Wildcats come up big in victory over Burlington

Louisburg senior Dylan DeShazer puts up a shot Tuesday during the Wildcats’ home contest with Burlington. DeShazer scored eight points and pulled down four key rebounds late in Louisburg’s 58-51 win.

 

The Louisburg boys basketball team needed something big to happen when its game with Burlington was tied with under three minutes remaining Tuesday at Louisburg High School.

Enter the Wildcats’ two “biggest” players.

Forwards Noah Hill and Dylan DeShazer rose to the occasion as Hill converted two late baskets and was fouled on both to give the Wildcats the lead. DeShazer did the work on the glass as he pulled down four rebounds in the final two minutes to keep possessions alive and help give Louisburg a 58-51 victory.

“I think Dylan had three or four consecutive offensive rebounds and we know that we have to crash the boards because there are a lot of opportunities to get seconds chances for us,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “You could say that it was the turning point of the game was that sequence there with those two guys, and for Dylan to come down with those was big. We have some good size kids, and when you play a team that doesn’t have a ton of size, you have to take advantage of that.”

With the game tied at 43-all with 2 minutes and 47 seconds left, the Wildcats rose to the occasion as they went on an 8-0 run to help put the game away despite a mini-Burlington run at the end to help keep it close.

Hill scored two baskets during that run, while Brayden Gage converted an open lay-up on a drive to the basket. Gage and Weston Guetterman also connected on free throws to give them a 51-43 lead with 1:31 left.

Burlington went on an 8-3 spurt to cut the Wildcat to three with 23 seconds left, but Gage and Madden Rutherford went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to put the game away.

“It was not a great shooting night by either team,” Pfannenstiel said. “They made some plays and hit some shots and put the pressure on us again. I think the kids did a good job taking care of the ball and we made plays when we needed to. Brayden made some big free throws and we were able to find a way to win.”

Louisburg sophomore Weston Guetterman goes up for a layup Tuesday against Burlington.

Tuesday’s victory was the Wildcats’ second straight win to start their season and have already tied last year’s win total with two. It is a mark that the Wildcats are happy to put behind them now.

“We’ve talked about that and we know how important it is to get off to a good start in these six games before Christmas,” Pfannenstiel said. “Our kids are excited about that, but now we can put it in the rear view mirror. People are going to say those comments, but now it is a new season, it is a new team and we don’t have talk about last season anymore.”

Burlington put a lot of pressure on the Wildcat offense from the start, which made it difficult for them to get in a rhythm. Still, the Wildcats were able to hit big shots when they needed them.

Louisburg trailed by three points late in the first quarter, but junior Michael Waldron tied it up on a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. Burlington took a 22-19 lead early in the second quarter, but the Wildcats went on a 9-1 run to go up 28-22 on a couple baskets from Guetterman and Hill.

Rutherford gave the Wildcats some momentum as he hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to give Louisburg a 31-27 lead at halftime.

Offense slowed down for Louisburg in the third quarter as they went five minutes without a point, but the Wildcats managed to hang around thanks to two baskets from Kohl Vogel and another from Waldron. Hill put the Wildcats up four as he gathered an offensive rebound and recorded the putback with one second left in the third.

“We went through a little dry spell there in the third quarter, but we were able to stay in it,” Pfannenstiel said. “They missed a couple shots that could have easily taken the wind out of our sails and we were able to bounce back and get good possessions. We preach that every possession is important, whether it is the first one or the last. Every loose ball is important, every free throw and I think our kids are playing hard for four quarters.”

Hill led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points and also finished with 11 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. Louisburg had balanced scoring throughout as Rutherford added 10, while DeShazer, Guetterman and Vogel each finished with eight. DeShazer also had seven rebounds.

Now the Wildcats will try to make it three in a row Friday when they hit the road for the first time this season. Louisburg will travel to Garnett to face off with Anderson County and Pfannenstiel knows these early games are important for his team.

“It was a huge win for us,” he said. “We talk about that this game was kind of a turning point in our season for us last year as early as it was. Our second game of the year, we got out and beat Baldwin and then we lose a close game to Burlington and had a lead against Anderson County and gave it up in the end. Once that happened, we were never able to get that confidence the rest of the season and we never got any momentum going.

“We knew this was going to be an important week for us. We played well and got a win against Burlington and now we have a couple days to prepare and get ready for a very good Anderson County team. It was an important game and I was proud of the effort that our kids gave and executing at the end.”

 

LOU               17           14           11           16 – 58

BUR               17           10           11           13 – 51

LOUISBURG (2-0): Noah Hill 6-8 2-5 14; Madden Rutherford 3-9 3-6 10; Kohl Vogel 3-9 2-5 8; Weston Guetterman 3-6 2-4 8; Dylan DeShazer 4-8 0-0 8; Brayden Gage 1-5 3-4 5; Michael Waldron 2-3 0-0 5. Totals: 22-48 12-24 58. 3-point field goals: 2, (Waldron, Rutherford)




Wildcats down Tonganoxie to win season debut

Louisburg senior Noah Hill gets ready to go up for a basket against two Tonganoxie defenders Friday in the Wildcats’ season opener. Hill finished with 12 points in the Wildcats’ win.

 

Winning just two games a season ago, the Louisburg boys basketball team wanted to make sure history didn’t repeat itself this year.

After one game this season, the Wildcats are well on their way to not letting that happen and showed they are a much different team from a year ago.

Louisburg used a big second half offensively as the Wildcats came away with a 58-47 win Friday over the Chieftains at Louisburg High School. It was the way the Wildcats’ had hoped to start their season.

“It was a great win,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “I thought our kids competed hard, played with a lot of emotion and we had fun out there. Obviously, having a little success allows you to play a little more confident. Our goal was to be 1-0 at the end of the night and I thought we played pretty well for our first game out. It was exactly what we wanted.”

The Wildcats did have overcome some adversity along the way as they had to deal with foul trouble throughout the game and it forced different players to step up.

Junior Madden Rutherford put the Wildcats on his back in the first half as he scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first two quarters. He added 13 rebounds to stat line and finished with a double-double.

Rutherford also scored all eight of Louisburg’s points in the second quarter and was active on both ends of the floor.

“He is a competitor and an athlete,” Pfannenstiel said. “He played hard and he played to his strengths quite a bit. I thought this time out Madden was exactly what we needed. He played with a lot of energy and really did a great job rebounding the ball for us.”

Senior Noah Hill, who also finished in double figures with 12 points and eight rebounds, gave the Wildcats a spark early on as he scored six quick points in the first quarter to help Louisburg get out to a 16-7 lead.

Madden Rutherford (left) celebrates with Ben Guetterman (22) and Weston Guetterman after Ben made basket and was fouled on Friday.

The Wildcats went through a dry spell in the second quarter as they scored one point in the final four minutes of the half, but they still held a 24-21 halftime lead.

Foul problems helped contribute to that as point guard Brayden Gage had it sit most of the game and Pfannenstiel relied on sophomore Weston Guetterman, who was playing in his first varsity contest.

It worked out well as the Wildcats bounced back to open the second half on a 7-2 run. Senior Kohl Vogel widened the lead even more as hit a pair of 3-pointers, and junior Michael Waldron followed with another to put Louisburg up 38-27 late in the third quarter.

Vogel had a big second half as he scored 11 of his 15 points late to help the Wildcats secure a big first victory.

“We went through a little spell in the second quarter where they got some momentum and we were in foul trouble,” Pfannenstiel said. “We had some different guys in there, but we were able to weather that storm and come out and play well in the second half. It was good team basketball and it wasn’t a one-man show. Everyone did their part and it was very unselfish basketball.

“Brayden never really got into the rhythm of the game because of fouls, but Weston Guetterman, in his first varsity game, did a great job and we couldn’t take him off the floor the first three quarters because of that foul trouble. Almost everyone who was out there had some foul trouble and it was a little dicey there for a while. We had some kids step up on the bench and Kohl had a really nice game scoring the ball.”

The Wildcats put the game away in the fourth quarter when Hill scored two quick baskets and Vogel knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats back up by double figures and they never looked back.

Louisburg will try and make it two wins in a row Tuesday when it hosts Burlington. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

 

LOU               16           8             18           16 – 58

TON              10           11           12           14 – 47

LOUISBURG (1-0): Madden Rutherford 6-12 4-10 18; Kohl Vogel 5-14 2-3 15; Noah Hill 4-4 4-7 12; Dylan DeShazer 3-5 0-0 6; Michael Waldron 1-1 0-0 3; Ben Guetterman 1-2 0-1 2; Weston Guetterman 0-1 1-2 1; Brayden Gage 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 21-41 12-25 58. 3-point field goals: 6, (Vogel 3, Rutherford 2, Waldron)




Wildcats hope to rebound after tough 2017-18 season

Louisburg’s Brayden Gage will be one of four returning seniors to this season’s Wildcat basketball team. The Wildcats will host Tonganoxie on Friday in their season opener.

 

It was rough season for the Louisburg boys basketball team last year, and one that saw the Wildcats in transition mode.

Ty Pfannenstiel was in his first season as head coach and the Wildcats won just two games a year ago. Several players stepped onto the varsity floor for the first time that season and saw a lot of close games slip away.

Although there will be a little more transition this season, with the loss of five seniors from last year, the Wildcats hope to turn some of those close losses into wins.

“I felt like we were competitive last year in most games, but it’s going to take greater effort and execution to turn those efforts into wins,” Pfannenstiel said. “Our kids really showed a lot of commitment this off-season and I feel like that will have a big impact this season. Practice has been going great so far and there has been great intensity and focus.”

Louisburg returns four seniors that each saw minutes last season on varsity and all are expected to start when the Wildcats open their season Friday against Tonganoxie at home.

Guards Brayden Gage, Kohl Vogel and forwards Dylan DeShazer and Noah Hill will all lead the Wildcats this season and Pfannenstiel is looking for big things out of those four players.

“All four are expected to be impact players for us this year,” Pfannenstiel said. “Brayden will be a great leader for us on both ends of the floor. He’s a competitor and I think our team will feed off of his energy. Dylan was a very productive player for us coming off the bench.  We will expect him to be a big scorer for us both inside and out.

“Kohl Vogel is going to have to be a good scorer for us this year. He has the potential to be our very best defender as well. Noah is an incredibly competitive and scrappy player. He will have to be a force on the boards and be a great low post defender as well.”

Louisburg senior Dylan DeShazer is one of several Wildcat players returning with varsity experience from last season.

Junior Madden Rutherford, who also saw varsity minutes as a sophomore last season, will join the four seniors in the starting lineup. Junior Michael Waldron and sophomore Weston Guetterman will see significant time off the bench.

Junior Garrett Rolofson and sophomores Ben Guetterman, Connor Koesser, Andy Hupp and Konnor Vohs could all see varsity time as well throughout the year.

In the offseason, Pfannenstiel stressed shooting with his group as the players put up thousands of shots up over the summer to improve in that area. However, as much as his team needs to focus on the offensive end to get better, he knows that defensively is how his team will find success.

“The keys for this team will be to play to our strengths and be ready to compete every game that we step on the court,” he said. I think we have a chance to be a very good defensive team that will give teams problems. We will have to play unselfish on the offensive end and we obviously have to shoot the ball better this year. Our kids put in a lot of time this off-season on shooting the ball so I hope that turns into confident shooters on the offensive end.”

The Wildcats also realize their schedule got a lot tougher this season with the addition of three new teams to the Frontier League in Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs and Piper.

Louisburg will host Tonganoxie at 7:30 p.m., on Friday in its season opener and Pfannenstiel realizes there will be no easy game throughout the schedule.

“I think the Frontier League will be extremely competitive again this year,” he said. “I think Eudora and Bonner Springs return the most. Spring Hill and Ottawa both return a good core of their team as well.  With the addition of Bonner, Tongie and Piper, the league will definitely have a different look. Each night will demand our best effort and execution and we are excited to get things started on Friday.”




Hinkle ready to take on role as LHS activities director

Walking into Scott Hinkle’s office, it doesn’t appear he started a new job two weeks ago.

The moving boxes are mostly gone. His desk is organized with everything in its place, along with a calendar crammed full of upcoming events.

Hinkle is not shy to tell people about his love for the Boston Red Sox. Sitting on one wall are two older chairs from Fenway Park, along other memorabilia.

The one thing that Hinkle hasn’t caught up on is his efforts to get some purple gear. An avid Kansas Jayhawk fan, he hasn’t had need to purchase any purple flair in the past. Seems like that will change shortly as he was hired as the new activities director and assistant principal at Louisburg High School earlier this summer.

“I have been a Jayhawk fan all my life,” Hinkle said. “It will be a little weird to wear purple that is for sure, but I am sure I will get used to it. Before I left my old job, people found out where I was going so they started giving me little gifts with purple on it, like markers and stuff like that. They definitely got a kick out of that.”

Hinkle takes over for Jeremy Holloway, who was promoted to principal at LHS and becomes the third activities director in as many years to take over that spot.

“My wife has family in Kansas City and I have family in Wichita and so we were looking to come this way,” Hinkle said. “I had a couple friends that told me that the Louisburg position had opened up. I had heard of Louisburg a long time ago. I actually coached at Ottawa University in the early 90s and was familiar with the area. I came up, interviewed and here I am. It has obviously worked out well.

“Everyone has been so helpful and friendly and it is a good time to be coming to Louisburg. I am excited to be here.”

Before taking the job in Louisburg, Hinkle had spent the last 22 years in the Liberal school district in a variety of roles. He served as the boys high school basketball coach, along with nine years as an activities director, a year as the head girls basketball coach at the local community college and last year he served as assistant principal at the high school.

Hinkle graduated from Valley Center High School, and went on from there to earn his bachelor’s degree from Friends University, where he played basketball, and his master’s from the University of Kansas.

Basketball has always been a passion for Hinkle, but during his time as activities director at Liberal, he had a chance to learn the life of other sports as well.

“Liberal changed a lot from when I first got there in the mid 90s when they were a football and track powerhouse,” Hinkle said. “There were just athletes galore, but the culture kind of changed. We were really good in soccer and decent in track and volleyball. We still had good kids and good athletes, but it was a big transition as far as sports go when I first got there. My kids grew up there and being involved and being able to watch their events was something that has always appealed to me.

“Basketball has always been in my blood. Other than my nine years as athletic director, I have coached in some capacity and I am a big basketball fan. Obviously, being an athletic director I am just a big sports fan in general.”

Still new in town, Hinkle is still trying to get to know his coaching staff, but he is excited about the situation he is walking into with the Wildcats finishing as state runner-ups in volleyball and girls soccer last season. Several cross country, golf, wrestling and track athletes also earned state medals.

However, if there is one thing he wanted to relay to everyone is that he wants to give his coaches the freedom to run their programs.

“I want to let the coaches, coach,” he said. “I am not going to be the guy that says this is how we did things in Liberal and I am not that type of leader. If it comes to the point where they need some advice, I want to be a resource for them. I don’t want to be someone that is looking for something.

“I have met a few of the coaches. I have let them know that I am here if they need anything. I have stopped by the weight room to speak to a few coaches and some have stopped by to introduce themselves. I am still learning names and faces. We have a coaches meeting on the 10th and I will see and learn a lot more about them then.”

With all the success the Wildcats had last season in the sports arena, Hinkle is happy to be a part of the LHS family and is learning new things about the town every day.

“I have heard all types of things,” he said. “I have heard they take football pretty seriously here. I know they were state runner-up in volleyball and girls soccer last year and that is an exciting thing to walk into. I think expectations are obviously high in those sports, but I think everyone always has high expectations. I am not going to do anything different than normal and I am just going to sit back and observe for a while and take it all in.”

Hinkle will experience some different things along with his new position. This season, the Frontier League will welcome three new teams – Bonner Springs, Piper and Tonganoxie – and will say goodbye to De Soto.

Another big change will be the postseason formats with several sports as the Kansas State High School Activities Association reshuffled their classification system, eliminating Class 4A-Division II.

“With the changes in the league, the classification system and being a new AD, it is probably a good time to be coming on,” Hinkle said. “The learning curve is going to be the same for all of us.

“I walked into a good situation for scheduling because (Holloway) already had everything all taken care of,” he said. “I think the dynamics of the league are going to change. Liberal’s former girls basketball coach is the coach at Piper and I know a little bit about them. As far as the programs and rivalries, that is something that is going to come with time.”

Even with all the changes in his life – moving, starting a new job, getting to know new faces – Hinkle is ready for what lies ahead and the staff at Louisburg has helped with that transition.

“It has been a whirlwind and it has been information overload,” he said. “It is a lot of the same things I did in Liberal as athletic director, I just haven’t done it for the last five years. Being an assistant principal at Liberal last year, I think, helped me prepare for the principal side.

“People have just gone out of their way to be helpful. From the administration to the custodial staff to the secretaries, everyone has been super helpful. When I was out around town, people have welcomed me and it has been a friendly feel everywhere I have been.”




Shooting a main focus over summer for Wildcat basketball

Louisburg senior Brayden Gage pulls up for a jumper in a drill, while teammate Kohl Vogel looks on during the team camp on June 6 at Louisburg High School. Shooting has been a focus for the Wildcats in their early summer workouts.

 

It wasn’t the year the Louisburg High School boys basketball team was hoping for last season.

The Wildcats finished with just three wins and are now in the process of trying to replace five seniors that saw a majority of the minutes. Although there were areas for the Wildcats to improve, one stood out among the rest.

“Our No. 1 goal going into the off-season is to develop shooters,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “We really struggled to shoot the ball consistently last season so we knew that we needed to place an emphasis on that this summer. Our kids are going through daily shooting workouts in which they get up 200 shots per day. We do these workouts five days a week, so we are hoping by the end of the summer that each player take 8,000-10,000 shots over the summer.

“The kids have really bought into it. They understand that in order to develop as a shooter that it is going to take quite an investment in time and effort. We consistently have 18 to 20 doing these workouts every day. Our first week, we totaled 18,660 shots as a program.”

Shooting is one area of emphasis that Pfannenstiel plans to work on with his players throughout the summer, including during his week-long team camp that concluded on June 7. He held a freshman only session, and then another for sophomore through senior.

Even after a difficult 2017-18 season, the players were ready to see what they could get accomplished to prepare for the upcoming year.

“I thought camp was great,” Pfannenstiel said. “There is a lot of excitement with this group and it has shown with the commitment they have shown so far this summer. We had 15 freshmen and 22 to 23 sophomores, juniors and seniors.  The numbers were just right. We were able to get a lot done in those four days.”

Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel looks on during the Wildcats’ team camp on June 6.

Before the camp started, Pfannenstiel also brought in his players for a 2-day shooting clinic that worked with his players on form and the importance of repetition. That clinic also helped set them with workouts to use throughout the summer.

The Wildcats also opened the summer when the varsity and junior varsity teams participated in the Mid-America Nazarene team camp and those same groups will also be traveling to the K-State team camp on June 23.

All three levels of the Wildcat program will also be participating in a Eudora tournament in early July.

“The boys are doing all that, plus doing weights three days a week and our shooting workouts five days a week,” Pfannenstiel said. “We are keeping them busy.”

Dane Dixon makes a move to the basket during a drill with assistant coach Drew Harding.

With the departure of five seniors, there will be a lot of voids to fill in the Louisburg lineup and Pfannenstiel is looking forward to watching his players improve and seizing those open spots on the varsity lineup.

“I’m just really excited for how much the kids have bought into the process,” he said. “They understand that in order to develop as a player, they are going to have to invest some time and effort. It’s not just a couple of players taking advantage of the opportunities, it’s the whole team.

“Like I said before, the kids are excited. We are just hoping to build off of this momentum from the summer and keep it going into the school year.”




2018 Male Athlete of the Year Nominees

For the past two years, Louisburg Sports Zone has given out Athlete of the Week awards during each of the three sports seasons. I do it to recognize special athletic achievements and highlight them a little bit. So this year, I wanted to take it a step further.

This year Louisburg Sports Zone will be handing out an Athlete of the Year honor to a male and female athlete at Louisburg High School. I wanted the opportunity to recognize those who exemplify what it means to be an “athlete.”

Although I am giving out the award, I wanted the process to subjective, so I asked the head coaches at LHS to help me out. I asked each coach to send me nominations of who they thought exemplified the Athlete of the Year honor. They will then vote for their top 3 male and female and then I will tabulate the results and determine the winner. In the next couple of weeks, I will announce this year recipient.

Below are the male nominees for this year’s award in alphabetical order by last name. Congrats to all those who were nominated and best of luck!

2018 LOUISBURG SPORTS ZONE

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

 

Blue Caplinger – Junior – Football, Wrestling, Track and Field

Caplinger played a big role for the Wildcat football team as he shared quarterback duties to start the year and then moved over to the tight end spot, but his biggest impact came on defense where he earned honorable mention all-Frontier League honors. He finished the season with 32 tackles and two interceptions from his secondary spot.

On the wrestling mat, Caplinger was a state qualifier for the Wildcats at 160 pounds and finished his season with a 34-14 record. He won titles at two different tournaments and holds the team record with most career reversals with 71.

Caplinger also fared well on the track where he ran sprints and relays for Louisburg. Caplinger was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished seventh in the state in Class 4A, and also ran on the 4×100-meter relay team that qualified for the Kansas Relays.

 

Cade Holtzen – Freshman – Cross Country, Wrestling, Track and Field

Holtzen thrived on the wrestling mat this past season as he earned the Wildcats’ lone state medal. He finished sixth overall at 113 pounds and became the second freshman in school history to place at state with a 45-6 record.

He also broke two team records in the process. Holtzen currently holds the mark for most wins in a season (45), most nearfall-2 (23). He also led the Wildcats in five other statistical categories.

Holtzen was a Frontier League and regional runner-up and won tournament titles at four different competitions.

He also ran on the Louisburg varsity cross country team and ran distance races for the Wildcat track team.

 

Austin Moore – junior – football, wrestling, track and field

On the football team, Moore was named a team captain and had success on both sides of the ball. As a running back, he recorded 1,215 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, he tallied more than 70 tackles from the linebacker spot.

Moore was named to the all-Frontier League first team on both sides of the ball and was an honorable mention all-state selection by the Topeka-Capital Journal and Wichita Eagle. He was also named an all-state, all-purpose player by K-Preps. Moore was also selected as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and recipient of the BAC Award.

On the wrestling mat, he was also a team captain and recorded a 43-7 record. Moore was a state qualifier at 195 pounds and was a regional runner-up. He won the team’s Workhorse Award and set a program record with 38 pins. Moore also had the highest GPA on the team.

Moore threw the javelin for the Wildcat track and field team as recorded a season best throw of 151 feet in the regional meet and finished eighth.

 

John Wyatt Reece – Senior – Cross Country, Track and Field

Reece became the first state cross country medalist in several years for Louisburg High School. He finished 11th overall at the Class 4A meet in Wamego to earn a medal and also earned all-state honors for his effort.

He also finished runner-up in the Frontier League meet and currently holds the third fastest time in school history. He earned first-team all-league honors. Reece also competed at the CCCNC National Race where he medaled individually and was a part of the second place team.

In track, Reece qualified for state in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs and finished ninth at state in the 3,200. He was also a regional runner-up in both events.

Reece was a Kansas Relays qualifier and medalist in the 2,000-meter steeplechase and currently holds the school record.

Reece has signed with Southwest Minnesota State next season and will run for the Mustangs starting next fall.

 

 

Madden Rutherford – Sophomore – Football, Basketball, Baseball

Rutherford took over the starting quarterback role as a sophomore for the Wildcat football team and became a dual-threat athlete at that position. He finished with 670 yards through the air and had eight touchdowns. On the ground, he racked up 318 yards and two more touchdowns. His performance helped him to a second-team honor on the all-Frontier League team.

On the baseball diamond, Rutherford was the Wildcats’ top pitcher on the season and also did his job out on in the field as he earned second team all-Frontier League honors as an outfielder. Rutherford started six games this season and pitched 28 innings with a 5.12 earned run average and struck out 23 batters. At the plate, he finished the season with a .408 average, three doubles, a triple, a home run and had 10 RBIs. He also ended the year with only three errors in 19 games.

Rutherford also saw a lot of varsity time for the Wildcat basketball team as he played in 17 games.

 

Grant Ryals – Senior – Soccer, Golf

Ryals led the Louisburg boys soccer team as he garnered first team all-league and all-state honors this past season. He served as team captain the past two seasons and scored seven goals and had 11 assists from the midfield spot.

His 11 assists put him fourth in the all-time Louisburg single season record and his 23 career assists place him second all-time.

Ryals will continue his soccer career at William Jewell College next season.

Ryals was also a member of the Louisburg varsity golf team and was a part of several runner-up team finishes with the Wildcats.

 




Perentis ready to fulfill basketball dream at Ottawa

Louisburg senior Parker Perentis recently signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Ottawa University next season. Perentis was one of five seniors on the Wildcat basketball team last year. 

 

Surrounded by family, friends and coaches, Parker Perentis made his dream come true with one swipe of a pen.

During a signing ceremony at Louisburg High School on May 2, Perentis made it official as he signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Ottawa University. As easy as it was to write his name on the dotted line, it was the amount of hard work he put in years earlier that made it possible for the Wildcat senior to live out his goal.

“I am super excited,” Perentis said. “It has been my dream my whole life to play college basketball. I was blessed to have heard from a friend’s dad to apply at Ottawa and tell the coach that I was interested, and I did. They were gracious enough to contact me, I went out and visited and it was perfect. It is time to fulfill a dream and go to Ottawa.”

Perentis, who played significant minutes for the Louisburg basketball team this past season, liked what he saw when he took his campus visit to Ottawa and it turned out to be a perfect fit.

“The coaching staff was amazing,” Perentis said. “It had a feel like it was more of a family there. The campus there was great. Plus, Ottawa just felt like a small town, kind of like Louisburg. It felt like home, and it was close enough that I can go back home if I need to and my family can come watch me play. Plus I have friends that go there, so it just seemed like the perfect fit.”

Basketball has engulfed much of Perentis’ life since he was in elementary school and his love for the game continued to grow with him. Whether it was on his middle and high school teams, or playing summer ball, Perentis realized many people helped him along the way – many of whom were at his signing.

LHS senior Parker Perentis signed his letter of intent on May 2 to play basketball at Ottawa. Sitting next to Parker are his parents Kim and Ron Perentis. Standing (from left) is Louisburg boys basketball coach Ty Pfannenstiel and Ottawa head coach Aaron Siebenthall.

“I have been playing since first grade,” he said. “Shawn Lowry (current LHS girls head coach) coached me a lot through fifth grade and I have just been playing summer ball and school ball ever since.

“It is the greatest feeling ever to see that everyone that has been there for you since day one wanted to come and see an important time in my life. It means a lot that my family, friends and coaches took time out of their day to support me in this. It is really cool to see.”

As much hard work as it was for Perentis to reach this point in his life, he also knows it is only going to get tougher in the coming years. Playing time at Ottawa will be hard to come by and he is going to have start from the bottom and work his way up.

Perentis, who is planning on majoring in management information systems and economics, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I just want to go there and see what happens,” Perentis said. “I don’t expect much my freshman and sophomore years, but hopefully by the time I am a junior or senior, I can make the varsity team. My goal is to be an Academic All-American, so I need to make sure to keep my grades in line. I need to work hard and put in the time. I am just ready to finish out high school and see what happens in the next chapter of my life.”

 




Minster named to all-league basketball team

Louisburg senior Ben Minster averaged 11 points a game this past season for the Wildcats and he was rewarded for his efforts Monday when he was named to the All-Frontier League Boys Basketball Team as an honorable mention selection.

 

The Louisburg High School boys basketball team didn’t find a lot of success on the court this past season as the Wildcats finished with just a pair of wins.

That didn’t mean the coaches in the Frontier League didn’t take notice of some of the talent on the Wildcat roster and one of those players was able to garner all-league honors.

Ben Minster was named to the All-Frontier League boys basketball team when the list was released Monday. The Louisburg senior was selected to the honorable mention squad after a good season for the Wildcats.

“I think Ben had a really good year for us,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “Especially toward the end of the year, he was playing to his strengths and was a force on both ends of the court. Ben is an explosive player and a great athlete.

“One thing you can say about Ben is that no matter what the score was, he was still going hard. He made a lot of improvement over the course of the season, and I was glad to see him get recognized by the coaches of the Frontier League.”

Minster was the lone Wildcat to average in double figures in scoring with nearly 11 points a game. He also finished the season with 4.5 rebounds and two steals a contest.

Although the Wildcats were only to get one player on the all-league team, Pfannenstiel believes Louisburg could have gotten more, but the Frontier League produced a lot of talent this season.

“I think we had quite a few more kids that could have made the list this year, but this league was so deep, and it was just tough to get the necessary votes that are needed to get recognized,” he said. “Individual honors usually break down about how the league standings go, so with us finishing last in the league it made it really tough to get more kids on the list.  I do feel like we had quite a few other kids who were deserving, but I think the coaches were very fair with their selections.”

De Soto, who won the Frontier League title, tied with Spring Hill, Paola and Eudora with three all-league selections each.

 

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE BOYS BASKETBALL

 

FIRST TEAM

Brandon Wilkes, Paola, senior

Brennen Feeback, Spring Hill, junior

Rock Jerome, Eudora, junior

Jared Baruth, De Soto, senior

Kobe Johnson, Ottawa, sophomore

 

SECOND TEAM

Jayce Dighans, Baldwin, senior

Brannon Bell, De Soto, senior

Krys Johnson, Ottawa, senior

Jayden Pierce, Eudora, junior

Kale Clark, Paola, senior

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Levi Hansen, De Soto, senior

Justin Weber, Spring Hill, senior

Ben Minster, Louisburg, senior

Noah Katzenmeier, Eudora, senior

Brock LaPlante, Spring Hill, senior

Kurt Golubski, Paola, senior




Louisburg’s rally falls short in sub-state loss to Spring Hill

Louisburg senior Desmond Doles goes up for a shot fake during the Wildcats’ Class 4A sub-state semifinal game against Spring Hill on Friday in Paola. The Wildcats saw their season come to an end with a 41-33 loss to the Broncos.

 

PAOLA – The Louisburg boys basketball team made one final rally at Spring Hill during the Class 4A sub-state semifinals.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they just ran out of time.

The Wildcats found themselves down double digits early in the fourth quarter, and it appeared that their season was over, but they battled back to cut the Spring Hill lead to four. It was as close as Louisburg could get in its 41-33 loss Friday in Paola that brought it season to a close.

Spring Hill would go on to defeat Paola in the sub-state championship game and will compete in the state tournament starting tomorrow.

Louisburg (2-19) suffered two close losses to Spring Hill, and another to Paola, in recent weeks and Wildcat coach Ty Pfannenstiel believes his team was putting it together at the right time.

“We were playing as well as anyone at the end of the year,” he said. “Paola was as hot as anyone at the time we played them and we played them close and almost won. Spring Hill has been very good all year. Record-wise, everyone kind of beat up on each other in the league and got a win here or there, but we weren’t able to do that this year, but I don’t think anyone was really comfortable in playing us at the end of the year. Coach Book from Spring Hill wasn’t real excited to play us because he knew we had so much room for growth and improvement.”

The Wildcats turned up the pressure offensively and made it a close game in the fourth quarter. At one point, Louisburg trailed 31-21 early in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats went on a 7-1 run thanks to baskets from seniors Dalton Ribordy and Ben Minster and a 3-pointer from junior Kohl Vogel.

Senior Dalton Ribordy puts up a shot in the lane Friday against Spring Hill.

That run cut the Spring Hill advantage to 34-30 with 1 minute and 50 seconds left in the contest, but the Broncos knocked down their free throws to secure the eight-point win.

“We went through our normal third quarter issue that we normally have, and lost our energy there for a bit,” Pfannenstiel said. “We were able to hit some shots and get back in it. We just ran out of time and weren’t able to make enough plays. We just started too late and we needed to have that spark in the third quarter. Once that happened, our energy on the defensive end was better.”

Defense was able to keep Louisburg in the game as the Wildcats held Spring Hill to just 37 percent from the field and forced 19 turnovers. Louisburg also recorded 13 steals and 15 points off Bronco turnovers.

Louisburg just wasn’t able to stay with Spring Hill on the glass as the bigger Bronco squad outrebounded the Wildcats 32-19, including 12 offensive boards.

Junior Brayden Gage drives to the basket on a Spring Hill defender Friday in Paola.

“Our kids have been really good defensively all year, minus the Baldwin game earlier in the year,” Pfannenstiel said. “We knew that is what will keep us in games, and the effort there. That is tough to do when we struggle to score the way we do and try to find that energy on the defensive end. Our kids played tough with starting out in a zone and then switching it up and going man. We were effective in both of those.

“We just talked that we were going to have to play with high energy and make plays. We just didn’t put the ball in the basket enough times. You can’t fault our effort though and that is what we ask for out of our kids, which is to play hard all the time.”

Minster led Louisburg in scoring with eight points, while senior Desmond Doles added seven points to go along with a team-high five rebounds and four steals. Ribordy added five points and five rebounds and Vogel also finished with five points.

“I was really proud of the way we played toward the end of the season,” Pfannenstiel said. “I would have liked to hit that level earlier in the year, but you want to play your best basketball at the end of the year and I think we can sit back and say that.”

 

LOU               7             7             7             12 – 33

SH                  9             9             10           13 – 41

LOUISBURG (2-19): Ben Minster 8, Desmond Doles 7, Kohl Vogel 5, Dalton Ribordy 5, Brayden Gage 3, Dylan DeShazer 2, Justin Sievert 2, Madden Rutherford 1. Totals: 12-34 6-13 33. 3-point field goals: 3, (Vogel, Doles, Ribordy)




Wildcats fall just short of upset bid against Paola

Louisburg senior Ben Minster gets to the basket during the Wildcats’ game with Paola in January. On Friday, the Wildcats traveled to Paola for its final regular season game of the season, and came up just short in a 45-43 loss.

 

PAOLA – The Louisburg boys basketball team laid it all out on the line in its regular season finale against its rival Friday.

Louisburg squared off against Paola in its last tune-up before the sub-state tournament and the Wildcats nearly pulled off the road upset. The Wildcat held a one-point lead with 13 seconds left in the contest, but Paola knocked down a pair of free throws and Louisburg couldn’t get its last attempt to fall in a 45-43 loss.

Although it was a painful defeat, there were a lot of positives to take from it according to Louisburg head coach Ty Pfannenstiel.

“I thought we played really well,” Pfannenstiel said. “Paola is the hottest team in our league the past two weeks, knocking off Desoto, Eudora and Ottawa. For us to play at that level was very encouraging moving forward. I was really proud of the way that we played.”

Wildcat senior Desmond Doles hit a couple big shots late as he tied the game at 42-all with a runner in the lane with just under two minutes left in the game. Louisburg later forced a turnover and Doles was fouled on the ensuing possession and made 1 of 2 free throws to put Louisburg up 43-42 with under a minute remaining.

Paola’s Kale Clark hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Panthers a one point lead, but the Wildcats had one final opportunity. A 3-point shot from Justin Sievert wouldn’t go down, but Louisburg grabbed an offensive rebound for a second chance, but turned the ball over.

The Panthers would add another free throw to ice the game with two seconds left.

It was a close contest throughout as Louisburg hit a basket at the buzzer to give it a 16-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and took that two-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

Paola outscored Louisburg 10-7 in the third quarter to grab a one-point lead and then expanded it to six midway through the fourth quarter, only to see Louisburg battle back and take the one-point lead late.

Doles led Louisburg in scoring with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Seniors Ben Minster and Dalton Ribordy also finished in double figures with 10 points each, while Minster added six rebounds and three assists.

Clark and Brandon Wilkes each scored 15 points to lead the Panthers.

“When we play with energy, play smart, and communicate with each other, we can play with anybody in this league and we proved that (Friday),” Pfannenstiel said. “We were able to be consistent on both offense and defense for four quarters.”

The regular season might not have gone the way the Wildcats had hoped it would, but they are looking for a fresh start when postseason action begins this week.

Louisburg (2-18) will try for its second straight trip to the state tournament Friday as they will face off with No. 1 Spring Hill (12-7) at 6 p.m. at Paola High School in the first round of the sub-state tournament. The winner of that game will meet the winner between No. 2 Ottawa (11-8) and No. 3 Paola (11-8) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the championship game.

“I think our competitiveness against Ottawa, Spring Hill and Paola the last few weeks has definitely given us confidence for sub-state,” Pfannenstiel said. “Anything can happen in a win or go home game. We played a good game against Paola and we will have to play even better on Friday against Spring Hill. If we can play with energy and play with confidence, I really like our chances.”

 

LOU               16           11           7             9 – 43

PAO               14           11           10           10 – 45

LOUISBURG (2-18): Desmond Doles 12, Ben Minster 10, Dalton Ribordy 10, Justin Sievert 6, Dylan DeShazer 3, Kohl Vogel 2. Totals: 19-42 3-9 43. 3-point field goals: 2, (Doles, DeShazer).