Truman senior Ashley Guenther doesnt know how much longer the 19-0 Patriots will be undefeated, but shes eager to find out. It was a few weeks into the regular season after Truman dominated every team in the Lees Summit North Invitational by at least 20 points that Guenther truly started to appreciate her teams unbeaten record. Guenther, a forward, isnt the teams flashiest player, its top scorer or its best rebounder. But she does a little bit of everything and all of it well. Headed to Northwest Missouri State on a basketball scholarship next year, Guenther goes Four Quarters with The Star.
Q. Can you pinpoint one or two keys to this run?
A. I definitely think it has a lot to do with teamwork. We work the ball around so well, and we dont care who gets the credit. We have great chemistry. And, of course, we have a lot of talent.
Q. How would you define your role?
A. I just do whatever it is I have to do. It depends on who were playing and the matchups. A lot of teams double (post player) Becca Jonas, so on those nights I have to score. Other times, Im looking to pass and distribute the ball.
Q. Would it be more advantageous in the long run if you guys lost a game in the regular season?
A. Ive thought about that, but honestly, I think if we lose a regular season game, its because were doing something wrong. I dont think theres a lot of pressure just because were undefeated. I think we should come to play every night and try to win them all.
Q. Is Truman deserving of its No. 1 ranking in the state?
A. I believe we are. There are a lot of good teams out there, but someone has to be No. 1. I dont see why it shouldnt be us.
By the Numbers
9 Number of girls basketball McDonalds All-American Game nominees from the metropolitan area, including a trio of Blue Springs seniors: Tyra Bickham, Karyla Middlebrook and Lizzy Wendell. The other nominees are Bishop Mieges Lexi Hughes, one of two Kansas nominees, along with five more players from Missouri: Raytowns Kelsey Barrett, Pembroke Hills Ereka Hunt, Staleys Marissa Preston, Pleasant Hills Kindred Weseman and William Chrismans Nieka Wheeler.
22 National rank for Blue Valley Northwest, which entered the CBSSports.com MaxPreps Boys Top 25 for the first time this week. Wins against De La Salle (Minn.), Nixa (Mo.) and Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) factored heavily in the leap into the rankings. All three teams are ranked in their respective states.
400 Career coaching victories for Blue Springs Souths Brad Oyler. The South girls basketball team defeated Oak Park, 55-21, on Jan. 28, clinching his 400th career victory.
1976 State-championship team from Center, whose members will return for a ceremony at tonights game against Sedalia Smith-Cotton. The school will dedicate a piece of its old gym floor to the team, which finished a perfect 29-0.
Games to Watch
• Truman at Lees Summit Wet boys: A pair of teams looking to get back on track will match up for a Suburban Red Conference game at 7 p.m. The visiting Patriots, 12-8, have lost three of their past five games. Lees Summit West remains undefeated in conference play, but they were blown out at Rockhurst on Monday and followed that up with a inconsistent performance in a win at Ruskin on Tuesday.
• BV West at BV Southwest boys: Its becoming quite a tense little rivalry when BV West battles BV Southwest. The host Timberwolves beat the Jags for the first time earlier in the season 66-55 on Dec. 7 but Joey Lillis and company will be eager for revenge against Anthony Miller and his teammates.
• Olathe South at Lawrence Free State girls: The undefeated Falcons, 14-0, have faced some tough tests notably at McPhersons Mid-America Classic since losing junior Bailey Rinehart to a torn ACL, but the host Firebirds, 12-3, represent the biggest hurdle in Sunflower League play. Olathe South, which had won seven straight league titles before last season, will have its hands full with Bowling Green-bound Kennedy Kirkpatrick.
• Platte County at Winnetonka boys: After a 14-4 start to the year, Winnetonka has hit a wall with back-to-back losses at Fort Osage and Liberty North. They return home tonight looking to stay competitive in the race for the Suburban Blue Conference championship. The Griffins, 14-6 overall, are 4-1 in the league, trailing unbeaten Liberty North by one game.
• Ottawa at Louisburg boys: Its a light week for must-see matchups, so basketball fans may want to flock to Louisburg instead. Duke-bound scoring machine Semi Ojeleye and the undefeated Cyclones travel to face the Wildcats, who are only 4-11. Hey, how many more chances are there to see Ojeleye?
The Stars Tod Palmer and Sam McDowell contributed to this report.
| Sam McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org