High School Sports

High School Sports

Hill carries FSHS girls hoops past Lions, 43-40

Free State center Ashli Hill (33) contests a shot by Lawrence High’s Jasmyn Turner. Hill was a difference-maker on defense, finishing with seven blocks in the Firebirds’ 43-40 victory over the Lions on Friday at LHS.

Free State center Ashli Hill (33) contests a shot by Lawrence High’s Jasmyn Turner. Hill was a difference-maker on defense, finishing with seven blocks in the Firebirds’ 43-40 victory over the Lions on Friday at LHS.

February 27, 2010


LHS girls fall to Free State

The Free State girls edged Lawrence High, 43-40, on Friday. Enlarge video

Ashli Hill was too much of a, yes, hill to climb for Lawrence High.

Hill, a 6-foot-5 senior, dominated the paint and lifted Free State to a 43-40 victory over the Lions in girls hoops Friday night in the LHS gym.

“She’s such a big factor defensively,” Lions coach Nick Wood said of Hill. “She just brings a presence that affected our ability to penetrate.”

Hill posted game highs in three categories — points (14), rebounds (11) and blocked shots (7).

Not surprisingly, she was also a factor down the nail-biting stretch, nailing two free throws with 40 seconds left, then blocking one of the Lions’ last-ditch shots in the waning seconds.

The lead had changed hands four times in the last five minutes when Shelby Miller fouled Hill under the basket with :40 on the clock. Hill reacted emotionally, swinging her arm in an overhead punching motion.

“I was really fired up,” she said of her outburst. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

Hill certainly picked the right night for what FSHS coach Bryan Duncan called “the best game of her career on both ends of the floor.”

A key was Hill’s ability to stay out of foul trouble, a career-long bugaboo.

“When she stays in the game,” Duncan said, “we tend to be successful. She sat out for maybe 10 seconds, so I kept asking her if she needed a break. I can’t tell you what she said. Let’s just say she said she felt fine.”

Early on, it appeared the Lions would easily avenge their 37-34 loss to the Firebirds last December in the Free State gym. With Haley Parker and Jordyn Tolefree on target, the Lions twice stormed to 10-point leads.

“Give credit to them,” Duncan said. “I think they were energized. They had that look in their eye, and they took it to us.”

But as has been the case most of the season, the Lions lapsed into scoring droughts, Free State caught up early in the third quarter, and the game was tense the rest of the way.

Lawrence High took 16 more shots than Free State, mostly because of hustle rebounds, but made one less field goal. The Lions shot 28.8 percent (15 of 52) and the Firebirds 44.4 percent (16 of 36).

Parker led the Lions with a dozen points — all in the first half — and Tolefree added 11. The two seniors combined for five three-point goals.

“When we make shots from the perimeter, we’re pretty tough,” Wood said. “We kind of live and die with perimeter shots.”

Hill was the only Firebird who scored in double figures, but notably Kennedy Kirkpatrick wound up with eight, including a pair of important three-point goals in the second half.

Kirkpatrick, who attends Southwest Junior High, became the first freshman to play in a crosstown basketball showdown.

“It was really exciting,” Kirkpatrick said. “It was crazy. It was really fun.”

Win or lose, Free State (13-7) was assured a home game in next week’s Class 6A sub-state. The Firebirds will entertain Shawnee Mission South at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

However, Lawrence (8-12) needed a win to secure a home game next week and didn’t get it. The Lions will travel to SM North next Wednesday.

Thus the loss was doubly disappointing for Lawrence, but Parker remained optimistic.

“It’s too bad we lost on Senior Night, especially since it was to Free State,” Parker said, “but we haven’t been that bad on the road this season. We’ve played on the road a lot.”


mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

hhmm, no mention of the ref screwup (big time) at the end of the game...very interesting....very interesting.....

BradWesley 7 years, 12 months ago

LJW - Lawrence High Wrestling has 2 young men wrestling for the state championship today but you have no mention of it. Freshman Hunter Haralson at 112 and Sophomore Reece Wright Conklin at 160. I would think this accomplishment would be your lead High School Sports story!

hail2oldku 7 years, 12 months ago

hmmm, mo3 whining about the officiating again after FSHS beats LHS interesting, very interesting.

@brad, it would be nice if the LJW would have more coverage all around on wrestling. Good luck to Hunter and Reese today. I;m surprised they are the only two that made it to Saturday matches.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 12 months ago

brad & hail here is about all you're going to get http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/feb/27/two-lions-finals-state-wrestling/?high_school_sports notice it says staff reports which means they pulled the info off of the KSHSAA website.

And hail, you could have just left it at mo3 whining again since that's ALL she ever seems to do when it relates to the high school sports.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

Whining, hardly. Never. I make specific comments and ask questions. At least I posted something specific to the game, and not make fun of anyone else.
There was a major screwup by the refs at the end of the game. If you had been there, or had been listening to the radio, then you would know what I was talking about. (unless you are fshs fans, and then I understand your lack of ....nope, not going there....I am an adult...unlike you....aw shucks, did I say that out loud)

BradWesley 7 years, 12 months ago

Hail - they are not. others are wrestling on the backside. It is just especially awesome for Lawrence that two are in finals and even more disappointing that LJW has no mention of it. They are in fact in 9th place after day 1.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

its sad the Wichita paper has more wrestling coverage than the local one. The eagle has Lawrence in 6th after day one, but Brad may be there and the paper may be wrong. The eagle also has the results of each match for each round. I know some LHS guys are wrestling hurt, those boys are so tough...GO LHS wrestling...

I am curious as to what Lionbacker thought about the last quarter, cause to me, it looked like many of the last quarters LHS has played....just run out of gas....
Next years game will be interesting.....FSHS has no height, and LHS will have little experience.....
anyway, on to substate.....

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

LHS really wanted that game, and the first quarter was pretty brilliant and full of energy...... focus on substate, fix whats needed and go after it full speed. GO Lady lions.

sportsFan22 7 years, 12 months ago

Just this fans opinion but I'd say the LJWorld got it right. Props go to Hill as she DID play her best game of her career... lhs seemed to have no answer for her throughout most of the game. Minus an early outburst she even managed to keep her emotions under control (which has always been an issue in the rival game - aka flipping off the crowd incident in last years game). Offensively, lhs often answered themselves but looked like they played tight in the 4th quarter, missed important basekts, and had a horrible last possession of the game. Bad call or not at the end lhs put themselves in that situation by not giving themselves a chance to score in the last 40 seconds. Too much dribbling and no organization as to who would take the big shot.... for a team that carries a group of seniors with so much experience it is a little disappointing.

sportsFan22 7 years, 12 months ago

on an extra note.... GREAT atmosphere. Can't beat the "jungle" for a rival game! The energy in that place is amazing!

also.... LJWorld you got it wrong. Kirkpatrick might be the first freshman of the era to play in this game but definitely not the first freshman to play in the showdown. It's been quite a few years but I do know that Dani May played (and made an impact) and so did Katie Rhoades (actually if my memory serves me right there might have been a group of freshman that played that year). Worth looking into....

fshsbird 7 years, 12 months ago

Wow, what a game and the jungle definitely lived up to its name. kudos to LHS for a good effort, but in the end, the better team and talent definitely took over the game. and like I called before. the 9th grader made a huge impact. 2 deep three's and a game securing defensive play at the end was amazing. Ashlie played like a beast. looks like a team that can win it all. great day to be a FIREBIRD!!!!

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

to say that the 9th grader made a huge impact is taking away what I thought was Wiebe's play. She was in the paint and put in crucial buckets and put backs. She seemed to fill in the gaps. She is a team player in every sense of the word.
But I have to say, they do not look like a team that could win it all. They had some turnovers and LHS exposed some key weaknesses. But you can attribute that to the jungle.
Also, you have to get by Olathe South, which will be darn near impossible with the lack of FSHS bench. South has more experienced players, and a much deeper and physically larger bench. Then you also have Washburn Rural, who have multiple players who can hurt you. Shawnee MIssion West is beatable, but you have to contain Lizzie and hope the rest crumble, but that doesn't happen very often. And you can't forget Shawnee Mission East. Graf is an amazing player. All of those teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state, for a reason. And then there are the other teams which are amazing as well, whom I have not seen.
You have a good chance at a substate championship, depending on which teams are in your bracket. But state is an entirely different ballgame. I think your seniors deserve to go far, but not sure if this team can do it.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

sportsfan, I agree with you about the fourth quarter with lhs. Seems to be the story for them.

But still, refs can not make those huge of errors, and there were several, in the last few seconds. Even the radio announcers were amazed. And it was an experienced officiating crew. It may not have made a difference in the ending of the game, but it makes you wonder if some refs need to retire, and also makes you wonder how many other errors were made by the same crew.
I think Ashli had one of her best games, and she will have to play that well or even better for this team to get to state.

Shelley Bock 7 years, 12 months ago

Mr. Woolding, you should remember this, but Kirkpatrick is NOT the first freshman to play in the crosstown rivalry.

In January 1998, Lauren Wilkinson, Erin McKenzie, Kristin Bock and Katie Rhodes, all freshmen at West Junior High played in the 4th Quarter of the first game of the rivalry, which was played at the Jungle.

It was notable that freshman Katie Rhodes guarded her LHS senior sister Laura Rhodes. Three of these players, Wilkinson, Bock and Rhodes played on the Free State team that went to State in 2001. Rhodes played basketball at Ft. Hays State. Wilkinson now teaches English at Free State after playing soccer at Missouri-Rolla. Bock played soccer at Baker and works for the Kansas City Wizards.

sportsFan22 7 years, 12 months ago

agree with you there mom.... Weibe really stepped up and did the little things that FS needed to win. Was surprised myself that she wasn't even mentioned in the article. On the LHS side I would say the same for Potter. She hit two big shots late in the game that kept their chances alive and also came up big on the defensive end. These two kids have been overshadowed all year by the "bigger" names... it would have been nice for the LJWorld to mention these seniors who I felt stepped up big for their teams as well don't ya think?

sportsFan22 7 years, 12 months ago

Hepburn.... thanks for he clarification on the freshman issue. I thought my OLD memory served me right and that others had played as well.

MIke Mallory 7 years, 12 months ago

sorry mom, just getting around after a late night drowning my sorrows. It was a extremely exciting game, but equally frustrating. I just cant figure out some of the moves down the stretch. Why did we contiualy keep driving it at Hill, why did we not double team her and make someone else beat us. Sometimes you have to pick your poison. Why did we waste at least 2-3 additional possessions at the end and rely on just one shot. The call was questionable but that is what you get at the end of the game. As I have said all year. if we shoot it well, we are awesome, but we have to find ways to win, even when the 3's arent falling. props to free state. there big players made big plays. hope we shoot good on Wednsday.

fshsbird 7 years, 12 months ago

and a big shout out to Wren, she played great, she is the oil that keeps this machine keep running smoothly. right now, its all about matchups. but I see only a few teams in the state that can match up with us. keep up the hopes of bringing our first state championship back to FSHS HOOPS.

kujayfan 7 years, 12 months ago

OMG DO YOU people have nothing better to do. Yes, Wren Wiebe had an awesome game. All I hear is a lot bad mouthing about the whole game. FSHS won LHS lost. In the grand scheme of life, it really means nothing, but a good memory for all the kids. a job well done on both sides.

Gary Denning 7 years, 12 months ago

For everyone who mentioned the referee mistakes in the game, I would advise you to immediately contact the KSHSAA and ask for your application to referee next year. That way you can take the time to get certified as an official, spend some bucks on uniforms and shoes, be away from your family, leave work early, and get yourself into physical condition--all so people can yell at you and complain that you don't do a good enough job. And the best part is that you can make forty or fifty bucks for this privilege of taking abuse at the games and then on the internet the next day.

MIke Mallory 7 years, 12 months ago

7679, that is the point, get in shape if you choose to referee. and Jr. high basketball pays $50 a game. those guys last night were each making over $100 per game. A pair of black slacks about $30 and ref shirt about $25. So each one of these refs makes well over $3000 per year. so dont think they are just volenteering their time. And jayfan. if you dont like it, dont read it, just read the article and move on your merry way. some of us like to discuss the game and different situations. Did you have a person of interest who was involved in the game?

newtoit 7 years, 12 months ago

Hats off to Ashli ,great performance with or without the supposed officiating. Bryan Duncan's game plan really over shadowed LHS's I thought we were in trouble when Duncan sat Hill in the first quarter with LHS having a ten point lead and all the mometum thanks to Potter. Then LHS sat Potter killing that momentum and their attack. LHS with all there talented players went on to play selfish ball which led to ther ultimate demise. Ashli came back in and took over stopping all interior play at the basket. LHS went away from what got them there lead at that point which was ball movement To dribbling to much to single handedly taking on the bird "s playing right into the firebirds game plan.Not guarding the three by the freshman(don"t think LHS got the memo on her) LHS give them credit has lots of talent but no leadership our birds probably played their best game of the year with everybody CARON WIEBE ROBINSON GARCIA and the rest behind the leadership of Ashli. Way to have them prepared coach. Wood should also co-share mvp of the birds, so look internal before blaming officials and every body else LHS did have a good chance of finishing in the last 30 seconds but ill prepared to do so

sportsFan22 7 years, 12 months ago

kujayfan you must be reading different posts.... there aren't many on her that criticize the officials (mom has mentioned it bu it doesn't look to me like anyone else has even said that played a role). So don't generalize and say YOU GUYS when you actually mean one poster. In my opinion there have been many posts that have commented on positive play on BOTH sides.

kujayfan 7 years, 12 months ago

sorry sportsfans22 didn't mean to generalize.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

Thanks for the input, Lionbacker. I have the same feelings as you. Wren played great, and I haven't had much chance to see her this season, and that's probably the best game I have seen Ashli play against LHS.

mom_of_three 7 years, 12 months ago

I only mention the refs to get opinions. I mean, the tv commentators mentioned the calls, especially the last few seconds. The radio announcers mentioned the calls, especially the last few seconds. Lots of people saw it. Hopefully, that doesn't happen to anyone else, especially if you are on the other end. Refs are trained, it shouldn't happen that way.

kujayfan 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe we should ask the 2 girls involved in the last call. Refs aren't perfect, & I have seen bad calls at the collegiate level also. You have to play to the refs.

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