Free State

FSHS boys knock off Junction City in opening round of McPherson Invitational

Behind three double-digit scorers, Free State’s boys basketball team was in control from start to finish in its 53-38 victory over Junction City on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the McPherson Invitational. The Firebirds, who have already played a number of close games this ...

Free State holds on for ‘strange’ win over Olathe Northwest 52-48

Olathe — Free State coach Sam Stroh says his team always knows how to make games interesting, but Monday night was still a bit odd. “That was kind of a weird game with no school on a Monday,” Stroh said. “I was proud of our kids that we found a way to win, but at the same time, ...

Missed shots leads to tough loss as Free State falls to Olathe Northwest 42-31

Olathe — Sometimes shots just don’t fall, and that’s exactly what happened to Free State as the Firebirds fell to Olathe Northwest 42-31 Monday night. “We struggled to score offensively in the second half,” Free State coach Nick Wood said. “And we knew it was going to be a tough ...

Wrestling roundup: 14 area wrestlers place at Bobcat Classic

A total of 14 area wrestlers did well enough to place in the Bobcat Classic on Saturday afternoon at Basehor-Linwood. Tonganoxie had seven such wrestlers do so, which led to the highest finish among area squads in the 23-team event. The Chieftains scored 82.5 points as a team to place 14th on ...

Seniors lead Free State swim and dive to victory at home meet

Right before the 100-yard butterfly, Free State swim and dive took a moment to recognize its seven senior athletes. “A lot of us, even though we don’t see each other a lot in school, we’re tight-knit and we love this sport,” senior Nick Burket said. “I think we as a group — this is ...

Preps notebook: Baldwin wrestling wins dual at Lawrence High in convincing fashion

Freshman Jonathan Wren, sophomore Cameron Blacklock and senior Bailey Vesco each trotted out to shake hands with the referee, as the Baldwin bench roared in approval. All three wrestlers won via forfeit in the final three matches of Wednesday’s dual with Lawrence High at LHS. Yet the outcome ...

Despite a strong third quarter, Free State falls to Olathe North 68-44

Olathe — It didn’t take long for Olathe North to get going as the Eagles defeated Free State 68-44 Tuesday. Junior forward Shannon Clarke led the way for the Firebirds with 19 points. “They’re one of the best teams in the state and they’ve got really good players,” Free State coach ...

Free State boys basketball escapes with 66-63 road win over Olathe North

Olathe — Looking to regain momentum in the fourth quarter, Free State senior guard Ethan Lincoln shot another corner 3-pointer. But as Lincoln missed — causing a scrum for the rebound — junior center Andrew Piper came up with the ball once again for a tough, and necessary, layup. “He ...

FSHS boys swim wins Shawnee Mission Northwest Invite; LHS places 3rd

Free State’s boys swim team took home another win. The Firebirds scored 506 points to place first out of six teams at the Shawnee Mission Northwest Invite on Monday. It is their second win in as many meets to start the 2020 portion of their schedule. Lawrence High placed third by scoring 353 ...

FSHS boys swim wins quadrangular, Lawrence High places 2nd

Free State’s boys swim and dive team won its first meet of 2020 in convincing fashion. The Firebirds placed first in 11 of their 12 events, scoring 431 points to win the quadrangular at Mission Trail Middle School on Wednesday. Lawrence High won the diving competition during its runner-up ...

Free State, Lawrence High bowling teams prepared for start of 2020 campaign

Throwing strikes was prohibited during the final practice before the start of the 2020 bowling season. Burton Gepford’s request to the Free State bowling team might have seemed strange, but he had his reasoning. He wanted the Firebirds to work on picking up their spares Wednesday afternoon ...

FSHS girls pull away from Shawnee Mission South with strong fourth quarter

Free State’s girls basketball team made enough plays when it mattered most. And the Firebirds discovered a little bit about themselves in the process. After going back-and-forth with Shawnee Mission South through three quarters, FSHS pulled away in convincing fashion in the final period. The ...

Free State boys hold off Shawnee Mission South in home opener

A sequence late in the third quarter was all Free State’s boys basketball team needed to win its home opener. For three-plus quarters, there was little separation between Shawnee Mission South and Free State in a low-scoring affair between Sunflower League foes. All of that changed in a ...

Free State boys basketball overcomes inconsistency to defeat Lansing 53-43

Kansas City, Kan. — Despite cooling off after a fast start, Free State boys basketball held on for a 53-43 victory over Lansing at the 810 Varsity Sunflower Showcase on Saturday. DK Middleton led the way for Free State with 22 points. “We need DK to play (like that) the rest of the ...

Led by senior guard Caely Kesten, Free State girls basketball beats Lansing, 51-32

Kansas City, Kan. — Near the end of the first quarter, Free State senior guard Caely Kesten saw a pass fly just over her head. Kesten hustled down the other end, though, blocking a Lansing shot and ending the impromptu back-and-forth with a layup of her own. “That was one of the points of ...

Preps notebook: Top 10 high school sports moments of 2019

Finding enough feats for this list was the easy part. Once again, another successful year in high school sports has come and gone. In 2019, three teams won state titles, with two of those teams defending their crowns. Two more teams made it all the way to the title games, ending the year with ...

Preps notebook: Top area wrestling standouts from December

It remains to be seen if any area wrestlers will come home with a state title in 2020. But the first month of the season could be a sign of things to come. Several area wrestlers earned some hardware in December, a stretch that featured a number of competitive tournaments. As a result, plenty ...

Preps notebook: Top area girls basketball standouts from December

Just one month into the season, the area girls basketball scene has already featured a number of strong performances at both the team and individual level. Baldwin, which placed third in Class 4A last year, has a perfect 4-0 record and a shiny No. 3 ranking entering the 2020 portion of its ...