Class 1A Division I girls championship: Doniphan West makes history by holding off Quinter for first state title

By Kevin Thompson – KSHSAA Covered

DODGE CITY – It was a wet Doniphan West coach Perry Smith who emerged from the team locker room following the Mustangs’ 55-49 win over Quinter.

But the seventh-year head coach was all smiles, as his girls had just won their first ever state championship.

“It’s a great feeling,” Smith said of that honor – and the dousing. “It’s great for our kids and community. You see how many people we had here, six hours away. It was good for them.”

Kyra Johnson, one of three seniors on the team, said this is what her team has worked for.

“We always talk in every practice, every pre-game, every (time) after the game that we’re the best team in the state,” she said. “I think we really went out there and proved that.”

The secret to their success, she said, is hustle.

“We get after it, we want to work the floor the whole time, we want to run transition because no one wants to do that,” she said. “It’s important to get the easy baskets. We love to pressure them and get out in the press.”

Johnson led her team with 22 points, as well as 13 rebounds.

Doniphan West got out of the gates quickly, capitalizing on Quinter errors, namely five turnovers in its first six possessions.

With the Mustangs leading 7-2, Quinter coach Matt Havlas used two timeouts to chastise his team for the mental errors and extol them to get focused.

Whatever he said, it worked as the Bulldogs rallied only be down 18-15 at the quarter break.

Both teams settled down in the second, trading field goals before Kennedy Werth tied the game on a three-pointer and then gave Quinter its first lead at 26-24 with 2:55 remaining.

West scored the next two field goals and shut down the Bulldogs the next six possessions to take a 29-26 halftime lead.

The Mustangs came out strong in the third period, driving the lead to 10, forcing Quinter to use two more of its timeouts. They also scored on eight of 15 possessions, while holding Quinter to just eight points, going up 45-34.

Quinter, however, wasn’t done. They went on a 7-2 scoring run to open the fourth, with Werth hitting Cashlyn Kvasnicka for a layup, forcing West to call timeout at the 5:38 mark, ahead just 47-41.

Claire Cole scored on an offensive rebound to get West back on track, but four free throws cut the lead to 49-43 with under three minutes left.

West worked a spread offense and Brennah Edie hit a short jumper at 1:38 to put the Mustangs ahead 51-45. Bryn Gillespie put back a missed shot with :53 remaining to cut the deficit to four.
Johnson nailed a pair of free throws and West was up by six at the :33 mark and again seconds later to seal the win.

“I feel like I’m on top of the world,” Johnson said.

Smith said he didn’t think his team was on their game in the fourth quarter, but the credit goes to a quality Quinter team, even with Bulldogs star Anna Briggs sitting on the bench with foul trouble. 

“I don’t think we were particularly good when they took her out because I thought we could have extended the lead a little bit and we didn’t do that,” he said.

But credit his girls for continuing to attack the inside most of the game.

Quinter’s coach Havlas said it was tough to overcome his team’s slow start.

“We dug too deep of a hole. We knew they were going to pressure us and they came right out of the gates and we weren’t ready for that,” he said.

Being down just three at the end of the first quarter and having called two time outs spoke well of Quinter’s ability to fight back, Havlas said. West just had a little more depth to get through the battle.

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FRANKFORT 49, NORWICH 23 – After giving up a lead in the second half the previous night, Frankfort wasn’t about to let history repeat itself. Instead, they held onto a double-digit halftime lead to take down Norwich 49-23 in the third-place game.

The Wildcats used a 14-4 second quarter to take a 22-10 halftime lead over the Eagles. 

Unlike the previous game in which they only made one field goal the entire second half, Frankfort connected for six straight shots to extend its lead to 41-18 after three quarters, holding Norwich scoreless for nearly five minutes.

Frankfort held Norwich to just five free throws in the final period. The Wildcats shot 54 percent from the floor (19 of 35).

Hattie Gros led Frankfort with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. She and Emma Hardwick each had eight rebounds.

Norwich shot just 18 percent from the floor (8 of 44).



Quinter … 15 … 11 … 8 … 0 … — … 49

Doniphan West … 18 … 11 … 16 … 0 … — … 55
Quinter (22-4) – Betz 0-1 0-0 0, Cay. Kvasnicka 0-1 0-0 0, Gillespie 5-9 3-4 13, Werth 4-10 1-2 10, Selensky 1-6 2-2 4, A. Briggs 4-12 3-4 11, Cash. Kvasnicka 3-7 3-4 11. Totals 14-28 12-16  49.
Doniphan West (21-5) – Ky. Johnson 7-16 7-10 22, Cole 4-11 0-0 8, Edie 3-7 1-2 7, Ka. Johnson 3-7 0-0 6, M. Whetstine 0-3 0-0 0, Weathersbee 5-14 2-5 12. Totals 21-47 10-17 55.

3-point goals – Quinter 3-18 (Cay. Kvasnicka 0-1, Gillespie 0-1, Werth 1-1, Briggs 0-2, Cash. Kvasnicka 2-2); Doniphan West 2-9 (Johnson 0-1, Cole 0-2, Edie 0-2, Whetstine 0-2); Rebounds – Quinter 33 (A. Briggs 12, Selensky 9, Gillespie 7); Doniphan West 24 (Av. Weathersbee 9, Johnson 6), Assists – Quinter 13 (Werth 8); Doniphan West 10 (Ky. Johnson 3, Edie 3). Turnovers – Quinter 11; Doniphan West 6. Total fouls – Quinter 16, Doniphan West 10. Fouled out – none. 


Frankfort … 8 … 14 … 19 … 8 … — … 49

Norwich … 6 … 4 … 8 … 5 … — … 23

Frankfort (22-4) – Wapp 5-5 0-1 10, As. Dalinghaus 0-1 0-0 0, Ebert 0-2 2-2 2, Hardwick 3-5 1-3 9, Sowell 0-2 1-3 1, Parthemer 1-5 0-0 2, Gros 9-13 1-1 22, Al. Dalinghaus 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 19-35 6-12 49.
Norwich (22-4) – Kelly 2-15 1-2 7, Smith 1-6 0-0 2, Samuelson 0-3 0-0 0, H. Sheetz 2-5 0-0 4, Brewster 0-1 0-0 0, Adams 2-4 1-3 5, B. Sheetz 1-10 3-6 5. Totals 18-44 5-11 23.
3-point goals – Frankfort 5-16 (As. Dalinghaus 0-1, Hardwick 2-3, Stowell 0-2, Parthemer 0-3, Gros 3-6); Norwich 2-17 (Kelly 2-12, Smith 0-2, Samuelson 0-3). Rebounds – Frankfort 33 (Hardwick 8, Gros 8, Ebert 6); Norwich 27 (H. Sheetz 5, B. Sheetz 5), Assists – Frankfort 14 (Hardwick 8); Norwich 4 (4 players with 1). Turnovers – Frankfort 10, Norwich 7. Total fouls – Frankfort 13, Norwich 13. Fouled out – None.

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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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