Sports Year in Review January through June 2019
The Royal Valley Lady Panthers’ Class 3A State Basketball Championship season was easily the top local sports story for the first six months of 2019. A photo of the team with its state championship trophy is shown above.
It was arguably the top local sports story of the full year.
The Lady Panthers beat Jeff-West to win the sub-state tourney at Perry-Lecompton and punch their ticket to the state basketball tourney for the second straight season.
At the state tournament at Hutchinson, the Lady Panthers beat Eureka in the first round, 56-36, and then beat Norton, 53-44.
In the state championship game against Cheney, the Lady Panthers fought back from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to win 55-52 in overtime. They finished with a 21-5 overall record.
It was the first state basketball championship ever for the Lady Panthers and just the second time in Royal Valley High School history that a Panther team won a state championship. In 1974, the RVHS cross country team was the state champion team.
What follows is a rundown of several other top sports stories from the first six months of 2019 in the order they occurred.
*The Jackson Heights Lady Cobras also had a fantastic basketball season last season. In January of 2019, the Lady Cobras won the Hiawatha tournament for the first time since 1991 (28 years) perhaps foreboding what was to come for the team.
The Lady Cobras went on to beat ACCHS 56-39 in the Class 2A sub-state championship game at Valley Heights to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 1999.
In the first round game at the state tournament, the Lady Cobras were edged by Sterling, 66-58, and they finished the season 17-6.
*The Holton High School wrestling team won its fourth straight Big Seven League title with six individual champs – Jake Barnes (106), Lucas Adcock (113), Cayden Jackson (120), Kolby Roush (132), Cael Jackson (152) and Konnor Tannahill (182).
The Wildcats went on to send six wrestlers to state. Roush and Tannahill both took third at state and Barnes took sixth at state.
Other Wildcat state qualifiers were Taygen Fletcher, Cael Jackson and Cayden Jackson.
*Royal Valley’s Maya Ogden took second in girls state wrestling in the 132-pound class.
*Baker University junior Lucas Lovvorn, a graduate of HHS, won a national wrestling title in the 174-pound class at Des Moines, Ia., and finished the season 38-0. Lovvorn is the first two-time national champion wrestler in Baker University history, it was reported.
*The Royal Valley Lady Panthers’ softball team finished with an impressive 16-5 overall record.
*The Holton Recorder’s All County boys basketball team featured Zane Moylan and Eli Prine of HHS; Tyrell Childs, Levi Olberding, Kolby Rethman and Lane Thomas of Jackson Heights; and Pak Hale, Nahcs Wahwassuck and Ben Neuner of Royal Valley.
*The Holton Recorder’s All County girls basketball team featured Abby Brey, Kylie Dohl, Trinity McMahon, Amaya Marlatt and Jodi White of Jackson Heights; Wakiyan Irving, Mary Broxterman, Emily Albright, Kiikto Thomas and Mahpiya Irving of Royal Valley; and Lauryn Moore and Saydee Tanking of Holton.
*The HHS Class 3A softball team won three of four games against Class 6A softball teams in the Kansas City area in April. After losing to Olathe North 2-1, the Lady Wildcats beat Shawnee Mission East 6-5, Shawnee Misson West 24-0 and Shawnee Mission North 15-5.
The Lady Wildcats went on to win the 3A regional at Atchison by beating Jeff West 7-1. In the regional, the Lady Wildcats also beat Pleasant Ridge 10-2 and Maur Hill 16-0.
Winning the regional title qualified the Lady Wildcats for the state tournament for the second straight season. In the previous year, the Lady Wildcats finished fourth at state.
The Lady Wildcats beat Colby 10-0 in the first round of the state tourney at Emporia then lost to Silver Lake 5-3 in a rain-delayed second-round game that took three days (Friday, Saturday and Monday) and two different venues (Emporia and Lawrence) to complete. The third-place game between Holton and St. Marys was not played due to rainy weather and both teams were awarded third place.
*Three HHS golfers qualified for the Class 3A golf tournament. Those three were seniors Rafe Folk, Ryan Taylor and Drew Morris.
*A total of 37 high school track athletes from the Holton, Royal Valley and Jackson Heights qualified for the state track meet at Wichita, which was held the same rainy weekend as the state softball tourney. Nine Wildcats, six Panthers and 17 Cobras qualified for state.
*For Jackson Heights in the Class 2A state, Daniel Little took fourth in the 800-meters and sixth in the 1,600-meters while his sister Faith Little took third in the 800 and was part of the 4x800 meter relay that took fourth and the 4x400-meter relay that took fifth.
In addition for Jackson Heights, Jackson Ahlgren took fifth in the pole vault, Levi Olberding took sixth in the triple jump, Jason Bosley took sixth in the high jump and Sydney Raborn took eighth in the javelin.
Other members of the JH relay teams and alternates were McKenzie Kennedy, Annie Allen, Jodi White, Karley Dieckmann, Sarah Marshall and Kylee Dieckmann.
Other Cobras qualifying for state were Cooper Williams (long jump), Grace Roles (discus), Taylor Wamego (shot put), Abby Brey (javelin) and George Wiecken (javelin).
*HHS had two medalists at 3A state – Ian Watkins seventh in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter dash and Cailin Parks eighth in the 400-meter dash.
Others qualifying for state were Tabor Barta (pole vault), Canon Karn (triple jump), Reagan Baum (100-meter hurdles) and the 4x400 meter relay team of Jayger Carson, Trey Wright, Kale Purcell and Ian Watkins.
*The RVHS girls 4x100-meter relay team took eighth in 3A with Kenzie Ogden, Mary Broxterman, Kenzie Hegemann and Morgan Harvey.
Harvey also took fifth in the triple jump and Gavin Cumpton took fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles. Ivy Fink also qualified for state in the high jump