Preps notebook: Evy Harrell emerging as offensive threat for Firebirds

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Free State's Evy Harrell (0) shoots a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 at FSHS.

During Friday’s 51-37 victory over Shawnee Mission East, the Free State girls basketball team was clicking on the offensive end.

The biggest key to the Firebirds (6-8, 2-5 Sunflower League) scoring over 50 points for just the fifth time this season was the emergence of sophomore Evy Harrell, who drilled four 3-pointers to help FSHS capture its second Sunflower League victory of the season. And it was all by design.

After Thursday’s practice, junior point guard Caely Kesten and Harrell stayed later to get the sophomore guard some more shots.

“That’s all it takes, is a couple extra shots,” Kesten said after the game. “I knew I could depend on her today, and when she hit that first shot, I knew it was on. I looked for her, and she just brought it.”

As a result, Kesten knew what was going to happen every time Harrell rose up for a shot Friday night.

Harrell canned three triples in the fourth quarter to close out a 19-0 run by Free State to remove any doubt about the outcome of the game. Kesten was credited with two assists on Harrell’s four 3-pointers. Harrell finished with 13 points, which matched a season high, on 4-for-7 shooting, including a 4-of-5 clip from downtown.

In the first quarter, Harrell missed her first attempt from long range. She didn’t miss another try from 3-point range the rest of the night, and felt confident on every attempt after seeing the first one go down with 3:30 left in the second quarter.

“I think it is really important (to see the first shot go down),” Harrell said. “It really boosts my confidence and makes me feel like I can shoot when I’m open.”

But Harrell’s latest performance illustrates how her role has evolved as of late.

Harrell, who was already one of the team’s primary defenders, has become more involved on the offensive end. She has scored 32 points over her last three games after recording a total of 20 points through her first 11 contests.

“I feel a lot more comfortable, especially since all my teammates are always helping me out,” Harrell said.

Harrell has now scored in double figures twice over the last three outings after not recording more than 6 points before that.

“Evy just grows every game,” FSHS coach Ted Juneau said. “We knew she was going to be a good basketball player, and now she is really starting to come into her own.”

Free State plays host to Lansing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Veritas defeats Sunrise Christian Academy

The Veritas boys basketball team scored 22 points in the opening period en route to a 74-43 victory over Sunrise Christian Academy on Saturday afternoon.

Veritas scored at least 19 points in the next two periods, as well, to claim a 31-point win. Tucker Flory finished with a game-high 33 points in the win on 16-of-21 shooting. He has now scored at least 30 points in two of his last three games. Jackson Rau scored 13 points to join him in double figures.

Veritas will travel to St. John’s Military at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Veritas (74)

Aaron Evans 2, Trey Huslig 8, Reed Wilson 2, Jackson Rau 13, Will Rau 4, Will Bartkoski 7, Scott Weinhold 3, Tucker Flory 33.

Baldwin beats Eudora

The Baldwin girls basketball team took down Eudora, 54-44, in a battle between two area teams Friday night.

BHS jumped out to a 16-5 advantage in the first quarter and never looked back. Macey Frost led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while Kayla Kurtz scored 17 points. For the Cardinals, Riley Hiebert finished with 19 points in the loss.

Eudora travels to Ottawa Tuesday, while Baldwin travels to Tonganoxie.

Baldwin (54)

Kayla Kurtz 17, Josie Boyle 1, Anna Burnett 8, Kate Ogle 10, Macey Frost 18.

Eudora (44)

Reagan Hiebert 2, Riley Hiebert 19, Jayla Pierce 7, Harper Schriender 4, Emma Durr 5, Emily Watson 6.

Perry-Lecompton sweeps Hiawatha

Both Perry-Lecompton basketball teams cruised to a win over Hiawatha Friday night.

The girls recorded a 38-34 victory after scoring 14 points in the first quarter. Freshman Katy Hurd scored 15 points, while Jenna Keller registered 8 points. On the boys side, PLHS extended its win streak to 11 games with a 45-36 victory. Blake Farmer led the way with 14 points, while Connor Anderson scored 12.

Both teams will travel to Holton on Tuesday.

Perry-Lecompton girls (38)

Blaise Ball 7, Rylee Paramore 2, Jenna Keller 8, Allison Nally 4, Campbell Keller 2, Katy Hurd 15.

Perry-Lecompton boys (45)

Parker Stone 8, Conner Morgison 4, Colton Mallonee 5, Cole Logan 2, Connor Anderson 12, Blake Farmer 14.

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