Greetings all and welcome to Duerrisms for the Week of January 21st, presented by your sporting goods experts at GAMEMASTERS. Hope you are keeping warm.
The KHQA/SUBWAY Superfan Shootout is exactly two weeks away and we are excited to bring you once again a premier, eleven game high school basketball shootout featuring some of the best teams in the region..and in the entire Midwest. Our website here is now home to the brand spanking new Superfan Shootout page, complete with rosters, team pictures, schedules and other pertinent information you may need to enjoy the affair to its fullest. We will delve into the Shootout a little bit in this edition of Duerrisms, and then full force the next two weeks with a complete breakdown of each and every game to maximize your enjoyment. Remember, one ticket buys you admission to all eleven games. And coming this Monday, January 24th, KHQA will be giving away 10 free sets of tickets to our viewers. Be sure to tune in all day on Monday for your chance to earn a free pass to the best that Tri State basketball has to offer.
OVERTIME comes your way again at 10:30pm on Saturday with another "try to top yourself" edition of the the Tri State's most comprehensive local highlight show. The last two weeks we have brought you highlights of 19 and 21 games respectively. This week, with all the snowouts and Missouri Tournament Championship fun, we will attempt to push the envelope even further. If you love local sports, you simply can't miss the OVERTIME party....
After a two week hibernation, our SPORTS FINAL CHATROOM heated up on Friday at 10:35 as we doubled our number of visitors. Remember, this is your best chance to talk local and national sports with Joe Murano and me. Just jump onto this website and 10:35 and follow the prompts and I guarantee you will find a friendly, enlightened, and often entertaining environment to share your sports thoughts. And for all you social networkers out there, you can follow KHQA Sports at ChrisDuerr@Twitter.com as well as on my Facebook page (look for Dug the Dog from the movie UP!) We approve all interested parties, so jump on board any time you like and we can converse, debate, or trade witty banter of any type you like. In this multi-media age, it is usually the fastest, easiest way to converse with us or pass along information.
KHQA /DENE LAMBKIN HONDA HYUNDAI STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
The KHQA/DENE LAMBKIN HONDA HYUNDAI Student Athlete of the Week program is in full swing for 2010-2011 school year as we will count down to awarding a pair of scholarships to the most accomplished high school male and female seniors in the region. Our nominating board last met November 1st and selected ten outstanding nominees from a loaded applicant pool of nearly 30 candidates, which takes us roughly into mid January before our next voting period. Each of those Seniors will be profiled on Wednesday with their own special segment during the KHQA Evening News. Our board will convene JUST twice more this school year, which means you are running out of time to get a deserving senior athlete the recognition they richly deserve. We have extended our application deadline for this second to last meeting until JANUARY 24th, so don't delay....
If you know of a deserving senior who sports a minimum 3.5 GPA, please contact your high school athletic director and have them fill out a form on that student's behalf. Or help expedite the process yourself by printing a nomination form from our website (which can be found on the Student Athlete of the Week Page) and turning it in to your local athletic director so that they can submit it to us. Because of the incredible response we have received, you really need to get a jump on submitting candidates before the holidays because we already have a very competitive field of nominees in the hopper for our next meeting and the competition is only going to get tighter (with the usual last minute flood of applicants in March) as the year goes on. So jump on that nomination form today because these kids certainly deserve their moment in the spot
The Class of 2010-2011
Week One: JALYNN GEISEKE, Hannibal Volleyball, Swimming, Track and Field
Week Two: JESSICA LINBERGER, North Shelby Softball, Basketball
Week Three: DANIEL WEIMAN, Quincy Notre Dame Football, Baseball
Week Four: EMMA BURDITT, Hannibal Cross Country
Week Five: JACOB WILSON, Brown County Football, Basketball, Baseball
Week Six: COLBY HOYER, Holy Trinity Volleyball
Week Seven: CODY CARSON, Illini West Football, Basketball, Track and Field
Week Eight: TYLER THORMAN, Macomb Golf, Basketball, Baseball
Week Nine: DAKOTA FLESNER, Payson Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
Week Ten: ACE HENRICKS, Brown County Football, Basketball
Week Eleven: SABE SEARS, Scotland County Football, Basketball
Week Twelve: BRITTANY HOUGHTON, Quincy High Volleyball
Week Thirteen: ELIZABETH CRAMSEY, Liberty Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field
Past Scholarship Winners
2009: MICHAEL LAFFERTY, Illini West (John Wood Community College)
TAYLOR BAXTER, Palmyra (Illinois State)
2008: MATT PATTERSON, South Shelby (Truman State)
CHLOE BARNES, Quincy High (Ball State University)
2007: LUKE GUTHRIE, Quincy High (University of Illinois)
2006: KATELYN BASTERT, Illini West (Duke University)
2005: MIKAL BENECOMO, Clopton (Southeast Missouri State)
KHQA Girls Basketball Power Rankings
1) QUINCY NOTRE DAME
Busted Havana and Clopton in half last week by 20 and 29 points respectively. I caution you to remember that both of those teams were state ranked at the time. Scarier still, Eric Orne has just two seniors amongst his top ten players, and neither of them are starters. Based on what she did last week in leading the Lady Raiders to a fifth straight Central Tournament title, I could make a compelling argument that Kassidy Gengenbacher was the best player on the floor last week. And that is with her teammate Jordan Frericks currently atop my Player of the Year ballot at this point. The Carrollton Tournament isn't exactly cakewalk, but unless Brian Bettis can invoke the spirit of the 1991 Duke Blue Devils in his West Central crew, the Lady Raiders could win every game by 30 points or better. If you haven't seen these girls play, you owe to yourself to catch them just once. You may be able to say someday you were part of history because you did.
2) MARION COUNTY
Granted, the Lady Mustangs are 11-0 at this point but Mike Johnson would be the first to tell you his team hasn't come close to reaching its potential yet. There hasn't been a whole lot of artistry on offense and up until Wednesday's North Shelby Tournament win over LaPlata, Marion County's perimeter game has been, diplomatically, an unknown commodity. And there are times on the floor when the team's lack of veteran, senior experience are readily apparent on offense. By the same token, ugly wins are wins just the same and the Lady Mustangs are nonetheless undefeated operating at about 60% efficiency at the offensive end. So what does that tell you? Perhaps that no one defends harder, more effectively? Bingo.Just two of Marion County's eleven opponents have scored 40 points or more (none of them more than 46 in a game) and that seven of those teams have been held to less then thirty. Yes, having the states best shot swatter at the back of the defense in Jessica Redd helps tremendously, but I am enamored with the fervor with which these girls press. If you haven't seen her lately, Randi Lee Plunkett hit a growth spurt and now has the kind of long arms (to go with her seemingly limitless endurance and energy) that make her a holy terror against anything but a perfectly thrown pass. Kaelyn Spratt is one of the quickest guards I've seen and peskier than a swarm of Beardstown gnats. These girls absolutely exhaust you. And if you break their press and get into the half court game, you tend to feel the need to force your offense and take advantage of that rare luxury of a half court set. And you fall right into Mike Johnson's trap. At some point, that Marion County Offense is going to roar to life. But for the time being, the Lady Mustangs are savvy enough to use the one given in their arsenal, and use the region's best small school defense to win by any means necessary.
3) ILLINI WEST
Zach Keene's crew is now 19-2 and both of the Chargers losses have come to teams that are, on paper, inferior to IW in talent. Or games that can be written off as the inevitable clunkers that every mortal team has to deal with over the long haul. When challenged, however, as by a Havana, West Central, or Galesburg, this group of young ladies really reaches down and responds with passion. Truth be told, that is the biggest improvement this Charger squad has made from last year to this. These girls don't shrink from adversity, the reputation of an opponent, or from their appointed task of relentlessly attacking their foes at both ends of the floor. The rise of Gracie Bastert has been critical in this as she has become a kind of positive bellwether for this team. Carter Wear may be "the franchise" and Lauren Gronewold may the focus of many a game plan, but Gracie is the pure energy kid who sets the tone. On IW's best nights, even if she isn't a kid who stands out on the box score, Gracie's presence is unmistakable. She makes hustle plays. She keeps the tempo of Zach Keene's defense rolling. She can come of the bench at any point and the tempo picks up. And she's elevated what was already a very underrated backcourt (there is a lot to like about both Bali Campbell and Tiffany Mohr anyway) into the real secret weapon behind the Chargers outstanding start. Very interested to see what happens February 1st when the Chargers get another red letter opponent thrown their way in QND. Unlike a number of the Raiders previous opponents this season, I don't suspect the Chargers will be intimidated from the tip. Nor do I think there will be any relent in IW's willingness to attack, even against one of the state's most gifted and talented lineups.
4) WINCHESTER WEST CENTRAL
Alex Schaad's first quarter effort against Routt in the Title Game of the North Greene Tournament was a not so subtle reminder that opponents simply can't sell out defensively on Tiffany King anymore. Schaad scored her team's first thirteen points ( 23 overall) in every manner possible in helping clinch the Lady Spartan Classic for her Cougars. She may not have King's well earned reputation yet, but Schaad is fast becoming every bit that level of weapon. And her teammates confidence in her is apparent. So it is now incumbent on West Central opponents to decide who they dare risk defending with just one player. Good luck with that one. Not only are the Lady Cougars now blessed with two game changing scorers, Brian Bettis has a supporting cast that unflinchingly clings to its roles and plays to each individual strength. At its best, the West Central machine is a well designed one. I still hate that this team gives away so many chintzy needless fouls, but perhaps those are errors of enthusiasm. I like the way the Lady Cougars are playing right now as a true collective. And Brian Bettis is truly hoping for his team to earn a rematch this week in Carrollton with the Quincy Notre Dame juggernaut, just so he can get a read on just how far his team has come over the last month. Bottom line, West Central (a top notch team to begin with) has made a lot of tangible strides over its stands at Beardstown and North Greene.
Quietly, Mike Davis has cobbled together an outstanding seven player rotation that seems to not only compliments each other, but likes playing together. After a rocky start, the Chiefs are now 11-3 and challenging for a Conference Title with an unblemished Southeast Conference mark. Yes, Shelsey Stanley is a unique, build your program around talent who is probably worth 12-15 wins alone. What intrigues here is just well the Chiefs have connected the dots around her. Alexis Lozano-Dobbs has been a find and along with Ashley Longshore is very solid guard who gives you positives beyond the box score. Erin Uhlmeyer has become a do it all talent who can take some of the onus off Stanley. Zoe Kayvan is coming into her own and has really added some spice to the Chief Defense. Lauren Reichman and Mollie Martin have found their respective niches. For whatever Keokuk isn't (deep, big, imposing, particularly blessed with good shooters) the Chiefs compensate with versatility, balance and an understanding of themselves. Most teams are lucky to have one "glue" type kid. Mike Davis has maybe four. And that, my friends, is why this team is better in reality than it may have looked on paper preseason.
The Next Level
Lauren Jaeger is as mobile and lithe and gifted a big as you will find in Northeast Missouri. And it would not shock if the Lady Hawks find their way back to Mizzou Arena
7) MONROE CITY
Youth movement paying huge dividends for Bob Gilliam, who has 10 wins in 12 games to his credit, including "for real" victory over Liberty-Payson
Great coach, intriguing lineup. But I can't quite make sense of who this team shot just 18% from the field in ugly loss to Palmyra.
9) SOUTH FULTON
Tiffany Churchill plus Carley Beebe equals Defensive Nightmares for foes
10) CENTRAL LEE
If only Traci Keller's knee "worked." She and Jessica Beam were emergent 1-2 punch
Best of the Rest
11) CENTRAL SOUTHEASTERN
13) LIBERTY PAYSON
14) SOUTH SHELBY
15) BOWLING GREEN
18) SCOTLAND COUNTY
20) GRIGGSVILLE PERRY
BULL MARKET: Stock on the Rise
ROYCE POORE, Knox County
Liberty's Michael Blewitt isn't the only ninth grader turning heads in Tri State Basketball. Eagle Freshman Royce Poore is flashing outstanding potential on the wing in Edina, sporting a game that hints, just by the slightest skosh, at the JD Summers "starter kit." To wit, Poore has the ability to play both outside and in with authority and a much more mature game at this point then many of the seniors working their craft in Northeast Missouri. Royce's got a very fleshed out jump shot and the skills and inclination to be one of those outstanding "for his size" rebounders. Ultra quick hands on defense are a nice luxury to boot. Granted, he's got a lot of off-season weight room work ahead of him if he wants a college future but this is one of those rare kids who, if he pays the price, has a chance to be incredibly special three or four years from now.
KIETTE MUNDY, Monroe City
Good luck finding a more athletic wing player in Northeast Missouri. The 5'4" Panther Sophomore has an explosive first step off the dribble, pretty darned good handles for an off guard, and lights out potential as a finisher. Couple that with Kiette's ability to knock down mid-range and long range jumpers and her dogged tenacity in pressing opponents and Bob Gilliam has the makings of a difference making guard in all phases of the game. The only flaw right now in her repertoire is that she tends to get a little anxious on the offensive end and force things; but that criticism can be labelled at even the top tier of good sophomore guards we've seen here over the last ten years. Eventually, Kiette is going to settle in, get comfortable, and let the game come to her. And when she does, she will be the centerpiece of a really good young Panther squad and a sure fire first team All CCC pick. In the interim however, as a work in progress, she is still a darned good reason Monroe City is one of the most pleasant surprises in Tri State Basketball...
CARLY SPALDING, Monroe City
....And classmate Carly Spalding similarly fits that bill. In NBA parlance, Carly is a Monta Ellis type in that she gives you outstanding defensive presence, a lot of easy transition buckets off steals, and a nice smattering of every other statistical category in the box score. A like the aformentioned Golden State Warrior, Carly is quite typically the quickest kid on the floor. Not only straight line speed, but reactive quick as well to the basketball environment around her. She plays the game at a speed most sixteen year old girls can't. More importantly, she seems to see the game at that speed as well; something reminiscent at the defensive end of West Central's Ashlyn Jacquot. Again, there is no telling how good she may be two years from now. Incredibly high ceiling.
COREY BARNETT, Winchester West Central
Picked the right time, game, spot for a star turn and Barnett's paint presence, both offensively and defensively allowed the Cougars to glide past a red hot Liberty squad in the WIT Semifinals by beating the Eagles at their own game. The 6'4 sophomore is tremendous at establishing position in the paint and showed the ability to slide off contact, get his shot off, and get to the free throw line against Liberty's much celebrated front line. You can see the seeds here of a legit post presence for the young Cougars down the road.
BLAKE DOANE, Quincy Notre Dame
Hard to know where this kid is health wise, coming off a season ending football injury back in August. But even if Blake is 85% at best, he has been big in some big spots for Scott Douglas. Saturday's win over a pretty darned good Jacksonville squad was just further evidence. Anthony Bruns may have stolen the headlines, but give Blake a best supporting nod here for his timely three point shooting, gritty rebounding, and sound passing and mental game in support of the cause.
KHQA POSITION RATINGS
Pivots and Posts
Best Overall Post Defender: JESSICA REDD, Marion County
Best Face the Basket Game: CARTER WEAR, Illini West
Best Back to the Basket Game: TIFFANY KING, West Central
Best High Post Option: BRITTANY YOST, South Shelby
Best Lowpost Option: TORI KUHN, Quincy Notre Dame
Best Footwork: CARTER WEAR, Illini West
Best Touch Around the Basket: TIFFANY KING, West Central
Best Passer, True Post: CARTER WEAR, Illini West
Best Passer, Hybrid Post/Wing/Point: JORDAN FRERICKS, QND
Best Offensive Rebounder: JESSICA REDD, Marion County
Best Defensive Rebounder: TAYLOR BURDETTE, Central Lee
Best Shot Blocker not named Jessica Redd: AUDREY THRASHER, Macon
Best Defender: JORDAN FRERICKS, QND
Most Promising Young Defender: JORDAN FLETCHER, Quincy High
Smoothest: LAUREN JAEGER, Clopton
Most Underrated: JILL HARRIS, Beardstown
Most Versatile Player: JORDAN FRERICKS, QND
Best Perimeter Game: ERICA WHITE, Routt
Best Freshman: MORGAN MARTIN, QND
Highest Upside: TAYLOR BURDETTE, Central Lee
Most College Ready Talent: JESSICA REDD, Marion County
Best Overall Post Defender: DALTON HOOVER, Pittsfield
Best Athlete: JOSH PEAK, Jacksonville
Best Shot Blocker: DEANGELO DEAN, Quincy High
Best Face the Basket Game: DEANGELO DEAN, Quincy High
Best Back to the Basket Game: EVAN MCGAUGHEY, Illini West
Best Offensive Rebounder: WADE MURFIN, Liberty
Best Defensive Rebounder: ANDREW MATHISON, Central Lee
Most Important Player to his Given Team: BRETT KIRTLINK, Louisiana
Best Work Ethic: DRAKE VERMILLION, Beardstown
Best Passer: SPENCER RHEA, Central
Strongest: ANDREW MATHISON, Central Lee
Hardest Defensive Draw: JOSH PEAK, Jacksonville
Savviest Player: ERIC BARRY, Liberty
Best Midrange Game: NICK HEILE, Macomb; STEFF SIMMONS, Canton
Best Perimeter Game: DALTON HOOVER, Pittsfield
Best Through Contact: DEANGELO DEAN, Quincy High
Best Finisher: ANDREW MATTHISON, Central Lee
Most Promising Newcomer: ALEX FITCH, QND
Most Imposing: DRAKE VERMILLION, Beardstown
Best Pick Setter: ZACH ASBURY, Keokuk
Most Improved: EVAN MCGAUGHEY, Illini West
Most Underrated: MATT HARRIS, Payson Seymour
Unsung Sidekicks: MIKE DAVIS, Quincy High, BRANDON PEZLEY, Central Lee
Our deepest condolences to both the immediate family and the extended Van-Far family of former Indian Athlete Tanner Lowrance (Class of 2008) who died this week. Our prayers are with you all.
The Jacksonville Journal Courier released its All Area Football Squad this week, with Jacksonville Record Setting Quarterback Nick Lonergan serving as the the JJC's 2010 Player of the Year. As of a month ago, the Crimson All Stater had yet to receive a scholarship offer but remains on the recruiting radar of Eastern Kentucky, Western Illinois and Illinois State. Indianapolis, Missouri S&T, Truman, Northwest Missour Statei, Quincy University, McKendree, Monmouth, Illinois College and Millikin have also all made inquiries on Lonergan.
On the recruiting front, South Shelby Three Time All State Center Shane Smith continues to garner plenty of attention. Southern Illinois and Missouri S&T were his early favorites, but the plot appears to have thickened with Missouri Western, Western Illinois (he took a recruiting visit to Macomb on Thursday) and Northwest Missouri State all in the mix. The Cardinals other All State Linemen, Clarence Cannon Conference Defensive Player of the Year Ethan Decker has gotten some attention from Northwest Missouri State and Truman State, along with some of the region's better NAIA schools, but not nearly the kind of courting a kid of his talent deserves; which is the unfortunate downside of playing Class 1 Football. Hard to find legitimate 300 pounders with this kind of motor and mobility and Decker might be, long range, the most productive player in the local Class of 2011 when his college career is all said and done.
Biggest question in Kahoka may not be he who replaces Matt Smith as head coach of the Clark County Football program, but rather who replaces Smith as the Indians "Offensive Coordinator." It's no secret that Smith was one of the brightest offensive minds in the state and his spread offense will be difficult to unroot in Kahoka for his successor, especially since Seth Williams made such great strides as a spread QB for the Indians over the course of last year. If Clark County Defensive Coordinator Quentin Hamner gets the promotion at Clark County to succede Matt Smith, I would hazard that he won't up root an existing and successful system. And I would guess Clark County Football gets run a lot like Macomb Football, with the head coach holding tightly to the reigns of the defense (his level of expertise) and finding an O Coordinator he can hand the entire shooting match over to. A Steve Horrell to his Kelly Sears, if you will. Finding that coach will be harder said then done. Is current Clark assistant and former 2008 standout wide receiver Matt Morrow a potential option here? The intrigue in Kahoka is only beginning to unfold.
Hearing an intriguing inter-Tri State transfer rumor, for legitimate family reasons, about one of the region's top returning football players for 2011. The kid in question was a 2010 All Do or Die First Team selection and could impact not one, but two positions of need for an already stellar program and push said program to legitimate State Championship contention. If this becomes anything more than rumor, I will keep you posted. The source on this is far more legit that your average rumor monger, so it's harder to be skeptical...or un-intrigued.
KHQA/SUBWAY/Superfan Shootout Marquee draw Incarnate Word, which was ranked 23 nationally at one point this season, took a "hit" in stature last with with back to back losses to Webb City and Blue Springs. Granted those two teams were ranked second and first in the MSHSAA Class 5 polls (they have now flip flopped positions) just ahead of the Red Knights, but those defeats do remove at least a little of the air of invincibility from now fourth ranked IWA, 12-3 on the year. If you are wondering, the Red Knights only other loss came at the hands of the best team in Hawaii, Konawaena, which is now 22-1 on the year. So, suffice it to say, the Red Knights are still pretty darned good coming into their Saturday Night Showdown with the undefeated Quincy Notre Dame Lady Raiders. IWA features a pair of Division One commits. Center Brianna Puni is headed to Illinois State. Guard Brittany Carter is inked to Ball State. On paper, it remains the best game we have ever offered up at the Superfan, and worth the price of admission alone.
Is former Central Southeastern star Ali Schwagmeyer on the cusp of becoming the GLVC Womens Basketball Player of the Year this season? Its early and I had not even taken time to consider that probability until I heard Quincy Herald Whig Sports Editor Don O'Brien make the case on Thursday that Ali is the de facto front runner for the award at this point of the season. The QU Forward is currently third in the GLVC in scoring, fourth in assists, sixth in offensive rebounding, and tied for ninth in the league in steals. She is also shooting 51% from the field. Talk about a compelling resume....
Payson Seymour is establishing its own Athletic Hall of Fame, with the first class of inductees scheduled to be enshrined on February 4th. The inaugural class of inductees includes Lester Fusselman, Bud Scranton, Lisa Brown, and Art Loy. Fusselman, class of 1939, was an ace pitcher for the baseball team. He went on to play professional baseball for almost 10 years. He played in the Major Leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1952 and 1953. He was a catcher during his entire professional career. Bud Scranton graduated from Payson Seymour High School in 1943. He was nominated and selected as a Friend to Seymour Athletics. He and his wife give an award each year to a senior athlete that has shown outstanding character. He also volunteered for many years keeping score. He has been a life-long supporter of Payson Seymour Athletics. Lisa Brown, class of 1981, was a 4-sport athlete during her high school career. She was a dominant volleyball, basketball, softball, and also set a couple of track records. She played collegiate basketball at Moberly Junior College and basketball and volleyball Culver-Stockton College. She was a player on the Moberly team that won the NJCAA National Championship in 1982. Art Loy has coached more games in the history of the school than any other coach. He coached baseball from 1938-1971 and basketball from 1938-1956 and was the track coach for many years during his time at Seymour High School. He also taught mathematics.