The Andover Trojan boy’s basketball team started the season with some unanswered questions. They were preseason No. 10 but after going just above .500 it was unsure how high this team could climb.
The Kansas coaches say very high.
In the final first semester poll, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association weekly poll moved Andover to No. 2 in Class 5A. It is a reward of the hard work the Trojans have displayed over the last three weeks.
Their schedule has not been easy. They have seen the likes of Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Maize South and McPherson, with all three of those coming on the road. They walked out of the opposing gyms with victories and it hasn’t been only one guy.
Junior Isaiah Maikori was out of his mind in their win over then ranked Maize South. He dropped 29 points and Kaleb Gaddis nearly had a triple-double in that game.
Against Kapaun, Jack Johnson helped the Trojans stun the Crusaders in the GWAL/AVCTL Challenge.
They’ve been able to step up as a team and provide the right recipe for being undefeated at this point.
Andover Central girls jump a spot
Coaches gave the Jaguars a one spot boost in the girls Class 5A rankings this week. With big time win over Goddard and Goddard Eisenhower this week, it was enough to move.
They have done it by taking on all opponents and their only loss is to No. 2 McPherson, an overtime thriller that was felt like it should have been played in March.
Stana Jefferson’s Jaguars have an array of youngsters who at any time could beat you. Sure, we know of Brittany Harshaw, the sophomore who leads the Jags in scoring with 14.6 points per game. Bailey Wilborn (Jr.) and Ellie Sterns (So.) who easily give you 7-8 points per night. Then there is the freshman Maddie Amekporfor. While not playing a ton, she’s still averaging 7.0 points per game through their first five games.
Jaden Newfarmer, the junior has been a Russell Westbrook-like dominant player on the court. She’s averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. She is the all-around player that has powered Andover Central early on.
Andover Central boys drops out
The defending Class 5A Champions were dropped from the rankings this week. With a couple of demoralizing losses to previously unranked McPherson and now No. 1 Bishop Carroll, the Jaguars have been brought back to earth with the realization of what they need to work on in the second semester.
They were able to right some of those early wrongs this week with a big win over Goddard but it was Goddard Eisenhower who knocked off Central on their own home court 59-57 on Friday night, leaving the Jaguars at 2-3. The three losses match the total they had all of last season.
Andover Central head coach Jesse Herrmann admitted their could be growing pains. However, he expects his team to fighting for a gold ball come March.
“We still have an opportunity to be a really good team,” Herrmann said.
Augusta and Berean Academy stay put
The rest of the ranked boys teams in the county stayed put this week. In all three cases, it is because the teams above them didn’t lose, either.
The Orioles stayed at No. 4 in Class 4A this week. Augusta put the wood to Circle by 30 on Tuesday night and used 36 points from preseason all-county selection, Jalen Jackson to beat No. 5 Buhler on Friday night 68-61. Jackson also had 20 against Circle.
Berean boys had maybe the game of the night on Friday night. They won a double overtime thriller against 3A’s Cheney 67-61 on in the Heart of America/Central Plains League challenge. The Warriors are currently 5-0 on the year with big time wins over Cheney, Eureka and Sterling. A return trip to the state tournament may be in order for Berean Academy.
Circles inches up to fourth in 4A
Brian Henry and the Lady T-Birds move up one spot this week after Nickerson was knocked off by Haven on Tuesday night.
For Circle, they haven’t really been tested too much this season. They have dominated opponents and at times seem out of it in the fourth quarter, which allows teams to get right back into it.
Against El Dorado on Friday night, Circle only scored 19 points after dropping 35 in the first half. El Dorado won the second half and went on a massive 18-6 run to get themselves back in the game.
January we’ll get to find out how real Circle is. They have shown to be worth their ranking so far but they open up with Buhler and McPherson at home to start the second semester. We will learn a lot about the Lady T-Birds in those two games.