Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertTopeka West Chargers

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  • Seven Shawnee County basketball teams in latest KBCA state rankings

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Seven Shawnee County basketball teams earned state rankings in the latest rankings released Tuesday by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.

    Topeka West, which has won 10 straight games to improve to 11-1, is No. 2 in the Class 5A boys rankings, just ahead of Highland Park (10-2) at No. 3.

    RickBloomquistnewRick Bloomquist's Topeka West boys are ranked No. 2 in Class 5A by the KBCA after winning last weekend's Topeka Invitational Tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Silver Lake, 9-1 on the season, moved up to No. 2 in the 3A girls state rankings.

    Topeka High's girls are ranked No. 4 in 6A while Washburn Rural holds down the No. 6 spot in 6A.

    Topeka High is 9-0 entering this week's Capital City Classic at High while Rural will take a 9-1 record into the Lady Firebirds Winter Classic at Lawrence Free State. 

    Shawnee Heights and Seaman cracked the 5A girls rankings at No. 9 and No. 10.



  • Rural's Miranda, Seaman pace city swimmers in Topeka High Invitational

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Seaman finished a city-high third-place in Tuesday's 13-school Topeka Invitational boys swimming meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium, while Washburn Rural's Jack Miranda won an individual title in the 100-yard freestyle.

    Free State and Lawrence finished one-two in the team standings with 401.5 and 352 points while Seaman was third with 306 points.

    Miranda was the city's lone individual champ, winning the 100 freestyle in 51.49 seconds, and Miranda teamed with Jalen Eilert, Sean Carr-Metzger and Nathen Trachta to finish second in the 200 free relay as the Junior Blues finished fifth as a team (197.5).

    Seaman's Daniel Ramirez placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:58.02) and Adin Florence took second in the 100 backstroke (1:08.65) while Colin O'Rourke was third in the 200 individual medley (2:13.97)

    Shawnee Heights' foursome of Truman Brede, Guillaume Hamblet, Luke Perkins and Tanner Zerger finished second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:47.24) while Zerger was second in the 50 free (23.64) and Perkins took second in the 100 butterfly (54.29) and the 100 backstroke (56.04).

    Zerger, Evan Hoobler, Perkins and Hamblet finished third in the 200 free relay (1:36.27), helping the T-Birds finish seventh in the team standings.


    Tuesday at Capitol Federal Natatorium

    Team scores

    Free State 401.5, Lawrence 352, Seaman 306, Piper 213, Washburn Rural 197.5, Olathe South 176, Shawnee Heights 136, Junction City 104, Salina Central 100, Hayden 98, Salina South 80, Topeka High 71, Emporia 39.

    Individual results

    200 medley relay — 1. Piper (Huisman, Hein, White, Briggs), 1:47.03; 2. Shawnee Heights (Brede, Humblet, Perkins, Zerger), 1:47.24;3. Lawrence, 1:49.08.

    200 freestyle — 1. Christian, Lawrence, 1:54.77; 2. Ramirez, Seaman, 1:58.02; 3. Rea, Free State, 2:08.49.

    200 individual medley — 1. Lule-Paredes, Lawrence, 2:04.60; 2. Bonnell, Free State, 2:04.79; 3. O'Rourke, Seaman, 2:13.97.

    50 freestyle — 1. Whittaker, Lawrence, 23.46; 2. Zerger, Shawnee Heights, 23.64; 3. Berland, Salina South, 23.86.

    One meter diving -- 1. Higgins, Emporia, 249.50; 2. Ahlvers, Free State, 241.55; 3. Kohl, Manhattan, 223.20.

    100 butterfly — 1. Bonnell, Free State, 54.27; 2. Perkins, Shawnee Heights, 54.29; 3. Smith, Olathe South, 55.07.

    100 freestyle — 1. Miranda, Washburn Rural, 51.49; 2. Moore, Free State, 53.27; 3. Lamb, Junction City, 53.42.

    500 freestyle — 1. Khosh, Free State, 5:17.68; 2. Cowardin, Lawrence, 5:19.53; 3. Christian, Lawrence, 5:25.68.

    200 freestyle relay — 1. Lawrence (Whittaker, Tell, Christian, Oral), 1:36.25; 2. Washburn Rural (Eilert, Miranda, Carr-Metzger, Trachta), 1:36.27; 3. Shawnee Heights (Zerger, Hoobler, Perkins, Humblet), 1:36.28.

    100 backstroke — 1. Smith, Olathe South, 54.68; 2. Perkins, Shawnee Heights, 56.04;3. Lule-Paredes, Lawrence, 56.86.

    100 breaststroke — 1. Hein, Piper, 1:06.38; 2. Florence, Seaman, 1:08.65;3. Sanner, Junction City, 1:08.73.

    400 freestyle relay — 1. Lawrence (Oral, Christian, Lule-Paredes, Whittaker), 3:31.07; 2. Free State, 3:35.52; 3. Piper, 3:39.74.


  • Washburn Rural enters city swim championships looking for three-peat

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Washburn Rural enters Thursday's city swimming championships as the two-time team champ, but the 2022 city meet has a chance to be one of the most competitive overall in recent seasons.

    The Junior Blues cruised to their second straight title last season by a decisive 402.5-292.5 margin over runner-up Hayden, but perennial city stalwart Seaman had just one entry due to COVID-related issues.

    Nathen Trachta won four gold medals in last season's city swimming and diving championships, helping lead Washburn Rural to its second straight city team title. [File photo/TSN]Nathen Trachta won four gold medals in last season's city swimming and diving championships, helping lead Washburn Rural to its second straight city team title. [File photo/TSN]

    Senior Nathen Trachta was a four-event gold medalist a year ago, winning both of his individual events while also swimming on a pair of winning relays as the Junior Blues won nine of 12 events.

    Trachta took first in the 100-yard butterfly in 54.57 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 56.16 while also swimming on the 200 free and 400 free relays and Rural also got a city title from junior Cordell Dimick in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.59).

    Luke Perkins was able to sweep his two individual events for Shawnee Heights last season in the city meet, taking first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.48) and 500-yard freestyle (5:07.88), and Perkins also swam on the T-Birds' winning 200 medley relay (1:54.03).

    Heights returning standout Tanner Zerger was also a city champion in the 200 medley relay in 2021.

    Topeka High finished third in the team standings in last year's city meet while Shawnee Heights was fourth.

    Rural's Trachta, Dimick and Jalen Eilert were first-team All-City selections last season along with Heights' Perkins and Topeka High's Perry Payne.

    The city meet will get under way with diving competition at 1:30 p.m., followed by the swimming events.



  • Brooks scores 43 points as Topeka West tips Junction City in OT, 67-66

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Forty-three. 43. XLIII.

    No matter how you put it, scoring 43 points in a high school basketball game is a monster number, and senior Elijah Brooks and his Topeka West Chargers needed every last one of those 43 points to pull out a 67-66 overtime Centennial League victory over a talented Junction City team Tuesday night at West.

    Brooks who scored 30 or more points for the fourth straight game, hit 15 of 20 shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and connected on 12 of 16 free throws as No. 2-ranked Topeka West battled back from 12-point deficit early in the third quarter to improve to 11-1 overall and remain tied for the Centennial League lead at 7-1.

    "I'm just glad to get out of here with a win,'' Brooks said. "Coming off the (Topeka Invitational) and playing tonight, it was kind of hard. We played alright, but the intensity was down and the energy was low.

    We were all sluggish and stuff, but we got it done and we'll go on.''

    ElijahBrooksJCTopeka West senior Elijah Brooks (4) scored a career-high 43 points as the Chargers outlasted Junction City in overtime, 67-66, Tuesday night at West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Tuesday's game included nine ties and 11 lead changes, including seven lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter, before the game went to overtime tied at 61.

    West, which was coming off its first Topeka Invitational Tournament title since 2004, went up 61-59 on a Brooks dunk with 3:34 left in regulation before Blue Jay senior David Rowell tied the game up at the 2:49 mark.

    Both teams missed opportunities down the stretch, sending the game to the four-minute extra session.

    Brooks scored the first basket in overtime and junior Xavier Alexander added a free throw to give West a 64-61 advantage with 1:04 remaining in OT.

    Junction City junior Sheldon Butler-Lawson cut West's lead to a point with 29 seconds left, but Brooks hit the first of two free throws with 11.6 seconds remaining and Alexander came up with a huge rebound, leading to two Brooks charities with 4.3 left to put the Chargers in front by four.

    The Blue Jays, who fell to 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the league, hit a 3-pointer as time ran out to account for the final margin.

    RickBloomquistJCTopeka West coach Rick Bloomquist talks over a call with an official during Tuesday's 67-66 West overtime win over Junction City. The Chargers improved to 11-1 with their 10th straight win. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "It's alway hard playing a Tuesday game after a big tournament and our tournament was very emotional, so in my opinion, this was kind of a trap game for us and we passed that test,'' Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist said. "You've got to win trap games and Junction City is not a team you want to play when you play a trap game.

    "They are so athletic and so well-coached and they've got some good players.'' 

    MalachiBergJCTopeka West junior Malachi Berg slams home a dunk for two of his 12 points in Tuesday's 67-66 overtime win over Junction City. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Junior Malachi Berg joined Brooks in double figures for Topeka West  with 12 points while junior Sincere Austin added seven points.

    Senior Howard Johnson led Junction City with 23 points while Terrance Tedder added 21 points.

    Like all one-point overtime games, Blue Jay coach Nick Perez knew his team had opportunities to come away with a big win, but he also saw a lot of positives that he thinks Junction City can build on.

    "We've just got to clean up some things with the turnovers and the missed free throws and the missed blockouts and then not excuting at the end,'' Perez said. "But I love our guys, I thought they fought hard. This is the best game we've played, I believe, all year long, and we've got to build off of it.

    "We can't just be happy about it. We've got to keep moving forward.''

    Topeka West, which has now won 10 straight games, face another tough test on Friday, hosting Seaman in a Centennial League matchup.

    The Vikings handed the Chargers their lone loss (69-59) early in the season.


    Junction City               16   18   16  11 5 -- 66

    Topeka West                19   13   18  11 6 -- 67

    Junction City (8-3, 5-2) -- Tedder 9-13 2-2 21, Johnson 8-14 2-3 23, Fadiga 1-4 3-4 5, Rowell 2-4 0-0 4, Butler-Lawson 3-10 0-1 7, Sellers 0 0-0 0, Baker 0-3 0-0 0, Clark 1-5 0-0 3, Watts 0-1 0-0 0, Adguzi-Addo 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 25-56 8-12 66.

    Topeka West (11-1, 7-1) -- Austin 3-8 0-3 7, Brooks 15-20 12-16 43, Alexander 1-7 1-2 3, Berg 6-11 0-4 12, Putthoff 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 1-1 0-0 2, Foy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-47 13-25 67.

    3-point goals -- Junction City 8 (Johnson 5, Tedder, Clark, Butler-Lawson), Topeka West 2 (Austin, Brooks). Total fouls -- Junction City 21, Topeka West 16. Fouled out -- Butler-Lawson.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Jan. 24, 2022

    Rick Peterson


    BarrientosNuria Barrientos 

    NURIA BARRIENTOS, Washburn University

    Barrientos, a 5-foot-11 senior from Barcelona, Spain, scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Washburn's women's basketball team capped a 2-0 week with a 72-67 MIAA win over rival Emporia State on Saturday at Lee Arena.

    KaedenBonnerKaeden Bonner


    A 6-1 junior, Bonner connected on eight 3-pointers and scored 24 points for Seaman's boys basketball team in Saturday's 72-68 loss to host McPherson in the third-place game of the McPherson Invitational. Bonner scored 51 points in Seaman's three tournament games.