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Prep Appraisals — A look back at Day 3 of the Firebird Winter Classic
The girls basketball teams from Lawrence High and Free State bookended Saturday at the Firebird Winter Classic with victories. Hours after the Lions finished the three-day tournament on a good note, the Firebirds protected their home floor in the tourney title game, knocking off Wichita Bishop Carroll, 54-50.
FSHS coach Bryan Duncan said the championship-game "W" and his team's semifinal victory over Topeka Washburn Rural the night before should give the players a boost of confidence, because both of the wins were in close games against quality opponents.
"When our backs were against the wall," Duncan said, "we really fought back and got a win."
As is usually the case in Firebirds victories, each rotation player had a huge part in the team's success. Let's get to the "Prep Appraisals."
1. Kennedy Kirkpatrick, jr. — Never one to buckle under pressure, Kirkpatrick stepped up in the midst of a neck-and-neck fourth quarter for Free State. She went coast to coast for a layup, pulled up for a three-pointer and sank the title-clinching free throws with 1.4 seconds left. Kirkpatrick finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals and a couple of assists in the championship game.
2. Lynn Robinson, sr. — Not only did her steal and layup open a successful fourth quarter for FSHS, but Robinson also forced a five-second call with her quick feet on defense in the final minutes. Her three-pointer in the third was part of a key 8-2 run. Robinson finished with 11 points and three steals.
3. Chelsea Casady, jr. — Nice bounce-back game for Chelsea after a rare scoreless outing the night before. Though the responsibility of checking Carroll's larger interior players led to Chelsea fouling out late in the fourth quarter, she still finished with nine points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
4. Jackie Garcia, sr. — With Free State down five points at the half, Garcia made it her responsibility to get the team going in the third quarter. She converted a nice up-and-under move inside to score the first points of the second half and — after the Eagles scored to extend their lead — Garcia found Chelsea and Scout Wiebe for open jumpers.
5. Scout Wiebe, so. — Big bench production from Wiebe. She gave the Firebirds some toughness inside with her post defense and finished with six points and three rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.
6. A'Liyah Rogers, jr. — Hounding defense is Rogers' calling card — and nothing changed about that Saturday — but she also scored two significant buckets in the final 10 minutes. Rogers knocked down a jumper for Free State's final basket of the third quarter and cut from the weak side of the floor for a layup that put FSHS up 10 points in the fourth.
7. Abbey Casady, jr. — Abbey helped FSHS try to corral Carroll's bigs in the paint, knocked down a jumper in the first quarter and hit a pair of free throws in the second.
8. Summer Frantz, jr. — When the Firebirds found themselves in foul trouble, Frantz came in off the bench in some tough spots and helped FSHS hold on for a championship.
Free State record: 9-3
Next up: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Shawnee Mission West
Lawrence slays Sumner
Lawrence High's girls basketball team didn't let the seventh-place game or not playing in the main gym slow them down against Kansas City, Kan., Sumner Academy. The Lions dominated throughout for a 53-24 victory.
Coach Nick Wood said the Lions put an emphasis on starting the game off right and rode that momentum.
"They wanted to win that game," Wood said, "and they came out and made a point to do that."
Here are the "Prep Appraisals" from the blowout.
1. Krista Costa, jr. — What didn't Costa do? Her dedication on the defensive end of the floor gave the Lions the kind of attitude they needed in the blowout and she swiped five steals. Add eight points, six boards and two assists to the stat sheet and you've got quite the well-rounded game.
2. Bri Anderson, jr. — Talk about providing a spark off the bench. Anderson led Lawrence with 13 points (6-for-8 shooting), scoring six in the first quarter alone as the Lions opened on the attack. The junior forward was the only LHS player to score in every quarter and she finished with four rebounds.
3. Kionna Coleman, so. — It was easy to tell Coleman was determined to get LHS back on track after back-to-back tough losses. As usual, she was the Lions' best interior player and finished with 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.
4. Anna Wright, jr. — A key part of Lawrence's quick start in the first quarter, Wright cut to the rim for a layup and later hit a three from downtown that gave LHS a 15-2 lead. She finished with seven points, four steals and two rebounds.
5. Marissa Pope, fr. — With Sumner's defense unwilling to work in the half-court, Pope dismantled the Sabres in the early going, as Lawrence took control of the game. The small and speedy point guard dished out five assists and gathered three rebounds.
6. Monica Howard, jr. — Uncharacteristically, Howard only scored one point for LHS. However, she still contributed five rebounds and even facilitated the Lions' half-court offense in the first quarter, when she twice fed Anderson inside for a score.
7. Kylie Seaman, jr. — Her stats rarely match her overall impact. Seaman continued to show good decision-making on both ends of the floor. In the second half, she delivered two assists, the first one coming on a nice post feed to Coleman. In the fourth, she got in the scoring column with a drive to the hoop.
8. Bri Anglin, sr. — The senior post came off the bench and showed off some versatility. Anglin scored her first basket of the night by driving in from the top of the key in the third quarter. Soon after, she lobbed a pass in to Anderson for a bucket. Anglin finished with four points and two rebounds.
9. Christina Haswood, sr. — Showed off her rebounding skills in more way than one. Haswood rebounded from a scoreless outing the night before and showed off her ability to play underneath with four boards.
10. Mutiyat Hameed, sr. — Not much playing time for Hameed, but in the fourth quarter on an in-bound play she caught the ball in the paint and flipped it up for a score on a jump-hook. Then she got back on defense and forced a Sumner turnover.
Lawrence record: 5-7
Next up: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Leavenworth
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