, Cair Paravel looking to cap dream season with win in KCAA title game

    Rick Peterson


    It's hard to comprehend some of the numbers that senior quarterback Carter Brian and the Cair Paravel Latin football team have put up this season.

    Cair Paravel has outscored its opposition by a 560-78 margin and not had a game closer than 42 points en route to a perfect 10-0 season, while Brian has ranked among the nation's best Eight-Man passers, throwing for 2,179 yards and 48 touchdowns.

    CarterBrian2Cair Paravel Latin senior quarterback Carter Brian has thrown for 2,179 yards and 48 touchdowns this season for the 10-0 Lions. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    But while the Lions' incredible season might be a surprise to those outside the Cair Paravel program, Brian said it's not a big shock to his team.

    "We worked hard all summer,'' Brian said. "We played 7 on 7, we were lifting and doing all the things we needed to do and we knew that it was possible for us to be undefeated and when it came to game time, we just executed.''

    Now the goal is to cap off the dream season with a win in Saturday's 1 p.m. Kansas Christian Athletic Association title game against perennial KCAA power St. Mary's Academy at Highland Park.

    The Lions handed the Crusaders their only loss of the season in a 54-8 home regular-season victory in Week 5, a win that Brian said was a big momentum-builder.

    "That was definitely a big statement game,'' Brian said. "I think it proved to us we were better than we thought we were and that we could hang with any team.''

    But Brian said the Lions also know things will be tougher the second time around.