Preps notebook: Firebirds force 3OT in girls soccer regional loss; Randall qualifies for state golf tourney; LHS alum signs with Chiefs

The Lawrence High girls basketball team prepares to take the floor at Shawnee Mission West during a regular-season matchup on January 7, 2022, in Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.A.

The Free State girls soccer team tested top-seeded Garden City through three overtimes in a 3-2 loss in the Class 6A regional semifinal match on Tuesday night. Winning at LHS the night before, the Lady Firebirds turned around and drove five hours to Garden City for the 6 p.m. playoff match with one of the state’s best teams.

Free State coach Joe Waldron said his senior trio — Ella McCleary, Raelynn Keefer and Maddie Powell — led his program to the big stage.

“I can’t say enough about them,” Waldron said. “They’re going to be missed. That’s one of the hardest parts about being a coach. Every year, you graduate people you’re going to miss.”

The Lady Firebirds, ending the season 2-16-0, took a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior midfielder Elaina Zung with 14 minutes left in the first period. Free State, losing its lead on consecutive scores by the Lady Buffs in the second period, knotted the match at 2-2 when junior midfielder Kate Foust scored on an assist by sophomore defender Amelia Wiles with 15 remaining in regulation.

Forcing three overtimes, Free State gave up the fatal goal mere moments into the third overtime.

“They’re disappointed,” Waldron said. “They felt like they should’ve won that game It’s hard to accept.”

Changes coming to high school basketball’s ‘bonus’ rule

Kansas high school basketball players can expect some changes when pulling up to the charity stripe next season. The National Federation of State High School Associations on Tuesday announced multiple changes made during a meeting last month.

Redefining the “bonus” rule, the NFHS eliminated the one-and-one situation in favor of granting two free throws at the line whenever the opponent commits five fouls in a single quarter. Team fouls will also reset at the end of each quarter.

Previously, the one-and-one was gifted to teams when the opponent tallied seven team fouls in a half, as well as two foul shots when the opponent reached ten team fouls in a half. The new rule targets high-injury rates by players crashing the boards, Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS director of sports, said in a news release.

“The rules committee studied data that showed higher injury rates on rebounding situations and saw this as an opportunity to reduce opportunities for rough play during rebounds,” Atkinson said. “Additionally, resetting the fouls each quarter will improve game flow and allow teams to adjust their play by not carrying foul totals to quarters two and four.”

Additionally, the front-court violation has been modified to penalize the offending team prior to the bonus. When a infraction occurs, the corresponding throw-in will come at one of four spaces determined by where the infraction took place, according to the release.

“The designated spots are either the nearest 28-foot mark along each sideline or the nearest spot three feet outside the lane line on the end line. The one exception is when the defensive team causes a ball to be out of bounds, the throw-in shall be the spot where the ball went out of bounds.”

The release included modifications to four other rules:

• Rule 2-1-3 establishes the official placement of a shot clock operator at the scorer’s table for those states utilizing the shot clock.

• Rule 3-4-5 clarifies that multiple styles of uniform bottoms may be worn by teammate, but they must all be like-colored and adhere to uniform rules outlined in Rule 3-6-2 regarding logos and trademarks.

• Rule 3-5-6 addresses undershirts and allows teams to wear a single solid color or solid black for visiting teams with dark jerseys. This provides an opportunity for schools with hard-to-find colors to have all players wear a black undershirt.

• Rule 9-3-3 was amended to allow a player to step out of bounds and return to the court if they gain no advantage. A player is penalized only if, after returning inbounds, the player is the first to touch the ball or avoids a violation.

A complete list of rule changes is available at the NFHS official website.

Randall qualifies for state golf tourney in Newton

Just one area golfer, Free State junior Jack Randall, qualified for state at the Class 6A regional tournament on Tuesday at Heritage Park Golf Course in Olathe. Randall shot 4-over (75) tying for 10th place with Olathe West’s Tyler Walker.

The top three teams — Olathe West (1st), Olathe South (2nd) and Olathe Northwest (3rd) — all qualify for the state tournament. Randall is one of the top five individual placers, outside the top three advancing teams, to earn a trip to next week’s state tournament in Newton.

Free State placed fifth overall with a 333 team score; LHS finished in seventh carding a 338 team score.

Breaking the top 20, Lawrence High sophomore Nate Schworm finished 9-over (80) edging past teammate Gunnar Wayenberg. Wayenberg tied for 21st (81) with Olathe East’s John Huntsman and Olathe Northwest’s Carson Phillips. Beneath Wayenberg was Free State freshman Cash Nelson, carding an 82 on the afternoon tying for 25th place individually.

Free State freshmen Adam Hemker and Henry Thompson tied for 39th (90), with senior Jackson Lintecum down the list in 53rd place (107). On the LHS side, senior Dallas Ostronic placed 36th (88), senior Macade Lewis finished 37th (89), freshman Andrew Kirkwood finished 45th (93) and junior Brian Lewis finished 48th (95).

Randall will travel to Newton next week to represent the Firebirds in the state tournament beginning Monday.

LHS alumnus signs with the Chiefs

Former Kansas State cornerback and Lawrence High alumnus Ekow Boye-Doe signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday.

Boye-Doe, starting all 14 games last season with the Wildcats, finished the year with a career-high 26 tackles and five pass breakups. The Lawrence native finished his college career as a 2022 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (2022) and started the last 27 games of his career in Manhattan.

While in Lawrence, Boye-Doe was named the third-best player among the Class of 2018 in Kansas by 247Sports under former LHS coach and KU football analyst Dirk Wedd.


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