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Prep Appraisals — Firebird Winter Classic, Day 1


Get ready for as much basketball as you can handle.

We'll be double-dipping with "Prep Appraisals" each of the next three days.

With the girls basketball teams from Free State High and Lawrence playing in the Firebird Winter Classic at FSHS, there's plenty of city hoops to digest.

Let's start with Free State. The Firebirds advanced to the tournament semifinals with a 69-45 dismantling of Blue Valley West on Thursday.

1. A'Liyah Rogers, jr. — The Firebirds' sixth man couldn't be stopped Thursday night en route to 13 points. Rogers went 6-for-8 from the floor with a three-pointer, was aggressive off the dribble and took her usual bulldog approach on defense, tearing all over the floor to harass opposing ball handlers.

2. Kennedy Kirkpatrick, jr. — The sweet-shooting junior rattled off eight of her 18 points in the fourth quarter as FSHS put the game away. Kirkpatrick also passed out four assists and would have finished with a monster night if some shots that normally drop for her had went through the net.

3. Abbey Casady, jr. — An awesome night for Abbey. First, she wows with her rendition of the national anthem, then she scores a season-high 10 points and pulls down four rebounds.

4. Lynn Robinson, sr. — She scored six of her team's first eight points, establishing an assertive offensive approach for Free State. With four rebounds from her perimeter spot and a couple of assists, Robinson did plenty to compliment a 10-point effort.

5. Jackie Garcia, sr. — The steady senior helped swing momentum back in Free State's favor in the third quarter, with a nice move to the paint for a score in the opening minute of the second half. Then she found each of the Casady twins for the Firebirds' next two baskets. Garcia passed out five assists, scored four points and had three rebounds.

6. Chelsea Casady, jr. — FSHS only led by seven at the break before Chelsea contributed five points, an assist and a rebound in the third quarter, when Free State began to put away BVW. Chelsea, like her twin Abbey, scored 10 points.

7. Scout Wiebe, so. — Free State's youngest rotation player scored a fourth-quarter basket on an offensive rebound, and finished with six strong boards to go with two steals and two points.

Free State record: 7-3.

Next game: 6:30 p.m. Friday vs. Washburn Rural.

Lawrence didn't fare as well in the first round of the classic, losing 46-34 to a strong Washburn Rural team. But the Lions had another balanced night.

1. Kionna Coleman, so. — The most physically strong player on the LHS roster, Coleman took down four rebounds and scored six points while mixing it up in the paint against taller posts from WRHS.

2. Anna Wright, jr. — The Lions got a hefty momentum boost at the end of the first quarter, when Wright picked up a loose ball and calmly made a buzzer-beating jumper. She finished with eight points and a couple rebounds.

3. Monica Howard, jr. — Her ability to impact the game in the paint helped LHS stay within striking distance in the second quarter, when Howard scored twice in the paint and made a free throw after securing an offensive rebound. She had a pair of fourth-quarter steals, too; finished with five points and three boards.

4. Kylie Seaman, jr. — Her enthusiasm is generally unmatched. Seaman drilled a jumper in the second quarter and stole the ball for a transition layup in the fourth. Plus, you can tell she likes to work on the defensive end of the court.

5. Marissa Pope, fr. — The young point guard finished with one point, but continued to make her presence felt on defense with her speed and active hands.

6. Christina Haswood, sr. — The senior's two third-quarter three-pointers gave Lawrence a chance to hang around with the Blues in the second half.

7. Krista Costa, jr. — A solid energy player, Costa had two steals and two rebounds and proved she isn't afraid to get a little dirty by diving on the floor after a loose ball.

8. Bri Anglin, sr. — The substitute post player knocked down a 15-foot jumper in the first quarter and maintained her role as a rebounder off the bench, securing three misfires.

9. Emma Kelly, jr. — Came off the bench and immediately hit a jump shot for LHS. Kelly also served as a key perimeter defender when she was in the game.

10. Bri Anderson, jr. — One of the Lions' key bench players, Anderson grabbed a couple big rebounds and passed out an assist.

Lawrence record: 4-6

Next game: 4:45 p.m. Friday vs. Blue Valley West.

— Be sure to follow @LJWpreps on Twitter.


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