Free State basketball teams drop hard-fought games at Olathe South

Olathe — The Free State boys basketball team dropped a close, hard-fought battle at Olathe South High School, 63-59, in a game that saw neither team lead by more than six points Tuesday night.

The Firebirds (5-10) were tied at 59 in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, but the Falcons (12-3) scored four straight points to win the game on their home floor.

“I felt like we played well and we played hard,” FSHS coach Dwayne Paul said. “I just told the guys we have to keep playing hard. Tomorrow we have to come in and get shots up and get prepared.”

The Firebirds started out the night strong courtesy of several early 3-pointers. Wesley Edison, AJ Eason, and Devon Hamilton each knocked one home to give the visitors an early advantage.

The Falcons took a late lead in the opening quarter, but Free State’s Hamilton scored on a tough floater to hand his team a 18-15 lead heading into the second.

The Falcons scored the first five points of the second quarter to take the lead back, but Free State responded quickly with baskets from Ethan Prescott and Hueston Saunders.

A made free throw in an old-fashioned three-point play from Edison gave Free State the lead again late, as the two offenses continued to trade baskets heading into halftime, with a miss from Edison leading to an easy putback at the last second that left the Firebirds up by one, 34-33, heading into the locker room.

“As long as we keep taking good shots they’re going to fall,” Paul said. “When we miss bad shots those are the ones we get frustrated with. I never get upset when we miss good shots.”

Dash Johnson scored five immediate points to begin the third quarter for Free State, and the Firebirds led by five midway through the period.

However, seven points from Matthew Corrales and eight from Nic Anderson fed a late scoring run in the third that gave the home team a 48-44 lead entering the final eight minutes.

To begin the fourth, Johnson nailed a clutch 3 to bring the deficit to just one, but five straight points for Anderson brought the lead up to six with just two minutes gone by in the fourth.

Both teams traded baskets, but a steal from Edison led to an easy layup for Johnson, tying the game at 57 apiece with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

Corrales scored on the ensuing possession for Olathe South but after two made free throws from Hamilton, the game was tied up once again at 59 apiece with just one minute left in the fourth quarter.

Following a sweeping layup from Josiah Polynice of Olathe South to put his team back up by two, the Firebirds had a chance to tie with two free throws, but missed both and were forced to foul with under 10 seconds left.

From there, two free throws from Matthew Corrales put the Falcons up by four at 63-59 with just six seconds left. The Firebirds forced up a late 3 that missed, giving the Falcons the win.

Free State next takes on Shawnee Mission South for the team’s second straight Friday night home game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

“Shawnee Mission South shoots the ball at a high rate,” Paul said. “We’re going to have to be at our best and we’re going to have to share the ball. It’s senior night as well so we want to send the guys out on a high note.”

Olathe South (63) Josiah Polynice 1-7 0-0 2; Jordan Mason 3-3 3-4 11; Matthew Corrales 8-14 4-5 22; Nic Anderson 8-11 2-2 19; Austin O’Gorman 2-3 2-3 6, Drew McGriff 1-1 0-0 2, Drey Steinbacher 0-1 1-2 1, Joey DeLargy 0-1 0-0 0, Reid Kreutziger 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 23-42 12-16 63.

Free State (59) Devon Hamilton 3-5 3-4 10; Nika Khosh 0-3 0-0 -; Wesley Edison 7-10 2-3 17; Dash Johnson 7-11 2-2 19; Hueston Saunders 3-5 0-4 6. Bennett Nagel 0-2 0-0 0, Ethan Prescott 1-3 0-0 2, AJ Eason 1-1 2-2 5. Totals: 22-40 9-15 59.

Score by quarters

Olathe South 15 18 15 15 — 63

Free State 18 16 10 15 — 59

3-point goals: OSHS: 5-10 Jordan Mason (2), Matthew Corrales (2), Nic Anderson (1) ; FSHS: 6-15 Devon Hamilton (1), Dash Johnson (3), Wesley Edison (1), AJ Eason (1); Turnovers: FSHS 9, OSHS 6. Fouled Out: None.

Girls basketball

The Free State girls basketball team fell to Olathe South 58-27 Tuesday at Olathe South High School.

Free State’s Peyton Moore led with a team-high 13 points, but the Firebirds (1-15) could not keep up with the pressure and athleticism of the Falcons (13-2) who led from wire to wire.

A balanced scoring attack for Olathe South gave the home team an early lead of 5-0 just two and a half minutes into the contest, despite hard pressuring defense from the visiting Firebirds.

However, full-court pressure from the Falcons forced several Free State turnovers, and they proceeded to take a 12-0 lead through the opening quarter.

Chloe Clossen got the Firebirds on the board first with a nice jumper from the outside, and FSHS continued to play hard on the defensive end to force long possessions for Olathe South.

The Falcons put a small scoring run together to give themselves a comfortable advantage down the stretch, but Moore gave the Firebirds some late first half momentum after knocking down a tough fadeaway shot.

Even with a tough effort on the rebounding end for FSHS, the Falcons’ height proved to be too much of a hurdle for the Firebirds as Olathe South took a commanding lead at halftime against the younger Free State squad.

Anniston Clark gave Free State immediate offense to begin the second half, scoring on a nice drive to give herself her first points of the evening. From there, Addie Fulscher and Moore each knocked down a 3 to lead the Firebirds offense.

“I definitely thought we came out strong in the third quarter,” FSHS coach Summer Frantz said. “I was really proud of the way we came out at halftime. I was proud of the way we battled.”

Moore felt confident throughout the game all night, as she had played in the JV game prior which helped build her confidence as the night progressed.

“I thought in the second half we really connected and we had a lot of communication,” Moore said. “I think going forward we have to keep our heads high and to have confidence in ourselves. I was really confident tonight.”

The teams continued to trade baskets for the remainder of the period, ending with another 3 from Moore as time expired. Though they headed into the fourth quarter down 53-22, the Firebirds had outscored the Falcons in the third with 18 points compared to the Falcons’ 12.

“I’m really proud of Peyton,” Frantz said. “She has a really quick first step and to see her do that a little bit I’m really proud of her.”

Free State continued fighting into the fourth, with Hadley Lonnberg scoring her first basket on a shot from the free-throw line. The defense kept pressure up for the remainder of the quarter, holding the Falcons to just five points before Olathe South ran out the clock to claim the 58-27 win.

The Firebirds next will host Shawnee Mission South on Friday, with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m.

“There were definitely things in the second half that we can build on,” Frantz said. “We’re going through a little bit of a tough stretch right now but I was really proud of how we came out and battled in the second half.”

Olathe South (58) Keira Ho 1-7 1-2 3; Macy Price 5-9 1-1 12; Ella Anderson 1-4 0-0 2; Hayden Halliday 2-3 0-0 6; Eve Long 8-10 2-2 20, Brooke Bryan 1-3 1-2 3, Adriana Tetley 3-4 2-2 9, Caitlin Fleming 1-1 0-0 2, Alexis Allen 0-0 1-2 1, Grace Hartwell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-42 8-11 58.

Free State (27) Addie Fulscher 1-6 0-0 3; Hadley Lonnberg 1-2 0-0 2; Anniston Clark 2-5 0-1 4; Chloe Clossen 2-7 0-0 5; Peyton Moore 5-7 1-2 13. Totals: 11-27 1-3 27

Score by quarters

Olathe South 12 29 12 5 — 58

Free State 0 4 18 5 — 27

3-point goals: OSHS: 6-13 Macy Price (1), Eve Long (2), Hayden Halliday (2), Adriana Tetley (1); FSHS: 4-16 Addie Fulscher (1), Chloe Clossen (1), Peyton Moore (2); Turnovers: FSHS 18, OSHS 10. Fouled Out: None.


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