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913 girls hoops: Olathe East faces tough schedule down stretch

The Olathe East High School girls basketball team has been enjoying a five-game winnng streak that improved the Hawks' record to 10-6, but they are set to finish with their four toughest games of the season.

Starting with Tuesday night’s game against Shawnee Mission Northwest, Olathe East was to face three ranked teams in its last four games.

“We could essentially finish the last part of the season 0-4, but if we were in all those ballgames, we would be pretty happy about where we were,” coach Clint Evans said.

He said one thing that will help them fight through this stretch is the fact that the season has already been a bit of a roller coaster so far. The Hawks won three in a row to start the season but dropped their next six before a 44-25 victory against Lawrence spurred another run. Since then, they have won seven of their last eight games.

Olathe South, Leavenworth rematch

Two weeks ago, the Olathe South girls handed Leavenworth its first loss of the season 61-48. The win also propelled the Falcons to the top of the Sunflower League where they still hold a lead over the Pioneers.

The two teams are scheduled to meet again tonight, but the game will not affect the league standings because it is a rescheduled bout from the Firebird Winter Classic. Leavenworth is treating it as another chance to bolster its resume going into postseason.

“We needed games like that to learn those things, but just to have the opportunity to play them again and play another good basketball team is exciting,” Leavenworth coach Derek Zeck said. “Not to take anything away from anybody else, but to play some of the best kids in the state, you can’t ask for a better opportunity than that.”

Eastern Kansas League shows depth

Entering Tuesday night’s games, the top three Eastern Kansas League teams have combined for only eight losses with six of those coming against each other.

St. Thomas Aquinas, the second-ranked team in the KBCA 5A poll, is 14-2 with losses to Columbia Rock Bridge and Blue Valley North. BV North, 13-3, split their series with Aquinas and Bishop Miege and suffered a surprising 60-55 loss to Blue Valley. Miege, 13-3, has lost twice to Aquinas and once to BV North.

BV Southwest holding its own

Blue Valley Southwest does not lose often, but when it does, it is against the same three schools.

After not winning an Eastern Kansas League game for two straight seasons, the Timberwolves are finally carving their place in the league, but they’re doing it behind a very strong top three.

“We have been beat by unbelievable teams,” coach Rick Rhoades said. “It’s unreal.”

Outside a loss to Webb City, Mo., in the Frontenac Girls Basketball Tournament, all of the Timberwolves' losses have come against other ranked teams from the EKL.

Even in those games, the only bad losses were to St. Thomas Aquinas as BV Southwest played Bishop Miege and Blue Valley North down to the wire.

After hosting Miege on Tuesday, BV Southwest will face BV North and BV Northwest to end the regular season.