Preps Notebook: FSHS wrestlers cruise past Dodge City in home dual; FSHS, LHS hoops pickup first regular-season wins

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Free State junior Grayson Hagen adjusts his hold on Dodge City's Emanuel Quezada during a home dual on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Free State High School.

Recovering from a first-round defeat, the Free State boys wrestling team commanded a 54-24 victory over Dodge City in a home dual on Friday night.

The win marks another step forward for the Firebirds, fresh off a first-place team finish at the Leavenworth Challenger last weekend.

The night featured seven total pins by the Firebirds, the first coming from junior Cole Wright (165 pounds) in a 3-0 decision over Dodge City’s Cristian Barrientos. FSHS sophomore Zane Shaw (175 pounds) and junior Blaine Larkin (215 pounds) carried that momentum for a 3-2 lead on the Red Demons heading into the second round.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Free State senior D’onte Goodman grabs ahold of Dodge City’s Gabriel Aguilera during a home dual on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Free State High School.

Arguably the biggest win of the night came from FSHS junior Preston White (132 pounds), who bested Dodge City’s Dylan Wainscott in a 3-0 decision to keep the night rolling strong. FSHS head coach Randy Streeter said White’s win was a huge confidence booster for the team.

“That was a big deal,” Streeter said. “(White) sticking Dylan was really great to see.”

The dual wrapped with junior Grayson Hagen (150 pounds) mounting a 12-4 pin on Dodge City’s Emanuel Quezada to seal the team victory. FSHS freshman Michael (Tosh) Hernandez (106 pounds) and junior Brayden Wilcox (113 pounds) also joined Hagen in the winner’s circle.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Free State junior Preston White is declared the winner after defeating Dodge City’s Dylan Wainscott in the 132-pound match during a home dual on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Free State High School.

Four Firebirds – junior Gabe Swoyer (157 pounds), freshman Zander Swoyer (285 pounds), junior Drew Streeter (126 pounds) and senior D’onte Goodman (144 pounds) – chalked up losses on Friday night.

Randy Streeter said a learning curve still exists for this particularly young FSHS team.

“We’re just growing,” Streeter said. “You just looked at 13 underclassmen and one senior… not a big gas tank. It’ll correct itself with time on the mat.”

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Free State freshman Michael (Tosh) Hernandez pins Dodge City’s Finn Martinez during a home dual on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Free State High School.

Free State travels to Blue Valley High for the BV Classic on Dec. 15.

LHS’ Honas, Elsten primed for strong finishes at Eagle wrestling invite

The Lawrence High boys wrestling team is primed for a strong finish at the Eagle Invitational in Colby, with the final round slated for Saturday. Two Chesty Lions – senior Andrew Honas (6-0) and sophomore Lou Elsten (5-0) – are undefeated heading into the final round.

Honas (132 pounds) passed by Lexington High’s Jayden Thorell by technical fall, then defeated Philipsburg’s Gavin Driggs and Wichita West’s Gauge Evans by fall to advance unscathed.

Elsten (113 pounds) opened the day defeating Lexington’s Isaias Giron by fall, and advanced to the third round through two consecutive forfeits.

LHS will finish up its tournament run Saturday at the Colby Events Center.

LHS, FSHS earn first regular-season hoops wins

The Lawrence High and Free State boys basketball teams each earned their first wins of the regular season on Friday afternoon.

In Stilwell, LHS found a rhythm in a 67-37 victory over Wyandotte High in the seventh-place championship at the Blue Valley-Rick Taylor Shootout. Led by senior Zaxton King with 20 points, LHS outran the Bulldogs on both ends of the floor.

“This was a great team win for us,” first-year LHS head coach Nick Wood said. “It’s important for us to experience success and win a basketball game. The guys have been working hard and I feel like they are starting to figure out who they are as a (team) and what kind of effort it’s going to take to help us be successful.”

And a team effort it was. Junior Aden Ramirez and sophomore Josh Galbreath finished the night with nine points apiece. Ramirez was the most productive Lion behind the arc, clocking two 3s before the game wrapped.

Next up, LHS hosts Shawnee Mission East next Friday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

On the FSHS side, the Firebirds (1-2) defeated Topeka-Washburn Rural 42-33 in the final round of the seventh-place championship at the Varsity Classic in Prairie Village.

Despite the low final score, FSHS had several players contribute on offense including seniors Wesley Edison and Dash Johnson, who finished with seven and six points respectively in the Firebirds’ first victory of the 2023-24 campaign.

Additionally, sophomore Hueston Saunders recorded eight points himself to help lead Free State at Shawnee Mission East High School to the win Friday afternoon, while it was the Firebirds hard defense that put them in a position to take down the Blues for win No. 1.

“I think it goes to show that we can be a pretty dangerous team,” FSHS coach Dwayne Paul said. “We present some problems to other teams and that definitely makes me happy. I don’t think we have guys that care about who leads in scoring if we have more points than the other team and that’s a credit to these kids and their buy-in.”

FSHS hosts Shawnee Mission West next Friday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

O-South hands LHS girls first loss at home

In a battle of two Sunflower League powers, the Lawrence High girls basketball team dropped its home opener 58-30 to Olathe South on Friday night.

O-South freshman Eve Long went off with 23 points, helping the Falcons (1-0) outpace the Chesty Lions (1-1) in the second half. Leading the LHS scoring, junior Brynnae Johnson ended the night with 15 points, including one of the Lions’ three total 3s.

Seniors Emma Roman Nose, Azura Clark and freshman Cami Nauholz aided the LHS offense with four points apiece. Senior Destiny Savanah chipped in a 3 for the LHS scoring barrage.

LHS hosts Blue Valley West next Tuesday at home. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.


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