Still part of the team: Even though she was unable to play, Free State guard Maggie Hull, who injured her ACL in January, sat behind the Firebirds' bench and supported her teammates throughout the game. Hull, who had surgery Wednesday, wore FSHS game shorts and a brace on her left knee. Meanwhile, FSHS senior Sarah Craft, who also tore her ACL this season, missed the game after having surgery earlier in the day. Both players were starters before they went down.
¢ Who?: During the introduction of the starting lineups for the girls game, LHS sophomore Cassie Potter was introduced by the FSHS public-address announcer as "Cassandra Potter." Potter was referred to by her full name the rest of the night.
"I hate that name," Potter said. "I would so much rather they call me Cassie, but that's my real name, and sometimes I have to live with it."
Potter finished the night with two points, four rebounds, five assists and a steal.
¢ Loud and proud: The student sections from both schools were at it early. As the LHS crowd joined the LHS girls in a rendition of the school's fight song, the FSHS crowd immediately attempted to drown out the lyrics with a chant of "Free State, Free State." The same scenario appeared again at the beginning of the boys game.
¢ Bonnie in the house: Kansas University's women's basketball program was well represented in the FSHS gym Friday night. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson and KU assistant Kyra Elzy watched the city showdown from the northeast corner of the gymnasium. Wisely, Henrickson wore lavender, neither team's school color.
¢ Fresh start?: A scoreboard malfunction at 6:35 of the third quarter in the girls game delayed things about five minutes. Without warning, the scoreboard on the west wall changed and showed all zeroes, but the glimpse of a fresh start for Free State was only momentary.
On the first possession following the stoppage, LHS junior Tania Jackson intercepted a pass at midcourt and sprinted the other way for a bucket. No dunk, though. The Lions led 23-9 at that point and went on to win, 50-36.
¢ No broken rim this time: With six minutes remaining in the second quarter, LHS senior Baba Diallo skied for a rebound and flushed the ball through the hoop to give LHS a 13-10 lead.
Perhaps wanting to avoid causing a 30-minute delay for breaking the rim like he did last week against Leavenworth, Diallo simply threw the ball through the basket instead of slamming it home.
Diallo finished with six points and seven rebounds.
¢ Fancy first lead: After trailing the entire first half, Free State took its first lead in an exciting manner.
Senior forward Weston Wiebe stole a pass at halfcourt and raced to the other end for a two-handed jam that gave the Firebirds a 20-19 lead. Seconds later, Craig Rosenstengle swiped one of his five steals on the night on the other end, and Kris Wilson converted a tough layup in traffic to give the Firebirds a 22-19 lead at halftime.
¢ Athletes honored: Speaking of halftime, Free State honored five of its athletes for being named all-state during a prolonged intermission.
Soccer standouts Leah Williams, Greg Glatz and Andrew Heck joined football stars Ryder Werts and Scott Williams in receiving a plaque with their photo and specific all-state honor.