Class 1A Division I Girls State Basketball Capsules

By Brent Maycock – KSHSAA Covered


Coach: Brad Willems

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Record: 15-8

Sub-state results: beat Goessel, 44-37; beat Elyria Christian, 51-38; beat Sylvan-Lucas, 52-39

Quarterfinal game: vs. Norwich (21-2), 2 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Lili Espinoza, sr.; Brecken Pearson, sr.; Mimi Craig, sr.; Trinity Espinoza, fr.; Adi Alcala, fr.; Red Craig, so.; Makinlee Hoppes, fr.; Emerson Hoppes, fr.; Jayden Orth, fr., Jordyn Elliot, fr.

Worth noting: Eagles ending 37-year state tournament drought, earning first berth since 1986. … Winning season is just third for the program since 2006. … Willems in first year as head coach of the Eagles after previously coaching at Sharon Springs-Wallace County. … Eagles are young with 6 freshmen among top 11. … Eagles were fourth seed at their sub-state but knocked off top-seeded Elyria Christian in the semifinals and No. 2 seed Sylvan-Lucas in the sub-state finals, both by double digits. … Canton-Galva had been swept by Elyria Christian during regular season. … Two losses came to state qualifiers Wichita Independent (2A) and Central Plains (1A I). … Freshman Trinity Espinoza leads team with 16.4 points and 3.3 steals per game. … No other player averages double figure scoring, but Craig, Alcala and Lily Espinoza all average between 6-8 points per game. … Lily Espinoza is leading rebounder at 5.9 per game, just ahead of Pearson’s 5.5 per contest.


Coach: Pat Stiles

Record: 19-4

Sub-state results: beat Macksville, 58-30; beat Pretty Prairie, 48-46; beat St. John, 28-23

Quarterfinal game: vs. Doniphan West (18-5), 4 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Brynna Hammeke, sr., G; Marilyn Soeken, so., G; Addy Ogle, jr., G; Kyla Metro, sr., G; Melissa Donecker, jr., C; Reese McGuire, sr., G.

Worth noting: Oilers have won state-record eight straight state championships from 2014-22 and were undefeated in 2020 when the state tournaments were canceled after the quarterfinals. … Oilers captured the 1A Division II championship last year with 50-38 win over Golden Plains, the second straight title at Division II. … Other titles came in Class 1A (2019) and Class 2A (2014-18) as Oilers put together state-record 138-game winning streak. … Oilers have won 25 straight state tournament games and 55 straight postseason games, both state records as well. … Central Plains won 11th straight Central Prairie League championship this season. … Two of four losses came to 3A state qualifier Phillipsburg and 2A qualifier Berean Academy. … Oilers knocked off defending 1A I state champion Pretty Prairie in sub-state semifinals and sub-state championship win over St. John was fourth of season over the Tigers. … Hammeke averages 19.7 points, 3.2 assists and 4.3 steals per game. … Soeken adds 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. … Metro averages 7 points per game. … Ogle averages 6.9 rebounds per game and Donecker 5.1 boards per game. … McGuire was starter last year and missed big part of this season with injury.


Coach: Perry Smith

Record: 18-5

Sub-state results: beat Seabury Academy, 74-23; beat Troy, 43-19; beat Centralia, 44-39

Quarterfinal game: vs. Central Plains (19-4), 4 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Kyra Johnson, sr., G/F; Avery Weathersbee, sr., F; Claire Cole, sr., G; Brennah Edie, so., G; Malaina Whetstine, jr., G.

Worth noting: Mustangs qualified for state for second time in three seasons, taking third in 2021 in 1A Division I. … Smith also coached Wetmore to three state tournaments from 2012-16, taking fourth twice. … Program also had nine combined state appearances when Midway-Denton and Highland with Midway-Denton capturing state title in 1990. … Four of five losses came to state qualifying teams – 2A Riverside, 1A ! Frankfort and 1A II Hanover (twice). … Mustangs have two overtime losses to Hanover and Clifton-Clyde. … Mustangs finished runner-up in Twin Valley League Tournament. … All five starters have led team in scoring in at least three games this season. … Johnson averages 11 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. … Weathersbee is right behind with 10.5 points per game and is leading rebounder with 8.5 per game. … Edie adds 8.2 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 steals a game. … Whetstine averages 7.1 points per game.


Coach: Brian Ebert

Record: 20-3

Sub-state results: beat Blue Valley-Randolph, 70-35; beat Clifton-Clyde, 53-45; beat Osborne, 50-31

Quarterfinal game: vs. South Gray (17-6), 8 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Hattie Gros, jr., F; Emma Hardwick, jr., PG; Sydney Wapp, jr., F; Breleigh Ebert, so., G.

Worth noting: Frankfort returns to state for the first time since 2018 when Wildcats lost in quarterfinals to Twin Valley League rival and eventual champion Hanover in the 1A Division I tourney. … Trip is second under Ebert, who also guided Frankfort boys to four state appearances and 2012 state title. … Wildcats knocked off one-loss Osborne in sub-state finals, holding a team that had been averaging 60 points per game to just 31. … Wildcats suffered all three losses in a span of 12 days, two coming at the Twin Valley League Tournament. … Frankfort took second in league’s regular season with lone loss coming to 1A II qualifier and unbeaten Hanover. … Gros leads team in scoring at 15 points per game and also chips in 5.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game. … Wapp adds 10 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. … Hardwick averages 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals per game. … Ebert adds 6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.


Coach: Mike Klaver

Record: 21-2

Sub-state results: beat Wichita Central Christian, 59-31; beat Wichita Classical, 46-21

Quarterfinal game: vs. Canton-Galva (15-8), 2 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Kierstin Adams, jr., F; Braylin Kelly, jr., G; Haley Sheetz, sr., G; Brooklyn Sheetz, jr., F; Teja Saumelson, sr., G; Marissa Brewster, jr., F; Reagan Smith, fr., G.

Worth noting: Norwich finished as state runner-up to Olpe in 2021, falling 42-25 in title game to unbeaten Eagles. … Norwich also took second in 2013, third in 2015 and has qualified for state seven times since 2012 including three in the past four years. … Klaver won 250th career game this year. … He also has 180 wins as boys head coach at Norwich, leading Eagles to three state appearances. … With middle school wins included, Klaver has 662 career victories in 39 seasons. … Adams averages 13.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. … Kelly averages 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3 steals a game. … Sheetz sisters combined for 14 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. … Only losses this season came to defending champion Pretty Prairie and Attica, the latter coming in overtime in semifinals of midseason tournament.


Coach: Ron Slaymaker

Record: 16-7

Sub-state results: beat Oswego, 68-12; beat Flinthills, 64-43; beat Madison, 50-46

Quarterfinal game: vs. Quinter (20-3), 6 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Kadey Robdert, jr., G; Ava Clark, sr.; Makenna Broyles, sr.; Jenna Smith, sr.; Grace Coughlin, jr.; Milly Bailey, jr.; Lilly Skalsky, fr.

Worth noting: After rare down season last year, Olpe bounced back in a big way this season, Slaymaker’s second as head coach after taking over for state’s all-time winningest coach Jesse Nelson. … Olpe qualified for state 32 times in Nelson’s 44 years and won four state championships. … Five of seven losses have come to state qualifiers – 1A II Lebo (three times), 3A Eureka and 2A St. Marys. … Eagles were Lyon County League regular season and tournament runners-up to Lebo. … Balanced offense has Robert leading way at 13 points per game and five others between 6 and 8 points per game. … Coughlin is leading rebounder at 7.5 per game. … Olpe handed league rival Madison three of its four losses this season. … Slaymaker led Chase County to two state tournaments and also took Roosevelt boys to state before becoming head coach at Emporia State.


Coach: Matt Havlas

Record: 20-3

Sub-state results: beat Ness City, 53-39; beat St. Francis, 53-35

Quarterfinal game: vs. Olpe (16-7), 6 p.m. Wednesday

Key players: Anna Briggs, sr., F; Bryn Gillespie, so., F; Kennedy Werth, jr., G; Kelsey Selensky, jr., G; Cashlyn Kvasnicka, sr., G; Saige Betz, jr., G; Caybrie Kvasnicka, jr., G.

Worth noting: Bulldogs making third state tournament appearance and captured the Class 1A Division II state championship in 2018. … Bulldogs were Northwest Kansas League champions and also won the Castle Rock Classic Tournament. … Two of three losses came to state qualifiers Sharon Springs-Wallace County (1A II) and Hoxie (2A). … Havlas posted 100th career victory. … Briggs hit 1,000-point milestone this season. … Briggs averages 16.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game as well as 4.4 blocks. … Gillespie averages 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. … Werth averages 7.7 points and 3.5 assists. … Cashlyn Kvasnicka averages 8.3 points and 3 rebounds per game. … Seniors won just two games during junior high careers.


Coach: Mindy Stilwell

Record: 17-6

Sub-state results: beat Satanta, 61-23; beat Spearville, 54-42; beat Hodgeman County, 51-47

Quarterfinal game: vs. Frankfort (20-3), 8 p.m.

Key players: Vi Helm, jr., F; Allie Reed, so., PG; Halli Meairs, sr., G; Kylie Stapleton, so., F; Alleris Granados, sr.; Jacelyn Huelskamp, jr.; Reegan Meairs, so., Gwyn Jantz, so.

Worth noting: Rebels making first trip to state since 2019 and sixth overall in program history. … South Gray won Class 1A state titles in 2008 and 2010. … Rebels avenged two regular-season losses to Hodgeman County with 51-47 overtime win in sub-state finals despite having three starters foul out in regulation. … Helm averaged 21 points per game during sub-state and for the season averages 15.8 points and 6 rebounds per game. … Stapleton averaged 11 points and 7 boards in sub-state and on the season averages 9.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. … Reed averages 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. … Meairs adds 6 points per game.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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