Morning Sun
  • Area teams decide league titles, postseason seeds

  • The Girard Trojan girls had last dropped a Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League basketball game on Jan. 27, 2006. That meant an incredible 2,190 days and 50 consecutive CNC League wins until Frontenac defeated Girard 67-60 on Friday night at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium.

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  • The Girard Trojan girls had last dropped a Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League basketball game on Jan. 27, 2006. That meant an incredible 2,190 days and 50 consecutive CNC League wins until Frontenac defeated Girard 67-60 on Friday night at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium.
    The 50-game winning streak in official CNC games began Jan. 31, 2006. Girard hammered Northeast 80-19 on a Tuesday night home game, as the Trojans bounced back from consecutive league setbacks to Baxter Springs (59-42) and Erie (35-32) with 20 points from senior Marissa Poppe and 16 from senior Lori Murphy, as well as 14 from senior Katlyn Leslie. Peter Euler covered the game for The Morning Sun. Girard then won its next five league games to close out '06 with six straight CNC wins during Sunny Pierce's final year as Girard head coach.
    Girard then won 44 consecutive CNC League games under head coach Brad Herlocker, a streak that ran over five seasons and five games of a sixth.
    During this 50-game span, Girard defeated Colgan, Riverton and Southeast seven times, Baxter Springs, Erie, Frontenac and Galena six, and Northeast five times apiece. The 2010 and 2011 senior classes never saw the Girard girls lose a CNC game.
    Girard won its final six CNC games in '06 by an average of 28 points, its eight games in 2007 by 25, its eight games in 2008 by 28.1, its eight games in 2009 by 28.9, its eight games in 2010 by 22.8, its seven games in 2011 by 18 and its five in 2012 by 18. Girard (14-5 overall, 5-1 CNC this season) finishes its regular season tonight with Galena.
    Earlier this season, Girard had its four-year Wilson County Classic streak ended by Pittsburg and its 38-game home winning streak ended by traditional Missouri powerhouse Webb City, impressive streaks that speak all by themselves for the high quality of basketball played at Girard High School in recent years.
    Meanwhile, Frontenac (18-1, 6-0) closes out its regular season tonight at home with Baxter Springs (14-5, 4-2).
    The Raiders look for their first CNC title since 2003 and their 16th in school history; Frontenac claimed 11 straight league titles from 1975-1985 and four over a five-year period from 1999-2003.
    Frontenac, the deepest team in Crawford County, hopes to use its depth advantage over a Baxter Springs team heavily reliant on the contributions of three players — senior forward Tasha Wampler, junior guard Nina Spence and junior guard Ashleigh Grimes.
    The schools met previously this season in the semifinals of the Lancer Classic and Frontenac won 60-36 on the strength of a combined 38-12 advantage in the first and fourth quarters.
    Spence, Wampler and Grimes combined to score 33 points (Spence 15, Wampler 11, Grimes 7) but all three players fouled out. Haley Wilson and Natalie Coomes led Frontenac with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
    The Raiders have momentum on their side, especially after their win over Girard on Friday night.
    "This was definitely a big win for our team and our program," Frontenac head coach Jeremy Rakes told Matt Newbery of KSEK Friday night. "I'm just so proud of everything they put into this and everything up until now.
    Page 2 of 4 - "To be honest with you, we were in control most of the game, I say that, after halftime. We got up by 11 or 12 at one time. They're so good, Girard's so good that they kept plugging away and making their free throws with the clock stopped. It came down to us having to hit a few free throws ourself and kinda shut down on their run. It was just an awesome atmosphere in Girard. You couldn't ask for a better setting with two 5-0 teams, you know their 50th win and we've been rolling right now. What a great night."
    Frontenac seniors Meghan Winden and Taylor Seward play their final regular season home games tonight.
    On the boys side of the CNC League tonight, Galena (15-4, 6-0) looks to complete an undefeated run through CNC play after big wins over Riverton (58-53) and Colgan (62-56).
    The Bulldogs won their second games against the Rams and the Panthers after losses to both teams earlier in the season.
    Girard (8-11, 2-4) stands in the way of Galena recording an undefeated league mark.
    Riverton (17-2, 4-2), with losses to Galena and Colgan in CNC play, closes out its regular season tonight against Erie and Colgan (14-4, 6-1) finishes with Missouri school Lamar (13-9) on Thursday.
    Of course, Galena, Riverton and Colgan will be in a substate together, Colgan's first venture into Class 3A territory after seemingly decades of Class 2A dominance. Tri-Valley League schools Caney Valley and Cherryvale flank CNC members Colgan, Galena, Riverton, Frontenac and Southeast, as well as current CNC member and future Tri-Valley League member Erie.
    With its only losses in CNC play coming to Colgan, Galena and Riverton (teams a combined 46-10), Frontenac (11-8, 3-3) attempts to boost its record above .500 in league competition and finish behind this season's Big Three.
    Erie and Frontenac both enter tonight with 3-3 league records; if Frontenac handles its own business against Baxter Springs and Riverton beats Erie, then Frontenac will finish fourth and Erie will be fifth ahead of Girard, Baxter Springs and Southeast.
    Pittsburg basketball
    The Pittsburg boys (11-7, 4-2 Southeast Kansas League) and the Fort Scott boys (14-4, 5-1) took divergent paths to SEK League wins on Friday night: Pittsburg battled with Iola through hell and hot shooting and finally overtook the Mustangs in clutch time for a 63-58 win, sparked by a game-high 20 points by senior guard Dillon O'Dell, and Fort Scott annihilated winless-in-SEK Columbus 71-13.
    No, that's not a mistake, Fort Scott held Columbus to nine points in the first quarter, two in the second, none in the third and two in the fourth; Fort Scott wing Tyler Adams alone outscored Columbus for the entire game with 16 points in the first quarter.
    Page 3 of 4 - Prolific-scoring guards have given Pittsburg difficulties in SEK play: James Newton of Coffeyville had 30 points, James Jackson of Parsons scored 30 and Levi Ashmore of Iola had 19 against Pittsburg. Fort Scott features Adams and Cameron Woodring, both perimeter-oriented players capable of putting the points on the scoreboard in a hurry, as well as tough-as-nails junior point guard Johnathan Stark.
    Pittsburg won the first game back in December, 56-51 in overtime. Jornell Fondren scored 16 of his team-high 18 points for Pittsburg after halftime and junior big men Stefon Rich and FeDor Lomax combined for 23 points (Rich 14, Lomax 9) against the relatively outsized Tigers. Woodring led all scorers with 21 points and hit 9-for-9 on his free throws, even pulling out some old school Reggie Miller kick-out-your-legs-and-draw-the-foul moves on Pittsburg defenders. Over the final 3:44 of regulation, Fort Scott outscored Pittsburg 9-0 to force overtime, sparked by two Adams 3-pointers.
    Independence (13-5), the last undefeated boys team in the SEK at 6-0, faces Parsons (16-2, 5-1 SEK) tonight in a game that will go a long way toward deciding the league title.
    The Pittsburg girls (14-4) and the Fort Scott girls (7-11) find themselves in a tie for third place in the SEK, both currently 4-2 entering their showdown tonight at Fort Scott High School.
    When the Purple Dragons and the Tigers first played this season on Dec. 9, Pittsburg defeated Fort Scott 35-23 for its first win of the season.
    Skyler Muff led Pittsburg with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Muff and junior forward Lizzy Willis have packed a considerable 1-2 punch in recent games.
    Labette County (15-3, 6-0) defeated Parsons (13-5, 5-1) 57-48 on Friday and the Grizzlies have a direct line to another SEK League title with games remaining this week against Iola (tonight) and Fort Scott (Thursday).
    Northeast boys basketball
    The Vikings made history on Friday night with their 43-31 win over the Uniontown Eagles on Northeast Homecoming. Since the Three Rivers League utilizes a tiebreaker system and since the undefeated Vikings (15-4 overall) defeated the previously undefeated Eagles (14-5 overall), Northeast will be the outright TRL champions even if the Vikings somehow lose to winless Altoona-Midway at home tonight on Senior Night.
    Since their move from the CNC League to the TRL after the 2009-2010 school year, the Vikings have won three league titles: volleyball (2010), baseball (2011) and boys basketball (2012).
    This is a school that last won a league basketball title in 2001 and the Vikings only have eight league titles during their school's history: 1973 football, 1974 boys basketball, 1982 football, 1988 volleyball, 2001 boys basketball, 2010 volleyball, 2011 baseball and 2012 boys basketball.
    The Vikings have lost four games so far this season: Frontenac 49-46 on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot by Frontenac sophomore Brett Macary, Southeast 43-41 during a game in which both interior players Chase Cleland and Noah Popejoy fouled out and two games in the Tony Dubray Classic, to host Liberal (56-35) and to No. 1 seed Thomas Jefferson (39-34).
    Page 4 of 4 - With a few breaks this way and a few breaks that way, Northeast could be 18-1 on the season rather than 15-4.
    That win over Uniontown not only gave Northeast an outright Three Rivers League title, but it also gives Northeast a seeding advantage for substate play. Northeast owns a 15-4 record while Uniontown sits at 14-5 before its final regular season game tonight against Southern Coffey County. Substate pairings are finalized on Wednesday for Class 4A through 1A teams.
    Northeast, which moved from Class 3A to Class 2A this season, plays in a substate featuring West Elk, Madison/Hamilton, Marmaton Valley, Oswego, Sedan, host Uniontown and Yates Center.
    The Bulldogs of Madison/Hamilton have a 17-3 record (definitely the No. 1 seed) and the Sedan Blue Devils are 14-3 with a game against Flinthills tonight impacting their seeding. The Mustangs of Flinthills are 14-4 this season, including a 44-41 win over Sedan on Jan. 10.
    If Northeast wins and Sedan loses tonight, Northeast would have a .800 winning percentage and Sedan would be at .780; this would give Northeast a No. 2 seed and Sedan No. 3. If both teams win tonight, Sedan would have a higher winning percentage and would be the No. 2 at substate.
    Northeast made state basketball tournament appearances in 1973 and 1974, its only two visits in school history.
    High School Basketball
    Altoona-Midway at Northeast
    Baxter Springs at Frontenac
    Coffeyville at Chanute
    Crest at Marais des Cygnes Valley
    Girard at Galena
    Independence at Parsons
    Iola at Labette County
    Marmaton Valley at Lobo
    Oswego at Pleasanton
    Pittsburg at Fort Scott
    Prairie View at Jayhawk-Linn
    Riverton at Erie
    Sedan at Flinthills
    Southern Coffey County at Uniontown
    St. Paul at Chetopa

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