High School Sports

High School Sports

Free State boys overcome poor start

Free State junior Brett Frantz (15) slides past Shawnee Heights senior Lance Barkley (11) for a layup during their game Friday evening in Lawrence. The Firebirds won 64-37.

Free State junior Brett Frantz (15) slides past Shawnee Heights senior Lance Barkley (11) for a layup during their game Friday evening in Lawrence. The Firebirds won 64-37.

December 11, 2010


For the second straight game, the first half was a forgettable one for Free State High’s boys basketball team.

The Firebirds hit only 10 of 31 field goals in the half, committed 10 personal fouls and didn’t pressure on defense the way coach Chuck Law expects them to.

And yet, for the second straight game, the Firebirds (2-0) coasted to victory with relative ease, this time 64-37 over Shawnee Heights in their home opener on Friday night at FSHS.

“The first half is probably the worst we’ve played, even in practice,” senior guard Alec Heline said. “We haven’t done stuff like that.”

Heline and junior Brett Frantz led the way with 15 points apiece, and senior Eric Watson added 10 points and five rebounds, but it was on defense where the Firebirds truly shined.

Behind a smothering full-court press and stifling on-ball defense, FSHS forced 24 turnovers and left Heights coach Pat Buchanan searching for answers on his bench.

The Firebird ‘D’ was especially sound after the break, when they blew the game open by outscoring Heights 36-15 in the second half.

“That’s going to be what we do,” Law said of the defensive pressure.

The Firebirds snagged errant passes and took off in transition for easy scores, though, at times they were also sloppy with the ball.

“I think a little bit of first- (home) game jitters,” Law said. “We were excited to play, and we had some kids do a few things a little bit out of character because of their enthusiasm and energy to play.”

In other words, trying too hard for a big play to excite the crowd.

“I think, too often, we were thinking forward to what the finish on the other end was going to be like,” Law said.

Law acknowledged that, while there were a few areas which he wasn’t particularly pleased with, his Firebirds are right about where he thought they’d be two games into the season.

“The good thing about that is there’s a lot of opportunity for growth,” Law said.


Maxandwillie 7 years, 3 months ago

Congrats Firebirds! Keep it rolling Coach Law.

bballwizard 7 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Clickker 7 years, 3 months ago

WHAT???? What does church have to do with FS basketball?

Needs to be seperate.

iquilt 7 years, 3 months ago

Extra Money?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHHA......yea, coaching high school pays sooooooo much! Does he drive a Mercedes too??

hometownhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

bballwizard = somebody's parent / somebody's little sibling / somebody who got cut

givingisfun 7 years, 3 months ago

bballwizard first of all I don't think it is very nice to use the names of the boys in your comment and especially not to say bad things about one of them. I think that there are some kids that are maybe a little better at playing a position in the games than others, but they all should have equal time to play and praise for their efforts to contribute to the game. I think what you are trying to say about the money is that if a player doesn't come from a family with money then it doesn't matter if they are good at playing the sport or not they will be placed on the back row. And I do agree that coming from a family with money should never be a deciding factor with our school sports. While sports in our schools is a good thing for our children to keep them off the streets and giving them less time to being swayed towards the bad things they could get involved with, I don't think sports should be the most important thing that is looked at. Our children's studies and academic performances should be first on their agenda. If parents would become more involved with our children's studies and spending time with them, our children would want to be all that they could and want to be in their very important lives.

larenceguy 7 years, 3 months ago

Bballwizzard- First I doubt you are a wizard... From your post I would say you are idiot actually. As someone who has know Coach Huphauf as a peer and friend, you are so far off on how Pat really is. He is the fairest guy there is as far as playing time, and I know he could careless what you church you got to when it comes to playing time. My guess is you either a parent of disgruntled player or someone who got cut. I know for a fact, it is not about the money, he would coach for free--but he earns the peanuts they pay for all the time he is away from his family, as do all amatuer coaches. He loves the game and kids. I also know that Head Coach Bill Self has personally called him, and told him that he thought Pat does an excellent job. So I will go Head Coach Bill Self over your small minded, weak, and petty view. Please continue to be the internet tough guy that you are making comments from behind your computer. If you are a kid, which I hope no parent is this stupid, please turn your computer off and get some social and equitte skills.

HCBS thoughts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>basketballwizzard(idiot)

Wayne Seymour 7 years, 3 months ago

bballwizard: Have you coached before or are you a coach now? Do you attend all the practice sessions in order to make such comments. If not, how can you say who will start or who will play? Are you really a parent of some boy that got cut from the squad or is not playing too much, that is what it sounds like to me, Yes, I know that coaches (high school) make a lot of money, and they are just in the coaching field for that. But if they are there just for the money, they could make more by picking cans and selling them. With the amount of time a coach puts in, he probably makes $3 or$4 an hour, and I would say that might be high.

not_that_crazy 7 years, 3 months ago

I see that Mr Wizard's comment was recently removed. Although rambling...I have seen much worse things on these boards. If you have that much time to police stray comments on a Saturday night, could you on post the sports schedules for the winter teams? Box scores?

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