In full swing of what seems to be the second half of the pandemic season, local student-athletes are standing out amongst the competition during the 2020-21 winter sports campaign.
For that The Chanute Tribune selected the Performers of the Week for Jan. 22-28. This week’s awardees will have more junior college athletes than last week’s list, as the delay in college sports will have those athletics taking place at the same time as many other sports.
Senior guard Kori Babcock led the Lady Blue Comets to three more wins in their current six-game win streak. This streak started in the Freeman Sports Medicine Mid-Season Shootout, when Babcock put up 24 points, four assists, three steals, and three rebounds in a 64-62 win over Frontenac High School on Jan. 22. She registered a career-high 35 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and three assists in a 53-37 victory over Nevada High School the next day, and poured in 22 points, six assists, five rebounds, and four steals in a 48-44 over Paola on Jan. 26.
These performances earned her another Performer of the Week win.
There are no Performers of the Week for Blue Comets boys basketball, as the team hasn’t played since Jan. 15 because a player tested positive for COVID-19. The entire team quarantined for a couple weeks, but their first game back was Tuesday night versus Pittsburg.
In wrestling, the award goes to senior State champion Trent Clements, who helped sweep the Holton Duals on Jan. 23. The 2020 4A State champions beat El Dorado 55-21, Holton 57-18, Ottawa 49-24, Rossville 69-12, and Shawnee Heights 41-39, the No. 8 team in 5A. Clements pinned the No. 5 wrestler in Brock Ferguson at 4:53 versus Shawnee Heights, which assisted the team to a very good 18-4 record.
Clements spoke on his performance in the Holton Duals, which cemented another Performer of the Week.
“I think I performed well individually and the team wrestled some great competition and edged out some hard-fought wins,” Clements said. “Moving forward, we just need to stay calm and do what our coaches have prepared us to do, not let our emotions get in the way, and be grateful for the opportunity to wrestle.”
On Jan. 23, Chanute girls wrestled in the Independence Girls Tournament, and the team placed fourth with 103 points, behind Emporia (184 points), Columbus (124), and Burlington (103). Scoring the most individual points and placing the highest in this tourney was freshman Kadynce Axelson (120), who went 4-1 after pinning Coffeyville’s Julionna Morgan (54 seconds), Emporia’s Iris Renteria-Rivera (1:05), Burlington’s Ivy Elmore (27 seconds) and Columbus’ Lizzy Welch (6:40) in the championship bracket.
The No. 3 2A boys basketball team, the Erie Red Devils, have been rolling all year long. They suffered their first loss (49-38) of the season versus Riverton High School on Jan. 23. Still, junior forward Eric Dillinger contributed nine points in this loss, and then tallied 18 points in a 65-61 win over Fredonia on Jan. 26, which put the team to 9-1, and helping the big man earn Performer of the Week.
“Fredonia played very well tonight so we really needed everything we got on both ends of the floor,” Erie boys coach Nick Pfeifer said. “I did not think it was great defensively, but we got some big stops when we needed to and I thought we did a nice job of finishing the game strong.”
Operating on a very talented Erie Lady Red Devils’ team that was ranked in the top-10 for weeks, senior guard Skylar Clevenger notched 12 points in a 37-32 loss to College Heights on Jan. 23, as well as a 14-point performance in a 38-32 triumph over Fredonia on Jan. 28, a win that put Erie at 9-2, while also ensuring a Performer of the Week selection.
On the mat, Erie’s Drayton Kennedy (106) placed second and scored 20 team points in the 27th annual Eureka Invitational on Jan. 23, the last regular season meet of the year. The performance helped Kennedy grab the Performer of the Week accolade.
“I love watching our kids wrestle. They are improving every week,” coach Will Weber said. “This is the best I’ve seen the kids wrestle this season. We’re right where we need to be at this point in the season.”
Humboldt sophomore Trey Sommer also had a good week of basketball. He chalked up 18 points and seven rebounds in a 55-51 loss to Iola on Jan. 22, and 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 53-41 win over Bluestem on Jan. 26, which put the Cubs at 8-4. That solidified a Performer of the Week award for the playmaker.
For the Jets, senior Josh Meigs scored 13 points in a 59-42 loss to Uniontown on Jan. 22, put up 14 points in a 66-42 loss to Kansas City Christian on Jan. 23, and banked 21 points in a 79-48 loss to Southeast High School on Jan. 26.
Mariah Stackhouse was consistent through the week for the girls, netting seven points in a loss to Uniontown on Jan. 22, 12 points in a loss to KCC the next day, and nine points in a Southeast High loss on Jan. 26.
“But the girls played hard and there were several times down the court where they looked really good,” girls head coach Randy Almond said.
Freshman Mike’ Ya House was the most consistent player for the women’s basketball team last week. House scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds in a 110-66 loss versus No. 1 Labette on Jan. 23 at home. She also put up 15 points and two of four 3s and four rebounds in a 73-71 loss to Dodge City on Jan. 27.
“I’m really proud of Mike’Ya House,” women’s coach JJ Davis said. “That’s two games in a row she’s finished in double figures.”
For the men, freshman forward De’Antray Hughes added 13 points and 10 boards in a 104-51 loss to Ottawa JV. A few days later in a 73-71 loss on Jan. 27 versus Dodge City, he produced a double-double, amassing a team-high 19 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals, which capped off the weekly award.
“I thought we battled, I thought we did a nice job,” men’s head coach Jeremy Coombs said. “...Our guys stepped up and really competed. I was really pleased with where we are at.”
Lady Panthers’ volleyball started its season on Jan. 25, which ended up being a 3-2 loss to Northeastern Oklahoma. The most dependable in this week has been freshman outside hitter Hannah Brisco, who accumulated 13 kills and two blocks in the first game of the year. Brisco also racked up nine kills, nine digs, and one service ace in a 3-0 win over Hesston College on Jan. 28 at NCCC.
“I think the girls did a good job of coming out tonight and executing what we worked on between our game Monday and today (Jan. 28),” coach Marisa Compton previously said. “We did a lot better job of earning our points and we served-received really well tonight. And I thought we served really aggressive, too.”
NCCC’s wrestlers started their season in late January, too. In two losses, 28-21 to Cloud Community College and 48-3 to Pratt Community College, sophomore Tyson Villalpando scored nine points after winning by forfeit versus Cloud and winning a 7-3 decision over Cayden Atkins of Pratt on Jan. 26. His two victories led to his first Tribune award selection of the 2020-21 winter sports season.