SMITH CENTER, KS (March 22)—Fans were treated to an outstanding boys contest at the 4th annual Sunflower Shootout all star basketball games at Smith Center on Saturday, March 22.
It was a close game throughout, with the Mid-Continent League all stars holding a one point advantage at halftime 48-47 over the all stars of North Central Kansas. The game was tied 95-95 at the end of regulation, then the NCK squad outscored the MCL team 7 to 4 in overtime to win 102-99. The single team record was broken with the 102 points, as well as points by both teams with 201 points.
“This was an outstanding ball game,” said Smith Center Recreation Director Mike Hughes. “The biggest lead of the contest by either team was 8 points as it was close throughout. There were some outstanding players on both teams and it was a shame one team had to lose.”
Concordia’s Grant Holmes set an individual scoring record with 32 points for the NCK team. Tristan Schwarz of Golden Plains added 18 and Beloit’s Payton Vetter 14. Also scoring were Hoxie’s Chase Kennedy with 8 points, Josh Meyer of Linn 7, Northern Valley’s Jordan Baird 6, Justin Underwood of Lakeside and St. John’s Beloit/Tipton’s Connor Eilert 5 points apiece, Kade Spresser of Hoxie 4, and St. John’s Beloit/Tipton’s Luke Eilert with 3.
NCK coaches were Lance Bergman of St. John’s Beloit/Tipton and Aaron Dardis of Hoxie.
Jordan Gottschalk of TMP led the MCL squad in scoring with 20 points. Also scoring in double figures were Trey Ellis of Phillipsburg 15, Hill City’s Shane Jones 13, Hadley Gillum of Plainville 12 and Oakley’s Austin Baalman with 10. Also scoring were Smith Center’s Taylor Zabel with 9, Darius Herl of Oakley and Smith Center’s Kody Molzahn 6 apiece, Plainville’s Logan Frederking 4 and Stockton’s Reed Stephens (who won the 3-point contest) with 2 points.
Stockton’s Tom Stephens and Joe Burgardt of Smith Center were the coaches of the MCL squad.
The North Central Kansas girls dominated their contest, winning over the Mid-Continent League 111-66. The 111 points was a single team scoring record.
“The MCL girls just couldn’t get their shots to fall offensively, and struggled defensively,” Hughes stated.
Osborne’s Jessica Prince led the NCK girls squad with 21 points, followed by Kellen Niewald of St. John’s Beloit/Tipton with 14, Pike Valley’s Courtney Freed 13, and Hoxie’s Kristina Farber, Brooke Hammond of Northern Valley, and Osborne’s Caitlyn Miller all with 10 points apiece. Concordia’s Megan James and Taylor Noel of Osborne added 9 points apiece, Gabi Spresser of Hoxie 8, and Jordan Christensen of Golden Plains 7.
NCK coaches included Parker Christensen of Golden Plains and Michael Wahlmaier of Concordia.
The MCL girls were led in scoring by Oakley’s Laura Dennis with 20 points, followed by Oakley teammate Brooke Ottley with 10. Trego’s Addie Zeman, Colbie Decker of Smith Center and Kenzie Hemmert of Oakley added 6 points apiece, Norton’s Bailey Ambrosier and Kaleigh Sonneson of Ellis 5 apiece, Phillipsburg’s Shania Wilkison 4 and Johnnye Ruder of Norton 3. Hill City’s Maegan Gosselin did not score but did win the 3-point contest.
George Rossi of Norton and Plainville’s Ron Wolf were the MCL coaches.
“These were a great group of kids and represented their schools and communities well,” Hughes stated. “We appreciate them giving up their time to participate, as well as the coaches. And to all the fans that turned out to support these athletes.”
“We want to thank USD 237 for use of their facilities, the Smith Center Chamber of Commerce for their support and furnishing the drinks, the SonShine Church for the concession stand, the Smith County Kiwanis Club and Smith Center Rotary Club for taking tickets, to the SCTV crew for filming the game for the DVDs that go to the athletes, the Smith County Bank for providing the noon meal, and Nick Linn and the SCHS IHT class for doing our programs,” Hughes added. “Also to all the volunteers that gave of their time to pull this event off as we couldn’t do it without them.”
The Sunflower Shootout was sponsored by the Smith Center Recreation Commission.