Blue Valley North High School’s boys basketball team had a solid 5-0 start in Eastern Kansas League play, but knew that defending champion Blue Valley Northwest would be the team to beat.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
After more than a dozen lead changes, Blue Valley North held on for a 59-57 victory on Friday night to knock off the top-ranked team in Kansas Class 6A and take a one-game lead in the league race.
“We have good players and I think some of them have been overlooked a little bit across the state and across the league and so I think we came out and tried to prove some things,” Blue Valley North coach Ryan Phifer said. “My challenge here is that we can’t let up because a couple years ago we came over here, won an emotional game and then we lost the next game, so we can’t let that happen.”
Blue Valley North, 8-3 and 6-0 in the EKL, will look to continue its success in league play when it plays host to Bishop Miege at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
With two victories this week and a timely loss by Blue Valley Northwest, the Olathe East boys basketball team moved into the top spot in this week’s Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll.
Olathe East is 12-1 overall and 4-0 in Sunflower League play with victories against Lawrence, Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Shawnee Mission East -- which are all ranked in the top 10.
Lawrence comes in at No. 2, followed by Blue Valley Northwest and Shawnee Mission South. Blue Valley North moved up to No.6, with Shawnee Mission Northwest and Olathe Northwest following at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Shawnee Mission East is ranked 10th.
The Bishop Miege girls basketball team capped off an impressive January with a 53-45 victory against Bishop Carroll in the Newton Invitational Tournament championship game on Friday.
The Stags, 11-2 overall and 5-2 in EKL, are tied for second in the league with Blue Valley North and split the series earlier in the season. St. Thomas Aquinas leads the league with a 5-0 mark, including victories over Blue Valley North and Bishop Miege in league play.
Pittsburg State junior forward Lizzy Jeronimus was selected the MIAA Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Week after back-to-back 20-point games for the Gorillas.
Jeronimus, a Shawnee Mission West graduate, was a combined 16-for-28 from the floor this week and 17-for-18 from the free-throw line. She also pulled down 17 rebounds in the Gorillas’ two wins. She moved into eighth place on Pittsburg State’s all-time scoring list and 10th in rebounding.