The St. James Academy wrestling team had several top individual finishes in its first six tournaments and finished in the top five as a team five times, but entering the Bobcat Tournament at Basehor-Linwood High School last weekend, the Thunder was still searching for its first team title.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
Behind four top individual finishes, the Thunder won the 35-team Bobcat Classic with a team score of 209, which was 10.5 points ahead of second-place Goddard.
“With the body of work here, there are a lot of different teams from different states,” St. James head coach Mike Medina said. “We knew it was going to be a tight race because Goddard is a really good team with some really young kids, but I think a lot of our seniors really stepped up.”
One of those was Reese Cokeley, whose 126-pound championship was the only title match where St. James directly faced Goddard. Cokeley defeated Kendall Frame to help push the Thunder past the Lions in the team standings.
“Reese Cokeley coming back from injury and dominating in the finals was huge, but it was a team effort,” Medina said.
Junior Zak Hensley, junior Matt Pratt and senior Trent Salsbury also won their weight classes at 132, 170 and 182-pounds, respectively. Salsbury improved to 27-0. Senior Andrew Tujague, who is the defending state champion at 138 pounds, added a second place in the 145 class.
Cameron Wiggins drawing attention at Leavenworth
While Andrew and Nick Wiggins make their mark in the college ranks this season at the University of Kansas and Wichita State, respectively, there is another totally unrelated Wiggins at Leavenworth High School starting to get attention as well.
Senior Cameron Wiggins has scored 25 points or more in five of the Pioneers’ eight games so far, including a 44-point performance in an 82-79 victory against Shawnee Mission North last Friday.
“There’s a lot of people that have been trying to guard me a lot tighter,” Wiggins said. “I’m not a secret anymore.”
Wiggins said the attention from colleges is starting to pick up as well with interest from community colleges and Division IIs, but he’s hoping to bump that up to Division I by the end of the season as his scoring average rises.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Wiggins said. “My teammates have a lot of faith in me, and they look to me to lead and pick them up when they’re down so it has been a really fun senior season so far.”
Leavenworth, 5-3, 1-2, will travel to Dodge City this weekend to compete in the Tournament of Champions.
Athletes earn McDonalds All-American nominations
The Blue Valley Northwest boys basketball team landed all five starters on the McDonalds All-American basketball nominations list, which includes Clayton Custer, Vince Fritz, Kyle Harrison, Ben Richardon and David Salach.
Olathe Northwest’s Shea Shipman, who has signed with Saint Louis University, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Tia Weledji, who has signed with Princeton, also made the list.
Ramsey, Graf add to conference honors
Ottawa University senior Amber Ramsey, who played basketball at Olathe Northwest, was named KCAC Defensive Player of the week for her performances for Jan. 13-19th. Ramsey, a 5-foot-10 forward, averaged 3.5 blocks, one steal and seven rebounds in two conference games during that time. It was the second conference honor for Ramsey who was named KCAC Player of the Week the first week of the season.
Yale sophomore and Shawnee Mission East graduate Janna Graf was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week. She shot 5-for-9 from the field including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in a 70-53 victory against Brown. It was her first Player of the Week honor this season and fourth of her career. She was also a four-time Rookie of the Week winner.