Mayo, Middleton named to All-Sunflower League first team; other city standouts recognized
photo by: Carter Gaskins
A pair of city standouts made the first team to highlight the All-Sunflower League accolades for the 2019-20 season.
Lawrence High junior Zeke Mayo and Free State senior DK Middleton were both named to the first on the All-Sunflower League boys squad. Both players helped their respective teams clinch a share of the Sunflower League crown along with Olathe West.
Mayo, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 16.0 points per game to go along 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest for the Lions. He helped Lawrence reach the state tournament for the sixth year in a row, which matched a program record for most consecutive state berths.
“Zeke (is) no doubt a first-team caliber player,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis said. “(He was) our most well-rounded player, made his teammates better, and is very coachable.”
Middleton, meanwhile, was a key part of the Firebirds notching their third straight trip to the state tourney. He averaged 10.0 points per outing, while also posting 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
“DK had a really good career,” FSHS head coach Sam Stroh said. “There were other players in the league who maybe had better stats, but DK earned the respect of the league coaches in the way he helped us win the league this year.”
Olathe West’s Brad Ball was named the Sunflower League Coach of the Year. Senior Cougar Downing of Olathe West was recognized as Player of the Year. Shawnee Mission East senior Nick Arensberg and Olathe South junior Brandon Eckles were also named to the first team.
LHS senior Mayson Quartlebaum, a Kennesaw State signee, was the only local athlete to be listed on the second team. FSHS sophomore point guard Mozae Downing-Rivers received a third-team selection.
In addition, Lawrence seniors Peyton Mallory and Bryce Johnson were named to the honorable mention team. Free State Olin Yoder also received an honorable-mention selection, which was a list that included 21 athletes in the league.
On the girls side, a trio of local players were put on the All-Sunflower League second team. Junior Shannon Clarke and senior Caely Kesten, a Northwest Missouri State signee, both made it for the Firebirds. LHS junior Ozi Ajekwu was also one of 12 second-team selections.
The Lions also had freshman Hailey Ramirez, freshman Amaya Marshall and senior Sophie DeWitt make the honorable mention squad. Junior Evy Harrell received an honorable-mention selection for FSHS.
Olathe West’s Rick Rhoades was named Coach of the Year, while Lele Love of Olathe North earned Player of the Year.
All-Sunflower League teams
Player of the year: Cougar Downing, Olathe West
Coach of the year: Brad Ball, Olathe West
Sophomore of the year: Damar’e Smith, SM Northwest
Freshman of the year: Amarion Johnson, Olathe South
First team: Cougar Downing, OW; Zeke Mayo, LHS; Nick Arensberg, SME; Brandon Eckles, OS; DK Middleton, FS.
Second team: Damar’e Smith, SMNW; Mayson Quartlebaum, LHS; Kamari Armstrong, OE; KT Raimey, ON; Zach Nelson, SMN.
Third team: Blake Potthoff, SMS; Carter Lichtsinn, OW; Mozae Downing, FS; DJ Stubblefield, OS; Koi Jackson, ON.
Player of the year: Lele Love, Olathe North
Coach of the year: Rick Rhoades, Olathe West
First team: Sania Copeland, ON; Mackenzie Hart, OW; Molly Kaemmer, OE; Lele Love, ON; S’Mya Nichols, SMW; Kennedy Taylor, SMNW.
Second team: Ozi Ajekwu, LHS; Shannon Clarke, FS; Bailey Collar, OW; Camryn Gossick, SME; Taedyn Gray, SMW; Raegan Halliday, OS; Jada Johnson, SMN; Caely Kesten, FS; Kierra Prim, SMW; Mary Reiber, ONW; Ray Richardson, OE; Dani Winslow, OS.