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Archive for Sunday, January 27, 2008

Free State High Firebird Winter Classic Notebook

January 27, 2008

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Tourney highlight

In the Firebirds' opening-round victory over Hutchinson, junior forward Taylor Manning set a school record for assists in a game. Manning recorded eight assists, seven coming in the first half, to lead Free State into the second round.

Manning, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team, said breaking the record meant a lot to her.

"It makes me happy to know I could do it for my teammates while getting a win," she said.

With the record already hers, Manning is eyeing the next step.

"We talked about that after the game," she said. "I want to get 12."

¢ Tourney lowlight

Finishing 1-2 and taking fourth place certainly was disappointing, but it paled in comparison to the pain of losing junior point guard Maggie Hull to a knee injury.

Hull, a starter for Free State all season, injured her knee during Free State's victory over Hutchinson.

Despite being out of action for the semifinal and third-place games, Hull sat on the bench in game shorts and shuffled in and out of the team huddles with the help of crutches.

"Maggie is the ultimate athlete and person," FSHS coach Bryan Duncan said. "This injury is devastating for her and for our team, but all she was concerned about was what time she needed to be here for our next game and what she could do to help."

¢ Recruiting trail

As expected, more than 20 Division I, Division II, NAIA and junior college coaches attended the Firebird Winter Classic, hoping to get their hooks into some of the most talented underclassmen in the state.

The school that made the farthest journey to scout the action was Minnesota University, of the Big 10 Conference. Several Big 12 schools, including Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, also attended.

¢ All-tournament team

The following players joined Manning on the Winter Classic all-tournament team: Joanna McFarland and Cammi Stith, of Derby, Lindsey Keller, Katie Porter and Alysia Hart, of 2008 champion Goddard, LaSharra Riley and Maggie Holmberg, of Washburn Rural, Edan Townley, of Hutchinson, and Jessica Blake, of Topeka High.

¢ Rival in the house

Five hours before her team tipped off in the championship game of the Capital City Classic in Topeka, Lawrence High sophomore Cassie Potter showed up at the FSHS gym to watch her crosstown rivals play Washburn Rural in the third-place game.

Potter and the Lions fell to Blue Valley, 71-62.

¢ Coaching connection

Saturday's third-place game featured a unique coaching match-up, as Free State coach Bryan Duncan and Washburn Rural coach Bill Annan both were born in Onaga. Onaga is about 25 miles west of Holton.

Annan's Junior Blues defeated Duncan's Firebirds on Saturday in the third-place game.

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